It is often said that technology makes the world smaller, and indeed, with the power of connectivity we currently have, it does. However, the amount of competition is not made smaller by our connected world; if anything, consumers are able to connect to more brands and companies, increasing the competition for their business and loyalty. There are those who say that brand loyalty is a thing of the past, but Greg Shove, founder of SocialChorus, disagrees. He believes not only in the continued existence of brand loyalty, but that brands can use connectivity to create brand advocates.
In a brief video published on Inc.com, Shove asserts that this can be done in three phases. First, identify those you believe can become brand advocates. Look at your social networks, consumer databases and any other relevant sources of information and find your most satisfied customers – the more frequently they engage with your business the better. The next step is simple: invite your hopefully soon-to-be-advocates to engage with you. Send them an email, and additionally, post information to Facebook and Twitter. From there, reward those who do engage with you. This can be done in a vast number of ways: give them access to great content or offers they can share with their friends, or perhaps a branded sticky screen cleaner to keep their devices clean and your brand in front of their eye. Get creative with other ideas – the main objective is to add value to their social presence on your behalf.
The great value here is that you stand to create voices spreading the good word about your brand, putting you in front of more eyes, increasing visibility and potentially encouraging new customers. And so, it behooves all brands to focus on their current network of clients, customers, supporters, fans and followers to ensure that you are treating them right and encouraging brand loyalty and advocacy.
Why is it so important to cultivate Brand Loyalty?
A business who takes the time to find loyal customers up front, and cater to that demographic online through social media, is creating a group of cheerleaders that will be the first to try your services or products and then immediately go tell their network about it. You are creating a group of people who will market for you, a die hard following. Look at Apple.
A business that has a strong base of brand loyal consumers has the luxury of having more stability and longevity compared to competitors that might not have the same support. Strong brand loyalty means a certain percentage of guaranteed sales and, in general, a larger well to go back to during specials and sales.