How to Build Brand Loyalty, and Attract and Retain Customers
January 27, 2021 (Investorideas.com Newswire) CEOs and business owners have a lot to think about on any given day, but at the beginning of a new year their minds are especially active surrounding their goals and plans for the year at hand. A common need for businesses, especially small businesses that have been recently established, is to attract customers and retain those customers by building brand loyalty. Since it is the start of 2022, businesses everywhere are assessing their goals for the near future. But while the understanding of your goals is easy, the tough part is knowing where to start and how to actually make a change.
We have spoken with top business professionals who have cracked the code on how to attract customers and build brand loyalty. They have provided excellent advice on their tried and true methods for growing their businesses in this regard, which is why we know their expertise will benefit business owners everywhere. 2022 can be your company's year of growth, but the first step is to begin. So let's begin and take a look at what the experts recommend.
Offer Discount Incentives Such as a Points Accumulation Program
"Discount incentives really help to attract new customers who might be hesitant about investing money into a new product they are not directly familiar with, and also provide a great way to keep your customers returning for refills. One effective way to utilize a discount program is through offering points accumulation for each purchase made. You can determine how the points should be cashed in once they've added up, whether for a free product, free shipping, or a discount percentage. You can also decide how points can be gained, such as through product reviews and further purchases," says Jesse Richardson, CEO of The Brothers Apothecary.
Have a Strong Online Presence
"In 2021, having an online presence for your business was absolutely crucial to your success. The same will only become more true in 2022, as we collectively spend more time online and partake in new shopping and content absorption methods. Social media is the best way to be discovered by potential customers as well as reach and interact with your followers. You can offer special promotions and discounts to your followers too so that those following your page can almost feel like they are part of an exclusive fan base. And as with anything in life, the more time you put in, the greater your results. Make sure you have adequate staffing to keep a constant presence on social media. This means daily posting, story marketing, answering questions, and interacting with your followers. Whether you have one full time social media manager or multiple people monitoring the accounts, be sure to engage in social listening so you can better understand your followers' attitude towards your brand, as well as what they would like to see moving forwards," says Jorge Vivar, Creative Director of mode.
Don't Underestimate the Value of Customer Reviews
"You should never underestimate the value of customer reviews about your products or service. Research shows that customers are much more likely to purchase something from a website with customer reviews than one without, and 91% of 18-34 year old shoppers feel as though the reviews are equivalent to a personal recommendation from a trusted source. So clearly having reviews on your website or e-commerce site are incredibly valuable to you. I would even recommend you share reviews on all online platforms where you have followers, knowing that reviews highly influence purchases and general attitudes towards your products. Don't be afraid to ask customers to review you as well, since you want to have up to date reviews," says Daniel Sathyanesan, CEO and Founder of Winden.
Be Reachable on The Right Social Channels
"In order to attract customers, you need to be reachable on all the key social platforms. Not only do you need a website, but you should also have a presence on social media. It is not always necessary to build a following on every social channel, since there are many, but more important is to select the right platforms based on your target audience. For example, Facebook is majority males ages 25-34 while Instagram is mainly females of the same age group. TikTok on the other hand is largely a younger audience of 18-24 aged females, while Twitter is an older demographic of mostly males aged 30-49. These statistics should directly influence which platforms you utilize and how you craft your content to each platform specifically based on the target audience found there," says Ubaldo Perez, CEO of Hush.
Offer a Flexible Return Policy
"Customers love businesses that offer flexibility. Although small businesses may have more difficulty offering the same type of options as their larger counterparts, you should try to prioritize flexible return policies and trial options. Oftentimes the uncertainty of an online purchase-whether it will suit the purchaser, work for their needs, or fit-is the biggest hindrance to a customer completing a purchase. When you offer them a structure where they can try out and return a product they aren't entirely satisfied with, you eradicate the risk. At that level, the customer is faced with the understanding that they have nothing to lose. And then of course you need to provide regular updates and offers to retain those customers," says Dan Bladen, Co-Founder and CEO of Kadence.
Showcase Your Industry Expertise and Participate in the Community
"By showcasing your industry expertise, you can generate interest and even create buzz, which can help you attract new customers as well as get more business from your existing client base. Volunteering to speak on industry panels, giving a webinar or workshop, speaking at industry events or to groups your target customers belong to, or holding educational sessions are just a few ways you can make a good impression with potential new customers and clients. This technique works particularly well for B2B business owners.
"Surveys show most people like to support local, independent businesses. Raise your profile in your community by participating in charity events and organizations. Sponsor a local fun run, organize a holiday 'toys for kids' drive, or supply a Little League team in your city with equipment. All this raises your profile, which helps attract new customers," says Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media.
Utilize Email Marketing
"Email marketing keeps your business on your customers' minds. Most of us check our emails a couple times a day during the work week, so receiving email marketing is an effective method for retaining customers and building brand loyalty. Many businesses successfully get users to join their marketing list by offering a first time discount incentive for communication signups. Then you can make the regular emails interesting and appealing by sharing updates and offers, which then make your subscribers feel as though they are receiving exclusive perks. Email marketing keeps subscribers in the loop on product changes and releases, and the positive impacts your company is working to make in the world. You can also offer tips, advice, and answers to questions to be essentially sending daily informative messages," says Jaymee Messler, CEO of The Gaming Society.
Let Your Customers Know What Your Business Stands For
"You need to let your customers know what your company stands for. It is not enough to simply offer a product; if you want to build brand loyalty and attract new customers, you need to have a brand that people respect, understand, and relate to. Your mission should be one that people want to support, especially with small businesses. Customers in 2022 are more than eager to support small businesses that are making an impact in the world, even if their prices are comparably higher or shipping comparably less direct. Why? Because customers are supporting your brand even more so than your products. So be bold about what your business believes in and your plan of action to make a difference in the world. The right people will find and support you if you share your heart and goals," says Michael Ayjian, Co-Founder and Executive Producer at 7 Wonders Cinema.
Fostering Brand Loyalty
Touch On Every Aspect of Your Customers' Needs
"[Brand loyalty] starts with the acquisition of the customer in terms of what will delight them and capture their attention initially. For us, we fortress markets. We don't just go everywhere any franchisee particularly wants to go, [but] to how we're going to design the store so people can see in and see what the experience is likely to be before they get there. It gets to be advertising, so we pay a lot of attention to a way to go to market. The more brand awareness we build, the more likely it is that people are going to try us.
"Then, of course, we go back to the same things that we touched on before. Once the customer is acquired, how do you keep that customer? How do you keep them excited? You do it through product news. You do it through the trust they build in getting the same consistent product that they love and want, day in and day out, all the time. You continually take their temperature by a whole host of means in order to make sure that they keep occurring.
"You have to touch all their senses and sometimes it goes way beyond that. It can get to be their concerns, the customers, and the customer experience," says Robert Rosenberg, Former CEO of Dunkin' Donuts.
Offer Exceptional Customer Service
"Such a large percentage of brand loyalty and customer satisfaction comes down to having amazing customer service. Who wants to stay with a company that has proven they don't have customer service representatives who are helpful and understanding? Not prioritizing your customer service is like saying you do not care all that much about the quality of your customers' experience with your company, and it is the customers who actually make your business all that it can be.
"An excellent customer service system looks like providing many outlets of contact so that people are able to reach you in the way they are most comfortable. It also looks like having a highly responsive team, and automated customer service for after-hours and holidays. And perhaps most importantly, a company attitude of wanting to put the customer first. Companies that are willing and prepared to offer flexibility in order to ensure every customer leaves their interaction content are the ones who succeed," says Max Schwartzapfel, CMO of Fighting for You.
Utilize Facebook and Instagram Stories
"Instagram and Facebook Stories are a pretty recent addition to the platforms, but they have quickly become one of the most essential marketing methods for any business with a social media presence (which should be every business). Stories are short snippets of video, picture, or audio that allow you to post anything your followers would like to see. Some tips for what you could include on your Instagram and Facebook stories are: behind the scenes creation, packaging, or shipping of products, features on your employees, new product reveals, sneak peeks into updates and news, and answers to questions. Answering followers' questions is especially smart marketing because it directly and almost immediately responds to questions that could make or break a customer's decision to purchase. It is really an opportunity for great customer service," says Phillip Akhzar, CEO of Arka.
Walk the Walk and Show Your Efforts
"People respect action, especially in our current world where we witness strife and inequality on a daily basis. Make your business one that does not simply 'talk the talk' but also 'walks the walk.' The simple meaning of this is: show how your business is helping to change the world and make a difference in your community. The younger audience of millennials and generation z's in particular are devoted to watching their environmental footprint, working to fight inequality, supporting small and minority owned businesses, and fighting against the problems in our world. Since even individuals are able to make a difference, they want to know that businesses and corporations who have the capability to help do their part. Turn your values and goals into actionable steps, and invite your customers to join in your mission," says Fred Gerantabee, Chief Experience Officer of Readers.com.
With this informative look into the top recommended ways to attract customers and then retain them while building brand loyalty comes your next step: to implement experts' advice to benefit your own business. It may seem daunting to attract customers and keep them returning to your products or services, but the best way to establish brand loyalty is to offer excellent products and be open and actionable about your mission and values. If you follow proven expert advice, 2022 is going to be your year of business growth!
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