Brands with a devoted following understand the factors that captivate their target audience to love and be loyal to them. Keeping your brand at the forefront of customers’ minds is one thing, but to be part of their lives for generations is the next level of trust and devotion. So how do brands attain this coveted customer loyalty that challenges many business owners, both established and just getting started?
According to the 2023 SAP Emarsys Customer Loyalty Index, 73% of UK consumers consider themselves loyal to specific retailers, brands, or stores. While Yotpo’s Consumer Loyalty Report notes that more than 56.9% of UK customers are loyal to no more than five brands, loyalty statistics collected by Everyone Social show that more than three-quarters (77%) have remained loyal to a particular brand for a decade or longer. They also share that experiences with excellent products, good customer service, reviews, and advice have swayed 80% of customers to become more loyal to a brand over time, proving that customer loyalty is earned and not given.
So, what’s the secret behind this customer devotion that can perplex business owners, both established and new? The answer lies in the art of influence. Building brand loyalty is about creating an impact and being seen as more than just a business. Brands that understand the psychology of customer loyalty generate a connection with their customers that goes beyond just a product.
Four psychological factors significantly impact how customers view and interact with a brand. Although there is no specific order to these influences, they can be incredibly useful for businesses looking to enhance customer connections and take that relationship to the next sustainable level.
When a customer has an emotional connection, it can lead to brand loyalty. As a matter of fact, customers who feel emotionally connected to a brand are more likely to become loyal, advocate for the brand, and have a higher lifetime value. And according to a Motista study, Leveraging the Value of Emotional Connection for Retailers, customers who are emotionally connected to a brand are more likely to spend up to double the amount, stay loyal for an average of 5.1 years, and recommend brands at a rate of 30.2% versus 7.6%. Emotionally invested customers feel a sense of belonging to a brand and its values, creating a bond between them. This bond strengthens loyalty and increases the chances of repeat business.
Good Experiences and Consistency
Every interaction with your brand should be a positive experience, creating an expectation for the future. It’s this expectation, when met with consistency, that makes that connection that leads to loyalty to a brand. UK Indeed defines brand consistency as a marketing term that describes how an organization communicates its core values, promises, and identity to the public. Each time a customer enters a store, interacts with a sales representative, and incorporates the product or service into their lives, their experience should be consistently positive and of high quality.
Trust and Transparency
Trust is essential in maintaining any relationship and is particularly critical in the interaction between businesses and customers. Trust is the cornerstone of any business, and if customers lose faith in a company’s reputation or products, it is bound to fail eventually. According to recent research by the Institute of Customer Service, 64% of customers are willing to spend more with companies they trust. Indeed, customer service, customer satisfaction, and trust are interlinked – the top drivers of trust are the quality and reliability of your products or services.
It is human nature to want to feel a sense of belonging. Humans are wired for both social and emotional connection. In 2022, almost half of the adult population in the UK reported feeling lonely at some point, which amounts to nearly 26 million people who could benefit from being part of a community that uplifts their spirits and connects them with others who share their interests. A brand that focuses on building a community is more than just a means of generating sales; it’s a way of giving back and making a positive impact on people’s lives.
Brand loyalty can be achieved by considering several factors, including quality, customer satisfaction, and perceived value. But it’s more than just that. It also leads to free marketing through word of mouth, brand advocacy, increased revenue from repeat purchases, and a positive brand image. Understanding and implementing these psychological factors of brand loyalty is crucial for any business that wants to succeed.