What keeps you loyal to the brands you love?
Loyalty Programs: Exit Stage Left
Is it the points you collect in their loyalty program? Can you even find the membership card when you need it?
Is it the SMS or email messages that remind you that they are thinking of you?
Chances are that you are loyal to the brands you love because you trust them to respond to you in a way that will keep you entering their domain over and over again.
So, if the loyalty programs are dead, what is a brand to do to keep you loyal? If the discounts and points are not the draw, what can the brand do to keep you focused on the value they bring?
Hyper-Engaged Social Media: Enter Stage Right
Let me share an example that is dear to me. One of the brands that I am loyal to is MAC Cosmetics. I check them out on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest for example, to find easy makeup techniques that look natural. I trust them to inform, entertain and educate me.
Also, I know that I can communicate with them in this same social channel. If I am unhappy with a recent purchase and posted something on Facebook for example, I would expect a prompt response to my concern. Since it is a brand that I love, I want them to succeed. Perhaps I am not expecting a refund. It may be that I just want to be heard and reassured that they know that they fell below my expectations. By providing me with an open channel to voice my concerns, I am confident that I will be heard, and that they will be in touch with me to rectify whatever concerns I may have shared with them.
Imagine the added commitment I would feel for the brand if they rewarded my comment by incorporating my product suggestion into their new line! They may even send over a free sample of the updated product. That would send me all my social channels to tell everyone that will listen about my positive engagement with MAC Cosmetics.
The Missed Opportunity Staring Brands in the Face
The big mistake that many brands make is that they are so focused on new business and the process of lead generation, they forget about the customers that are already using their products.
The brand’s attention to detail on social media is often spotty and their existing customers might be ignored. If this happened to me with MAC for instance, I would feel very abandoned by the brand. At that point, I would start searching for an alternative. I would tell myself, it’s not worth the money, the company does not care about quality, and they certainly do not care about me.
Any marketing to me after that experience might fall on deaf ears.
Maintaining and Building Relationships
Loyalty comes from building and maintaining a relationship with your customers regularly. Don’t push me aside for the new customer making their first purchase.
With rising customer acquisition costs and people ignoring ads, brands should calculate the Customer Lifetime Value and focus on retaining existing customers.
Capillary Technologies recently blogged that “while gaining customer loyalty has always been a priority for brands, it will become even more critical in the next few years. This is largely due to the shift of power from brand to consumer-driven by digitization, competitive marketplace and commodification.”
The love affair between the brand and their existing consumers will remain strong if there is continued engagement. That is the power of a relationship.
What brands do you think have great social media engagement?
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