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How to build brand trust and loyalty among your customers

build brand trust and loyalty
Clare Froggatt
Clare Froggatt

In the last Make a Brew article, we showed the importance of brand values in building customer trust and loyalty and how your values can help to engage both internal and external customers with your brand. In this next article about brand strategy, we have put together some tips and techniques to help you to build brand trust and loyalty among your customers.

It is essential that as part of your overall brand strategy, you continue to build trust among your customers.

This trust is not instant.

It builds up over time, as you meet, or even exceed customers’ expectations.

When customers feel they can trust a brand to deliver on its promises, they will feel comfortable and confident enough to continue buying products or services.

So, what is brand loyalty? Why do you need it? And how can you build brand trust and loyalty?

What is brand loyalty?

According to an empirical model for brand loyalty measurement published by Link Springer there are five constituent parts of brand loyalty:

Perceived value: Getting greater value than customers believe they paid for.

Perceived brand equity: What customers know, think, and feel about a brand.

Perceived brand equality: Does the product meet the customer’s expectations?

Satisfaction and trust: The level of commitment a customer feels to a brand.

Affective and continuance commitment: The wish and willingness to continue with a commitment to a brand. Affective commitment is based on shared values, while continuance commitment is based on the value they believe they are getting. If the cost outweighs the quality of the product, they may switch to a competitor’s product.

Brand loyalty is based on customer beliefs and perceptions.

If customers feel a strong connection with your brand values; believe they are buying a better quality product; identify with your brand messaging, they will prefer your products and will rarely be influenced by competitors’ marketing campaigns or cheaper prices.

In other words, they will buy your brand above all others available to them.

This is why you need to develop brand loyalty – because once they are your customers, you want them to make repeat purchases, even if there are cheaper alternatives.

Why do I need brand loyalty?

Customers who feel a strong connection with certain brands believe that their product and only their product will fulfil a particular need.

For example,

  • What brand of soap or bodywash do you buy?
  • How do you feel if your particular brand is out of stock?
  • Does it make you feel a uncertain about what to do?
  • Would you put off the purchase until your favourite is back in stock?

The answers to these questions are the basis of why customers remain loyal to one brand over another, and why their buying choices are rarely influenced by other purchasing factors such as price and availability.

Because you can rely on loyal customers buying your products or services over and above anything similar on the market, your brand is able to withstand unexpected changes or challenges in market conditions.

Loyal customers also become brand advocates, providing a marketing channel for your brand by writing reviews and informing their family and friends about your brand values and the benefits of buying your products.

Brand loyalty can, therefore, provide you with a competitive advantage in the marketplace, offering many benefits to your business:

  • Constant and consistent revenue stream
  • Commitment to buying your brand over competitors
  • Effective marketing channel (word of mouth)
  • Panel of product/service testers
  • Brand advocates
  • A customer base for upselling and cross selling
  • Resistance to price sensitivity
  • An opportunity to maximise revenue

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of building customer trust and loyalty, Make a Brew can help. Take a look at our brand building tips or for a more in-depth discussion about creating a brand strategy for your business, you can book a brew here. We believe that all good relationships start with a brew, so the kettle is always on!

How to build brand trust and loyalty

There are lots of ways you can build brand trust and loyalty among your customers over time, but here are our top tips for success!

Customer service

Providing high quality customer service is one way of differentiating your brand in the marketplace.

If you operate in a mature market with lots of companies offering similar products, you can drive customer loyalty by providing great customer service.

  • Answer emails/social media comments as quickly as possible
  • Always be polite and listen to what customers are saying, especially if it is a complaint
  • Be seen taking positive action to address customer complaints and criticisms
  • Make sure your customer services team is operating efficiently and effectively and has all the tools and help they need to produce positive feedback

Build a community

Use your social media channels and reviews to create a sense of belonging.

Be strong and consistent in your messaging and respond to comments as quickly as possible.

Engage with customers, providing positive feedback on negative comments, demonstrate that you take others’ views on board and strive to resolve complaints quickly and amicably.

Make sure that your brand values resonate with customers by sharing company news and staff stories.

Encourage participation in product/service reviews and ensure your social media platforms offer a safe place where customers can meet and exchange views about your brand and products.

Listen to feedback and use it in your communications, for example:

  • We asked you what our next product/service should be, and this is what topped the poll
  • You asked that we answer queries more quickly, so we have employed more customer service staff
  • Customers requested that we use environmentally friendly packaging, so we are trialling recyclable carboard instead of plastic on these products

These actions will all help to create an online community where customers feel listened to and engaged with your brand.

Be consistent!

Yes, we have said it before! If you want to build a community, engage with customers and build brand trust and loyalty, it is of the utmost importance that you are consistent with:

  • Brand appearance
  • Brand voice
  • Brand values
  • Brand messaging
  • Logo and all visual representations

Be consistent across every touchpoint where your brand communicates with customers and throughout the company, so your brand voice and values are reflected by the actions of employees.

Reward loyalty

Create a loyalty programme that rewards customers for repeat purchases.

This can be based on a points system, special offers, free new product/service trials, special events, partnering with charities, open days – there are any number of ways to make sure your customers feel they belong and that your brand fulfils their needs. A great example of this is the M & S Sparks card.

We hope you feel inspired by our top tips on ways you can build brand trust and loyalty among your customers. If you would like a conversation about how we can help you to incorporate these actions into your brand strategy to speak directly with your customers, email the Make a Brew team or book a brew here.

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