Think of your brand as a person, trying to forge a relationship with your customer. First impressions count. Consistency counts. Friendships are built off of authenticity, and knowing what to expect from an interaction. Your brand – and the experiences you provide that reinforce that brand – is what allows you to build relationships with your customers. And relationships breed loyalty.
When a person is inauthentic and gives you a different experience every time you interact with them, it doesn’t help build that friendship or that trust. In the same way, your brand must portray itself with fierce authenticity and consistency. Your brand and its message shouldn’t change depending on the day, the situation, or to whom you’re talking. This doesn’t make your customers feel like they know you, it makes them question who your company really is.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t adjust messaging for an audience. You can, and should, develop personas for your various customers and adjust what you say and how you interact with them. But if you are always true to your promise and values, then you are still true to your brand. And you’re giving consumers something to connect to and attaining that ultimate goal of loyalty.
Loyalty transcends satisfaction. It’s satisfaction on steroids. Consumers that are brand loyal are not only doing business with you, they are sharing your products and brand stories with their friends and family – for free. But to get to that level, it takes time and experience after experience that reinforces your brand and message.
Over 58% of CMOs feel that creating a strong brand experience delivers a powerful impact when it comes to connecting their audience to their brand and increasing brand advocacy. The time and effort you dedicate to shaping your customers’ experiences pays off.
Brands are emotional. When customers know you and know what to expect from you, it feels like coming home. Consumers don’t often find that connection with a brand. But when they do, they reward it. On a lifetime value basis, emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers.
When I walk or drive by a Barnes & Noble, for example, I instantly recall the regular visits my late grandfather and I made to the store when I was a kid. The logo, the colors, the dark wooden shelves, and especially the mingled smells of fresh coffee and newspaper never fail to bring back those good memories. Because of this emotional connection, I end up walking into nearly every Barnes & Noble location I encounter. Loyalty.
To read more about generating loyalty through your brand and CX design, take a look at our interactive guide.