The New Standard for Brand Loyalty: Do You Have What It Takes?

In the digital era of information overload and close content scrutiny, many business leaders wake up and find that their idea of brand loyalty has been replaced by a newer, better model. We’re living in a customer “enlightenment age” where getting information to customers isn’t the issue. Customer engagement is. In order to engage customers, brands have to represent themselves as valuable and meaningful assets to customers’ lives. In this article, we’ll explain what being a meaningful brand can do for your business and how you can use customer loyalty programs to disseminate a meaningful brand vision, develop customer retention strategies and ultimately increase sales and brand loyalty.

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How does meaningfulness create customer loyalty?

According to Havas Media Group, companies who meet their meaningful brands guidelines “deliver 100% more KPI outcomes [and] see their marketing KPIs perform 100% better overall compared with less meaningful brands. With every 10% improvement in meaningfulness performance, individual brand KPIs grow by 2.5% for Familiarity, 4.9% for Overall Impression, 6.6% for Purchase Intent, 3.2% Repurchase Intent, 4.8% for Advocacy and 10.4% for Premium Pricing.”

When customers perceive brands as meaningful, they become more invested in and emotionally attached to that brand.

So what makes a brand meaningful? According to Umair Haque, Havas Media Labs director and Harvard Business Review writer, meaningful brands “Focus on outcomes, not outputs… We’re trying to get beyond ‘did this company make a slightly better product?’ to the more resonant, meaningful question: ‘Did this brand actually impact your life in a tangible, lasting, and positive way?’”

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Some of the questions you should be able answer openly about your product, services and brand as a whole include:

  • Can this brand make life easier or more convenient?
  • Can this brand help customers learn more about industries and markets?
  • Can this brand help customers perform better in their given roles?
  • Can this brand help improve the environment or conserve resources?
  • Can this brand reduce barriers and improve communications?

When your company prioritizes more than just production values and whether your product gets the job done, you can become not just a commodity supplier, but a trusted, valued and meaningful brand that draws in and retain customer loyalty.

How to create brand meaning using customer loyalty programs

Top customer loyalty programs bridge the gap between your brand’s unique meaning and customers’ understanding of that meaning. A loyalty program by Loyaltyworks in Atlanta, GA, for example, acts not only as a customer rewards program, but as comprehensive marketing platforms with performance tracking, ROI measurement and communication plans to increase their loyalty programs’ efficiency.

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  1. Use multi-channel communication plans in loyalty rewards software. The medium is the message, so they say. How you choose to communicate information about your products, services and your loyalty program itself speaks volumes about your intentions. If you’re only discussing or advertising your loyalty program by word of mouth or mailers, for instance, you’re alienating a large percentage of your program participants who prefer online and mobile communications. And if you aggressively go after the mobile loyalty apps audience, you could be failing to reach those who still rely on websites and email as their main source of information.Multi-channel communication plans—such as those available with Loyaltyworks loyalty programs—ask participants how they want to be reached when they register. That sends out a very important message about your brand: you care about their preferences and value their contributions to the program.

 

  1. Use loyalty program tools that help your customers succeed. Making it easy and engaging for customers to earn rewards in your customer loyalty program is one of the fastest ways to increase how much participants value their relationship with your brand. If they see no benefit or meaning to purchasing from you, they have no motivation to do so. The more convoluted and self-interested your customer reward program is, the more likely your participants are to view it as a bribery scheme. Use tools that make their interaction with the program easier and more fun.

    With a mobile app loyalty program, for example, customers can use their smartphones to photograph invoices or UPCs of qualifying products, instantly submitting their claims for rewards. With an automated verification system, you can immediately reward customers with debit card funds or online points that can be redeemed for merchandise in a reward catalog. The more instant the reward gratification is, the more your loyalty rewards program resounds as a loud and clear “Thank you!” rather than a delayed benefit.

    You can use a leaderboard with configurable data to display who your top loyal customers are, as well as show the results of their behaviors and how it helps your organization improve. Your brand will be more meaningful to your customers when they see clear, connected examples of how their behaviors impact your business.By choosing a customer loyalty program provider that offers engaging, useful tools, you can continuously reinforce positive messages about your brand. Tools like mobile apps, automated claims verification and leaderboards make loyalty rewards not only engaging and fun for customers, but connect them to the vision your brand stands for.

  1. Track the loyalty program to develop better marketing strategies and sales goals. Performance tracking not only helps all organizations understand which of their products or services are most successful, it allows business-to-business companies to show their channel sales customers which of their initiatives and behaviors are most lucrative and have the biggest positive impact on the entire sales channel network.
Over time, the data you collect from your loyalty program becomes increasingly valuable as you recognize trends, isolating the most productive sales promotions and most effective loyalty marketing strategies. Once you know which products and strategies are profitable, you can begin to answer why—that’s the key to understanding what your brand means to customers and how you can take control of that meaning. As you share these discoveries with your customers, you can align your knowledge and theirs to form better, more meaningful relationships, organizational goals and sales tactics.
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As long as you can answer the all-important question of whether your products, services and brand are meaningful, customer loyalty programs can quickly deliver and reinforce that brand meaning. By using the right loyalty program tools to conduct impactful, engaging interactions, you can increase your brand’s perceived value and secure loyal customers.

 

For more information on how Loyaltyworks customer loyalty programs can help you become more meaningful to your customers, call us at (800)-844-5000 or fill out our contact form.

Steve Damerow CEO of the Incentive Solutions Group of Companies

Steve Damerow
CEO of The Incentive Solutions Group of companies, consisting of:

  • Incentive Solutions, Inc.
  • Loyaltyworks

sdamerow@isicorporate.com
Direct Contact: 678-514-0203
Sales Hotline: (800)-844-5000

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