Hello Readers! My blog topic today is a two part series about brand loyalty. In today’s post (part 1) I will talk about building brand loyalty for your client and next week (part 2) I will discuss the importance of maintaining loyalty with your audience. To refresh your mind, brand loyalty is when your audience is committed to purchasing a company’s product verses other competitors. Your audience will consistently choose to purchase your client’s brand despite prices and other marketing techniques. For example, a Pepsi drinker will always choose to purchase Pepsi products despite other attempts at lower sales or celebrity endorsements.
So your challenge as a PR Coordinator is to build brand loyalty for your newest client, Pete’s Pets. Pete’s is a new company that is starting to expand their store locations and will be competing against other large pet store chains like, Pets Mart and Pets Co. To effectively serve your client, here are some marketing and PR ideas to target your audience.
1. Public Perception
This is important since it’s how the company is viewed by the public and it can determine how well they are liked. Many factors can determine their perception from customer service or effectiveness of a product. The more positive image the company maintains the better the public perception. A company that has a trusting image can better create and maintain brand loyalty.
2. Brand Creditability and Honesty
It’s important to not exaggerate your company or products effectiveness. For example, a pillow that is designed to help ease neck tension is a credible definition for the product. However, trying to claim the pillow can also solve anxiety or insomnia is stretching the truth. By being truthful with the public, you can become more likeable with your audience. Brand loyalty is built when a customer purchases a product and that product fulfills the promised made. Therefore, the customer will likely to continue to purchase from that company and creating a sense of brand loyalty in their minds.
3. Grass Roots
Even with social media influences, it’s important not to forget grass roots practices. This means word of mouth can help spread your client’s brand in a trustful way. For instance, loyal customers will usually talk about the brand they favor the most with family and friends and therefore spread a positive image to potential audiences.
4. Long Term Vs. Short Term
Be aware of the differences in building brand loyalty and increasing sales. To increase sales, usually a product is placed at a discounted price and play repetitive advertisements. However, that is only a short term goal and brand loyalty is a long term goal. By creating an honest reputation and providing reliable products, customers will likely become a loyal audience and only purchase your client’s brand. Try to remember you want the audience to continue making future purchases, this will show the effectiveness your brand loyalty campaign has provided.
When starting a brand loyalty process, don’t try to provide too much information all at once. Ensure your first message clearly explains the client’s goal and there are no inconsistencies with the message you are trying to send. For instance, don’t encourage the public to visit your Facebook page if it’s never updated and there is no content.
Now let’s combine all five practices into Pete’s Pets Brand Loyalty Campaign. The long term goal of the campaign is to encourage the public to purchase their pet supplies from Pete’s instead of other animal stores. In order to gain loyal customers, social media and advertising practices should all contain a consistent message. The message should inform the public that Pete’s Pets offers safe, American made pet products. By stating they only sell American products (an honest statement since everything in their store is American made) the audience can see Pete’s honesty. The public perception for Pete’s will grow to show an honest and credible reputation, by providing their customers with safe products for their pets. Therefore over time current customers will spread their satisfaction with Pete’s Pets to family and friends.
So I know I provided a lot of information to you about brand loyalty, but I think it’s an important goal of PR to help your client achieve brand loyalty. Here are two articles from a PR Firm (Liquid Communications) and Marketing Profs, which explains this topic more in depth.
If you have an example of how you have used brand loyalty to help earn more customers or just have some ideas you want to share, please comment below! Also next week I will talk about the importance of maintaining brand loyalty with your current audience, while still generating new customers.