Brand loyalty isn’t what it used to be. Indeed, according to Forbes, only seven percent of millennials identify as “brand loyalists.” This shouldn’t surprise many business owners. After all, modern shoppers have more options to satisfy their wants and needs now than ever before. As such, factors like convenience and price have seemingly overtaken brand recognition as a deciding factor in the purchase process. However, many businesses still find ways to cultivate customer loyalty and use it to great effect. To that end, here are several high-profile brand loyalty examples that can provide valuable lessons for small business owners across industries:
Lululemon & Harley-Davidson
On the surface, Lululemon and Harley-Davidson don’t appear to have much in common. Yet, regardless of the disparity in the product (yoga pants as opposed to motorcycles), both companies have managed to build successful brands in a similar fashion. The common thread between the two? One word: community. Visit either website and you’ll find opportunities to connect with others who also wear Lululemon or drive a Harley. Brands that instill a sense of community, or that can convey a feeling of belonging will rarely struggle to find new patrons. As such, small business owners should look for similar opportunities to link their consumer base into a community of its own. (Social media is perfect for building such networks!)
It’s easy to see why companies like Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks rank so highly in regard to customer loyalty. They’re everywhere! While small business owners obviously can’t match the worldwide ubiquity major coffee shops enjoy, they can take a lesson from their playbook. Identifying where your customers most often convene (both in the real world and digitally) can offer savvy business owners a guide to market more effectively. What’s more, tracking your customer’s habits will help you save money by avoiding ineffective marketing tactics.
Say what you will about Apple, but one thing remains clear: they understand how to sell a product. In particular, the iPhone is a juggernaut that has dominated the market through nearly 20 iterations in the decade since its inception. And therein lies one of the keys to its long-term success. Because Apple is constantly updating their product, constantly giving their consumer base new reasons to upgrade, they’ve managed to secure a large swath of loyal customers. In the same way, small businesses can focus on addressing customer concerns or issues by providing new features in direct response to customer interactions.
The Customer Service Cycle
Many business owners still think of their company in three distinct, linear, terms: marketing, sales, and customer service. Yet, in truth, each aspect is connected to the others. Contrary to popular belief, customer service is just as related to customer retention as it is to customer acquisition and marketing. To further the point, the brands that traditionally elicit high customer satisfaction reviews like Amazon, Netflix, and Trader Joe’s, are also adept at drawing in new business as well. Never forget the power that customer reviews hold in terms of marketing material, and word-of-mouth recommendations are still incredibly influential. Proactive business owners who want to improve their ability to attract new customers, then, should look to align all aspects of their operation. Great marketing with terrible customer service won’t produce viable results in the long run.
You don’t have to have all the resources of a Fortune 500 company to market your business more effectively. Regardless of your budget size, you can always find ways to create better content and generate more leads. Contact the Agile & Co. team today and let us help you form a new marketing strategy that will maximize your business’s potential. We use an agile, inbound marketing platform to develop a plan that’s perfect for your situation. And you can learn more about our methodology by downloading our free eBook here: