Building brand loyalty is important for any brand no matter the size. We often associate brand loyalty with large corporate brands but small businesses can have just as big of an impact as their larger competitors. The beauty of small companies is that they typically serve a niche market so rather than having to appeal to a mass audience on a broad scale (at least initially), they can focus on creating a quality experience for the current customer base. The challenge for small businesses becomes trying to find points of difference that will give them a competitive advantage. Not only do small businesses have to compete with the existing corporate brands but they have other small businesses they’ll need to compete with as well. How will you be able to capture new customer attention and more importantly, how can you convert them into brand loyal customers?
Unfortunately, there is no simple way to do this. Successful branding takes time and careful planning. To achieve the ultimate goal of brand resonance, it will require your company to take a deep look into who they are, what their values are, what their story is, and how their image and products can connect with their customers. Once they’ve accomplished that, they can move forward with focusing more of their energy on building brand loyalty using the suggestions listed below.
Capitalize on the local appeal of your small business. Do you use local ingredients for your products or only work with local vendors? Highlight areas that will not only differentiate your offerings but will show your commitment to strengthening the local economy and using local talent to do so. You may also consider hosting or sponsoring local events that are related to your brand values to show your interest outside of just increasing revenue. In the digital age, this can also be done through social media and creating online communities of brand advocates that are excited and love your products.
Superior Customer Service
It’s not enough to just have an amazing product. In fact, 71% of customers have stated unresponsive customer service would be a reason they would stop supporting a brand. As a small business, you have a golden opportunity to treat your customers as your top priority especially since you have a smaller customer base. You want each of your customers to not only love your product but to love the level service you can provide them with. Their service experience with your brand should be timely, personalized, and consistent if you want to keep their confidence.
Use Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is a hidden gem that can unlock invaluable insights. When you take your customers’ feedback to heart and actually implement their recommendations, they’ll feel valued and more connected to your brand. At the end of the day, your brand’s success is dependent on consumer perception. Staying engaged with both your brand supporters and detractors can help you make improvements that can convert a one-time customer to a life-time customer.
You never how meaningful your brand can be until you start to see your brand loyalty increase. When that happens you know you’ve done something right! You’ve found a way to create a brand that people trust, value, and believe in. This is not only great for your customer engagement but it has been proven that “[c]ustomers with an emotional connection to a brand have a customer lifetime value that’s 4x higher than the average customer.” That proves the value in aspiring to increase the number of your brand-loyal customers. Remember to stay true to your mission and values, while also creating a sense of community, commitment, and trust with your customer to ensure their loyalty for your brand will continue for years to come.