The lifeblood of any business is its customers. Without them there is no growth, and without growth a business can only function for so long. Customer retention should be one of your top business goals.
When looking for ways to increase customer retention, you always want to bring things back to your brand. Branding gets your name out there, fosters connections with customers and other businesses, and builds loyalty. The best way to continue building brand loyalty is by gradually improving customer experience — something that can be accomplished in part with a customer loyalty program.
A branded loyalty program helps improve the customer experience by engaging them on a deeper level and rewarding them for doing what they’re doing online and in-store anyway: shopping with you. With a branded loyalty program in place, the odds of repeat business increases considerably.
Learn more about brand loyalty and customer loyalty, how they relate, and the key differences between them.
Effective branding relies on understanding how you want to present yourself before you get started. The following tips can help solidify your branding strategy:
- Know your audience: be tuned into who your ideal customers are, their lifestyle, what they need, and how they look for it
- Choose the right brand for you: create a brand that not only fits your business, but makes you stand out from the competition
- Make sure your brand is relevant: when it’s consistent with the products and services you’re selling, it improves how current and potential customers engage with you
- Keep your branding consistent: brands evolve all the time, but that doesn’t mean you should roll out too many changes at once — stay consistent in your branding so that it is easy to track, follow, and understand
Once you have a clear understanding of what you want to say and how, a stronger brand strategy can arise.
BRANDING IN-STORE AND ONLINE
Many businesses tend to neglect implementing branding at their brick-and-mortars in favor of investing in their online presence, despite the fact that many customers view the two entities through the same lens. Though online branding can differ from the work done for your brick-and-mortar store, neither medium is more important than the other.
Emphasizing branding with your brick-and-mortar store in tandem with your online channels makes it memorable and builds up your tribe of advocates — which can lead to reliable repeat business. When customers repeat business with you, it helps you grow, creates more advocates, and builds better brand loyalty. This can then stretch into enhanced customer retention strategies, such as a branded loyalty program.
Getting to the tribe
Your tribe is a group of people you can count on and who can count on you. In a business sense, your tribe refers to the customers who show loyalty to you by frequently buying from you and sharing their love for you with their tribes. Fostering increased customer loyalty is best done through engagement.
How you engage with your customers determines whether they want to keep interacting with you. Are you interactive? Do you have a social media presence? If they reach out to you in an email or direct message, can they expect a timely response?
When working with both digital and brick-and-mortar store locations, the best thing you can do is balance in-store and online engagement. In-store engagement like chatting, questions, and hands-on shopping experiences — mixed with online engagement like email, social media, and online newsletters — helps customer loyalty grow.
Capitalizing on repeat business with a loyalty program
Each time your customers have a positive experience with your business, their trust increases, and what people trust, they talk about. This earns you some valuable word-of-mouth marketing, a valuable and hard to access channel. To reward customers for this access, many businesses implement a customer loyalty program.
Your loyalty program should be more than just a run-of-the-mill rewards for dollars spent - it must be one unique to your business. This is where branding comes back into action. Think of the customer loyalty program names you’ve come across with your favorite brands. Many of them have fun names specific to their business that also offer information about the program itself.
Customers like to belong to these programs because it creates a feeling of inclusion and importance. You are showing them that their business matters, which further increases the chances of repeat business. When you brand your loyalty program, it makes it much more memorable and improves the overall experience. Happy customers mean more advocacy, which means better business and more growth.
Your business has a lot of moving parts, but none are more important than your customers. Without them, growth and success are impossible. For the integral part they play in your business’s development, a branded customer loyalty program is a must. Show them you care by offering them rewards, and watch even more business begin rolling in over time.
To learn more about creating a branded loyalty program of your own, schedule a demo.