Small Business Challenge: Building Brand Loyalty

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What are you doing to ensure you’re building a brand that people will love – a brand that people will be loyal to and choose over your competitors?
Let’s first define “brand loyalty.” Brand loyalty is when your customers turn to you for resources, help, products, services, anything before they even think about going to any of your competitors. Brand loyalty is when your customers recommend your brand to their friends because they trust you and the products and services that you offer. Brand loyalty is a customer talking highly about your brand when they aren’t being prompted to do so.
At One8ty, we like to think of the actual process of building brand loyalty as a marathon – not a sprint. As with most things that happen in the world of a small business owner, it’s not about how quickly you can finish but making sure you take action to get yourself to the next step, and then the next one, and then the next one.

Brand loyalty is not something you can rush, especially if your brand is young. But you can follow some pretty simple steps to make sure you’re on the right path to building a brand that people will love.

Get Your Employees on Board
Ensure your employees know and understand what your brand stands for, are on board with that, and feel as though they are an active part of the brand itself.
Equip your employees with the information, resources and knowledge they need about your brand. Once you’ve done that, rally around them and get them pumped up and excited about what it is that your brand stands for and means to them.
Once your employees are on board, they’ll be excited to contribute to the brand in a positive way and talk about the brand every chance they get to everyone who will listen.

Get Your Customers on Board
Do your customers see your brand the same way you do? It’s important to be sure you’re on the same page, because if your customers think one way about your brand, and you’re preaching something totally different about your brand, then it’s going to be pretty difficult to build brand loyalty and increase customer retention.

Have you heard the term “Brand Advocate?” It essentially defines a person who not only understands and is willing to represent your brand, but who will speak highly of it, recommend it, and sell it for you. Customers who find value in the products and services you provide are often those who can be considered your “Brand Advocates.” When you provide value to your customers through your brand, they’re more than happy to recommend your business to others who might find value in your brand as well.

In today’s social-centric universe, online communities are becoming more and more prevalent. Having Brand Advocates is a very effective way to market your brand and be top-of-mind – at almost no monetary cost to you. Treat every customer interaction as if it were the only interaction you have to win over that customer – even if it’s the 20th time you’ve spoken to them. Having Brand Advocates is a fantastic business strategy in today’s world.

Continue to Build Trust Through Consistency and Transparency
There are several ways you can go about building trust with your customers, and one very important way is through consistency.

Prove to your customers that you are going to do what you say when you say you will do it.

Example: If you’re opening a restaurant and you promise that every time someone walks through the door they will be greeted with a smile and a secret handshake, then you better make sure that happens every single time.  Starting a podcast that you’ve promised will come out every Wednesday? Be sure that podcast is out every Wednesday come rain or shine.

Always be Consistent. If someone orders something through your website, and they receive a very thoughtful email with a personal thank you note from you, and then a follow-up email a week later to see how the product is working out for them, then they’re probably going to expect that consistent, stellar customer service from you in the future. Being consistent with your service and the value you provide will help you build trust with your customers.

Be Transparent. No one likes a liar and secrets don’t make friends. Let your customers in on what’s going on behind the curtain, let them be a part of your brand.

If you can make your customers feel as though they’re a part of your business –then they’re going to feel as though they have a special connection with you. You’ve shared something with them that maybe not everyone knows about and this can also build trust. Your customers will start to trust you because they know you’re not trying to hide anything.

Building brand loyalty will not happen overnight. You are creating an amazing business that is going to provide amazing value to your customers. Continue doing what you’re doing with as much passion and drive and motivation as possible, stay true to your authentic self, and you’ll gain loyal followers who love your brand as much as you do.

And if you encounter a road block on your brand building journey, the One8ty Team has extensive experience taking our customers’ brand to the next level and we’re ready to partner with you today!