They’re calling your name!
We’ve said it before but, to replicate a broken record, we’ll say it again.
Customer retention outweighs customer acquisition if a business is to grow and survive this dog eat dog world.
And the best way to retain consumers and keep them coming back for more is through building brand loyalty.
But what if we told you that there is actually a higher realm than brand loyalty as a business priority?
Well, there is!
It’s brand evangelism!
Admittedly, it does sound a bit over the top. But it’s a real thing.
We’re not talking simple end-user awareness of and familiarity with a brand.
Nor are we looking at loyalty, where a consumer is committed to a particular brand.
No, it goes way beyond that.
Brand evangelists are advocates for your business. They are outspoken, more committed and will shout about you from the rooftops, to anyone that will listen!
And, in doing so, will attract more people to your brand.
It doesn’t get much better than that. But how can you turn loyal customers into these brand angels who will convert the doubters and disbelievers?!
We’re not telling you to start a war with your competitors and make enemies out of them, but you do need to think and act sharply.
Think about how insanely committed football fans are, especially if their boys are playing a rival team!
So, make sure you stand out from the crowd and differentiate your brand from that of your main competitors.
Deliver a dramatically different customer experience. They will be more likely to align themselves with your brand and be vocal about it if you give them something that others don’t or can’t.
Brand evangelists don’t simply appear overnight. You need to help them get there.
So, it’s a ‘softly, softly, catchee monkey’ kind of approach.
You need to build their loyalty in stages.
Be consistent and visible in your branding efforts to breed that familiarity.
Give consumers what they want. Deliver an emotive end user experience. Ensure customer feedback management teams are on the ball. Start to cultivate that loyalty.
And don’t stop.
Give it time, and your evangelists will come!
One on one
Everyone likes a bit of individual attention. Customers are no different.
You need to give them memorable, unique brand experiences to create a lasting impression.
So, dole out some individual attention. Go above and beyond if you encounter a tough customer service case.
Reach out to followers on social media and interact with them.
You will be remembered for your actions.
No man is an island. Everyone likes to feel as though they belong. And when it comes to end users, their loyalty will deepen if they believe they are truly a part of something.
So, build that community! It could be a user-driven help forum if that works for your product or service. Or even ask users to submit their own content or reviews.
Value what they have to say. Make them a part of your brand.
We all love a good soap box moment!
And your loyal customers certainly will! So, get them to participate. Actively encourage them to post on social media and share their thoughts and feelings.
Ask them to post pictures using your product! Or get them to ask questions – and be ready to listen and respond.
Not only will it increase their loyalty but will also help spread the word about your brand!
Don’t forget the feedback
Feedback can be vital to business success. It helps you change and grow and continually assess what you are doing and how you are doing it.
So really listen to customer feedback. And implement changes based on consumer responses where necessary. Give a social media shout out to those whose feedback helped you improve.
By doing this, you are showing that you listen to and care about your customers.
And if they know you care, they are likely to increase their loyalty!
Make it easy
Sure, you aren’t paying your brand evangelists to spread the word and say nice things about you. So, they may not do it without a little coaxing.
Let’s face it, we are a pretty lazy bunch, even when we are excited about something!
So, make it easy for people to evangelize your brand.
Give them the opportunities to post. Offer competitions and discussion opportunities. Make sign up and participation simple, straightforward and rewarding.
Sure, nothing is ever as easy as it sounds and there will always be room for changes and improvements.
But implement these steps, and you might just be surprised at how many people want to be your brand evangelists!
Hold on… was that your company name I just heard someone shouting?!