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3 Branding Strategies to Maximize Your Customer Loyalty

3 Branding Strategies to Maximize Your Customer Loyalty

As a marketer, understanding your customer is always critical, but the rise of digital and social media has made it more important than ever. That’s because your customers can now build or break your brand by using their own social media channels to amplify your positive reputation to condemn your brand, services and products.

Examples of customer activism stack higher everyday, from Bank of America’s debit card fee, to Verizon’s online payment fee, to Netflix’s launch and retraction of Quickster. So exactly what do your customers want and how to do you inspire their loyalty and goodwill to drive your profits?

Three of the most compelling facts from the latest global consumer research from Edelman, Cone< and Havas Media provide the answer.

    1. Havas Media found that most consumers would not care if 70 percent of today’s brands disappeared casting a troubling light on how loyal media-savvy customers expect personalized and seamless service.
    2. Edelman observed that 57 percent of consumers feel they can make a brand behave more responsibly. This is the sentiment that underscores the rise in consumer activism that has been building due to a number of factors including the web, social media, the Arab Spring Revolutions, Occupy Wall Street and a pervasive rise in media literacy among consumers.
    3. Cone Inc/Echo found that 71 percent of global customers believe brands and consumers could do more to support good causes by working together.

These facts clearly demonstrate that today’s consumer looks to your company for greater social responsibility, as well as authenticity, transparency and accountability for its behavior.

The onus then falls on your company to define its purpose in a way that makes it meaningful to your customers’ lives. When you do that, and communicate that purpose consistently based on shared values and a common purpose, social media delivers the powerful ROI (return on investment) that your business truly deserves.

It‘s this ability to re-frame your marketing away from being the celebrity of your customer community to being its chief celebrant that will inspire consumers to build your reputation and profits with you. It requires three simple but critical steps that enable you become a scalable social brand:

    1. Define and distill your brand purpose and core values.
    2. Share that purpose consistently with employees and customers.
    3. Work with leadership, employees and customers to fulfill that purpose.

These three steps are being used by many of the smartest social brands in the world that are framing their marketing around a community-focused message including Coca-Cola’s ‘Open Happiness,’ Starbuck’s ‘Shared Planet,’ and IBM’s ‘Smarter Planet.’ Fortunately a similar strategy is available to companies of all sizes, and when you engage social media on this basis, it will unlock its massive potential to scale consumer loyalty, goodwill, and profits as your customers will build your business with you.

Find more expert advice and best practice tips by visiting the Industry Insights category in the blog.

  • Consultant

Simon Mainwaring

Founder, We First Branding
Expert in Social Branding
Simon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, the leading social branding firm. He is an Advisory Board member of Sustainable Brands, the Center for Public Diplomacy at the USC Annenberg School and a Fellow of the Royal Society of ...