Achieving brand loyalty in the technical age

Sat, 08 Aug 2015

We were having a chat in the office about loyalty this morning. Not the cheating on your partner type but the, which brands do you buy and why type. Georgina (24 years old, snowboards on the weekend) was dubious about the whole concept of people being brand loyal. For her it’s about shopping around on the Internet finding deals and bargains and she seemed quite offended when I called her a brand slapper. She asked me if I am loyal to brands which got me thinking. 

Nobody loves a bargain more than me, and I will shop online and in-store to hunt out the best offer, however, there are certain brands that I remain loyal to, and I guess it comes down to which hat I am wearing as a consumer. This is not unique to me by any stretch, and it probably leads onto an entirely different article on the psychology of the shopper – not something that I am qualified to write, but I can comment from an anecdotal viewpoint on the subject as someone who throughout their life will have spent probably hundreds and thousands on brands whether deliberately or unwittingly. 

The multiple personalities of a shopper

First and foremost, I am a mum. I happen to buy Ecostore laundry powder (the lemon variety if we’re going into the details). I know it costs more than other brands – although I do try and buy it when it’s on special - but I also know that none of my family comes out in a nasty rash when I wash their clothes using it, and that it does in fact clean clothes. I trust that brand. Fast forward to the tinned veggie aisle in the supermarket and I always buy home brand chopped tomatoes. Why wouldn’t I? What does Delmaine do to its chopped tomatoes that make them three times more expensive than New World’s Budget brand of tomatoes? Anyway, don’t they all come from the same place and simply have different labels put on the can at the chopped tomato factory? 

I try and be careful with money – this is me being price conscious mature mum. Whilst I don’t spend all day trawling Group On and Grab One sites, I will on occasion, buy a trip to the hot pools and get a family pass at a discounted rate. We go to the hot pools as a family and why not go and pay less for the experience?

Achieving brand loyalty

What have I learnt from this conversation? Brand loyalty is still with us, but trying to obtain it is getting increasingly difficult in this age of price comparison websites, online specials and discounted voucher group deals. Here are some tips if you’re looking to build brand loyalty:

- Make sure your product is good. You don’t have to be the owner of a luxury brand, no matter what your price point is, make sure you deliver on quality every time

- Offer fantastic service and after-sales care - when people feel looked after and are treated with respect in a polite and friendly manner they tend to share via word of mouth and now via world of mouth on social media. Just remember people share information both good and bad and no-one wants to be trending on Twitter because their staff are rude to customers

- Keep your messaging on brand. Mood, tone of voice and brand personality should be consistent so that your customers recognise the brand and you build trust. Constantly changing the message will be confusing to your loyal band of followers

- Don’t rely on discounted price models be it vouchers, multi-buys or price specials. These can often lead to short term gain when it comes to volume sales but will dent your value sales in the long term

- Give your punters a reason to spend more with you. Continue to innovate – can you extend your product line or create new news? If you do this, don’t bastardise your brand or compromise on quality

- Don’t bombard your customers or potential customers with too many communications. No-one likes to be hounded. Brands should be like an old friend to the people that buy into them. They know what they’re going to get, they know they are reliable, and they know they have a great relationship even if they don’t see each other for a long time. 

I asked Georgina what sort of make-up she uses, to which she swiftly replied that she was not brand loyal to any kind of make-up. I tried again and enquired about her brand of snowboard. As quick as a flash she said Burton and that her boots, board and bindings are all made by Burton because they are THE best. Moreover, they also do a girly range of boards that are pretty and lightweight. The guy in the shop also said they were the best (so it must be true?) 

Brand loyalty is achievable. If you need a hand keeping your customers close in this age of quick turn-over, voucher-hungry consumers, then call the team at Cavalry on: (09) 379 2880 

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