Creating Brand Loyalty in a Saturated Market

This year, Cyber Monday set yet another record in consumer spending as millions took to the internet to capitalize on deals and bargains from some of the top commerce sites like Best Buy, Amazon and aggregates like Shop Runner and Fast Wallet.  Amidst all of this spending, the concept of brand loyalty can become somewhat muddled.  What incentive does a consumer have to stay loyal to brand X when they can get a similar product for a significantly discounted price?

Websites capitalize on time sensitive deals to entice purchases, a practice that ultimately perpetuates the mentality of the fickle consumer, brand loyalties worst enemy.  According to a study done by Rice University on flash deals, nearly 40% of businesses that used sites like Groupon to attract customers would not return.  Why you ask?  Converting a deal-seeker into a long term customer has a very low conversion rate.  Deal sites encourage consumers to only make purchase decisions when a price is too good to pass up.  As a business, this model of sale is not conducive of long term growth.

So how do you entice a consumer and keep them coming back time and again?  Below are five great ways to create brand loyalty for even the most saturated of markets.

Involve Your Customer Via Social Media

It may seem cliché, but the truth of the matter is that capitalizing on social media simply works.  As a nation, we are more digitally connected than ever before, Facebook users check their account several times a day, more than half of these are doing it on the go.

As a business this is the perfect opportunity for you to convert these users into brand advocates.  Make accessing your social media a no brainer.  Have it immediately visible on your company’s homepage or perhaps in-store.  Then, once you’ve got the follower or the like, engage, engage and engage.

Don’t be afraid to personally ask a follower a question, mention them in a status update.  Taking the time to personally recognize a follower can increase the chances of brand loyalty exponentially.

Keep an Eye on Quality

It goes without being said that consumers come back, time and time again, to a product that delivers a consistent quality.  Whether you are in the gym industry and your product is something more intangible or whether it be a T-shirt.  Let that glowing review of your services on Yelp be the normal, not the exception.

Don’t Get Out of Touch With Your Target Market

Never let it be beneath you to ask a customer their opinion on your business.  While you may have to combat your inner ego if they have some tough love, chances are they are not the only one who is thinking the same.

Were they happy with the last experience?  Did your product or service live up to their expectations?  What added value would they suggest to make the experience all the more enjoyable?  Sometimes, all it takes for a consumer to become a brand loyalist is to know that the company cares and is listening.

Ask, “Why would I return to this product”

What incentive does a returning customer have in coming back to your product versus that of another?  What does the competition give that you can give better?  It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking this equates to some sort of monetary investment.  It doesn’t always have to be.  Think about your niche.  Is there some sort of service that you can offer that is further down the marketing funnel for your target consumer?  What is the next logical step for someone who is using your services?

Don’t Drop the Ball on the Thank You

Showing your appreciation and thanks is one of the easiest and most cost efficient ways of building brand loyalty.  Have an opportunity to give a happy birthday shoutout via Facebook or Twitter?  Do it.  Is it appropriate to upload a picture of said person while in your store/using your product?  Do it.  Show your target audiences that you care, that you are watching and that you are listening.

What has worked for you?  What hasn’t been that effective?  I’d love you hear your industry insights below.