Over the last decade, more companies have started to focus on Loyalty Programs. Responsibility for these programs is often outsourced to a team that operates in parallel – or even in isolation – from marketing, with the goal of building business and retaining customers.
This is the inverse of the way it needs to be. It’s all about loyalty, and every marketing program, promotion and communication needs to work together to achieve that.
Brand Loyalty is not a separate marketing tactic, or a discount program. It shouldn’t be seen as a program at all. It is the mission that drives all of a company’s activities. To achieve the emotion of loyalty, true loyalty, companies must engage their customers on both an emotional and rational level. This goal should influence the way you communicate, the incentives and promotions you offer and the way your team represents your products and services in market or through customer support.
When you build an authentic relationship with your customers, you establish a connection that motivates their decisions and behavior and inspires them to share their enthusiasm for your brand with others. This requires more than the fleeting delight that comes from a sale or a deal, and is forged only from a series of positive, personal experiences with your brand. When this occurs, they will be ready to see you less as a supplier and more as a long-term partner.
For any business, loyalty must be the primary goal. It’s not a soft win, it has ties to every return on investment your company measures. Achieve true loyalty and all else will follow.