By definition, brand loyalty is “the tendency of some consumers to continue buying the same brand of goods rather than competing brands. Essentially, it’s your customer’s desire to stay your customer. Viewed from your end of the business, it’s customer retention – your ability to keep customers coming back in the long run.
Brand loyalty can be driven by several factors. Maybe your products have unbeatable quality. Maybe your customer service is impeccable, leaving them with a smile every time they interact with you. Maybe you closely align with their beliefs and values to the point that they see your brand as an extension of themselves.
But remember: Just because a customer makes more than one purchase doesn’t necessarily mean they’re loyal. You might just have a cheaper or more convenient offering, which can easily be scooped up by a competitor.
The key difference is that brand loyalty is deeply rooted in positive emotions – trust, comfort, relatability, satisfaction, and others that make you their No. 1.
Why Is Brand Loyalty Important
To put it frankly, building brand loyalty is a guaranteed path to keeping your business afloat and thriving. If you’re not able to retain your customers, you’re going to have to perpetually sink money into marketing and advertising techniques to find new ones.
Some say that can cost five times more than what you’d spend keeping your current customers happy. (Or seven times more … or 25 times more, depending on who you ask.)
So, why is brand loyalty important? It gives your business the beautiful gift of these benefits:
Benefits of Loyalty
Higher profit margins
In a SuperOffice survey, 52 percent of respondents said that customer retention was their highest source of revenue. After that came customer acquisition at 45 percent.
One of the reasons for this is that returning customers spend up to 67 percent more on average than new customers – giving your customer lifetime value (CLV), or total dollar value of each customer, a nice boost.
And as previously mentioned, being able to keep more customers means you can maintain your revenue and growth without needing to shell out loads of extra money on strategies like customer acquisition and customer conversions.
If enough of your customers are coming back on their own, you can theoretically earn the same amount of revenue without having to spend an extra dime on marketing.
So, if you’re spending less and earning more, voila – higher profits.
Better brand recognition
When customers love you, it creates a ripple effect. People start to talk about you. They recommend you to their friends and family, and even give you free marketing in the form of voluntary shoutouts on social media.
This free marketing can extend into the coveted realm of user-generated content, in which they’re flaunting your product or service in action just to brag to their friends. (Which, by the way, is something you can add to your social media marketing plan, too.)
Ultimately, this goodwill and positive word of mouth makes you more popular and easy to recognize in your niche. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to convert prospects into new customers – whether it’s successful referrals from current customers or people who find your brand in other ways.
Protection against changing market conditions
There are oh so many things that can go wrong while you’re quietly minding your own business. Here are a few examples of how conditions in your market can change and the potential importance of brand loyalty in protecting you from the aftershock:
- Say that a new competitor storms your niche. If customers are certain that you’ll give them what they want with a consistently amazing experience, they won’t even look twice at the other guys.
- Say your main competitors suddenly drop their prices, but you can’t keep up. Loyal customers know the premium price for premium experiences and won’t jump ship so easily. One study shows that up to 80 percent of customers are willing to spend more for better experiences.
- Say there’s an economic recession in your main market. Adobe research shows that brand loyalty continued to bring revenue boosts despite hard times for customers and businesses.
Protection against reputation blows
Have you ever heard or seen something bad about a company you love? What about a company you’re ambivalent about?
Chances are, if you’re devoted to a brand, bad reviews and other negative reputation impactors will have less of an influence on your decision to stay with them. If what you see doesn’t align with your own experiences, it automatically has less clout.
That’s part of why building brand loyalty can be so beneficial. It takes a lot more than just a bad review to push those customers away – and trust us, you’re going to get at least a couple of bad reviews. That’s just the way the consumerism cookie crumbles. Continue reading