You may be familiar with one or more versions of the ever-enduring ‘marketing funnel’:
Awareness > Consideration > Conversion > Loyalty > Advocacy
All of the above are crucial to the survival of a brand, company or product, but as brand marketers, we’re most interested in the last two.
The transition from turning a consumer into a loyal consumer, and subsequently a ‘brand evangelist’ – who openly recommends your brand to others – is tricky. What is it about branding that makes a consumer happily ‘advertise’ with no incentive?
Distinguishing customer loyalty from brand loyalty
Customer loyalty can be built up pretty simply – for example, consistently offering low prices or little incentives with loyalty cards. This is great for retention, but could potentially affect your bottom lines.
Brand loyalty, on the other hand, is all about the service. Customers continue to buy with you because they know that your products are the hallmark of quality. A product or service is simply what we sell; it’s the brand that offers the unique customer experience.
How strong branding will entice your customers
We’re all familiar with world-renowned slogans like ‘Vorsprung durch technik’ or logos like the Golden Arches. But these brands did not get there on a gimmick. They did so by pairing quality with psychology, for example:
Entrenching a sense of desire
This is not just food… this advertising campaign combined three key ingredients. First, there were the eye-popping visuals of various gooey desserts and other treats. Second, there was careful copy aided by a seductive voiceover. Third, there was already an established brand known for its high-end ingredients. The campaign may have been spoofed, but it also increased chocolate pudding sales by 3,500%.
Making us feel great about ourselves
“Advertising is based on one thing: happiness.” These may be the cynical words of one questionable marketing mogul, Don Draper, but the sentiment is real. Brands with an authentic focus on upping their customers’ self-esteem reap the rewards. The days of size zero models are gone, and they’ve been replaced with poignant messaging, like Dove’s ‘Real Women’ campaign. Said campaign was responsible for a 700% increase in sales, while Dove remained true to its values of empowering women through ‘real’ beauty.
Creating a community
Consumers are no longer consumers in the traditional sense. They’re part of the brand – they wear it, eat it, drive it, and most importantly, talk about it. Whether it’s through a logo or a slogan, brands who unite their consumers in a worthwhile cause see the best success.
At the height of racial tensions back in June 2020, Yorkshire Tea stuck to its guns. It used its platform and influence to denounce racism over Twitter, and was soon joined by competing brands. Though the companies were competing, they put aside their commercial differences to champion a cause. The tweets achieved 81,000 likes and rallied supporters together, not just in their love of the tea, but in making a difference. They even spawned a new hashtag: #solidaritea.
How you can follow in these brands’ success
Whatever your values, it is sticking to them that will establish trust in a brand and improve the all-round customer experience. Whether you’re about quality, ethics, authenticity or a little of all three, this needs to come across in your messaging, and everything that you do.
Confused about your brand’s values? Speak to our marketing experts in Chorley and Bolton here.