In the age of online shopping and fickle customers, loyalty may feel like a thing of the past: where to cheapest option is available, the sale follows.
This isn’t necessarily true.
Every brand has their “Brand Champions,” or the people who are loud-and-proud loyal customers.
Marketing strategy tends to focus on lead acquisition, but overlooks retention. Brand champions are under-appreciated gems who deserve more from your brand. Arguably, they provide more for you in lifetime value than thousands of one-time customers can. Fostering this relationship will reap endless rewards as time goes on.
So how can you make brand champions feel appreciated?
1. Loyalty programs.
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to note. Enticing customers to come back consistently (and rewarding those who do) will create stronger relationships between your brand and the customer. This can also create future brand champions of people who may not have otherwise purchased from you again. Why should they shop with you when another brand is offering the same or better pricing? Faster shipping? More options? Reward customers for staying loyal and make them feel like they “get something” out of shopping with you.
2. Social media engagement.
Customers are a great source of social media content. When someone is compelled by your brand enough to share it with their social media audience, they are a true believer! Reward this by re-posting on to your brand’s social media channels. These few simple clicks make the customer feel valued (and gives them bragging rights with their friends!). They’ll forever feel a special connection to your company because you acknowledged them.
3. Product reviews.
Product reviews are tricky because most of the time, only people who are really impressed or really unimpressed with a product will leave a review. However, if you’re able to target repeat customers to submit their reviews, the likelihood of them writing a positive one is higher. Offer a discount for a future purchase in exchange for their thoughts, and your brand champions will show up for you and be happy to tell everyone reading the reviews about how great your company is.
4. Aligning your charity work with causes important to your customers.
There is so much information available about our customers, you just need to know the right questions to ask. Find out what causes are important to them and see how you can incorporate this into your charity work. Just think: if someone was already planning on donating to a cause and they see you’re helping out with the same organization, they’ll be more apt to buy from you and receive a product in exchange, rather than donating directly and not receiving anything in return.
In the age of the fickle customer, the ones who are loyal to your brand are invaluable. Make sure you’re treating them right and they’ll continue to do right by you.
This article first appeared in cmocouncil.org