In partnership with Drip Ninja

“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” – George Orwell

The past is now but we are the future. Due to COVID 19, Brand Loyalty is now valued at the highest level. The first step to redirecting your marketing budget and strategies is conducting some industry research. Don’t worry, we did the work for you. Below are 8 tips from 8 of the more influential experts that are dictating our future.

David Hieb|Founder|Clove & Twine

For me, the most logical way to answer this question relates to how I think about Brand Loyalty personally. A sampling of diverse brands that I have mad respect for include Restoration Hardware, Apple, Range Rover, and Amazon – to name a few. Each one of these brands means something important to me based on how they’ve created mindshare and command over my actions when it comes to shopping. With Restoration Hardware, their flagship stores throughout the world are masterpieces of elegance and design, filled with luxurious furniture that makes people literally want to hang out in their store as they are dreaming about how to make their home look like the store.

I am an Apple brand lover given their style and the aspirational feeling that I get when I use any of their products – knowing that they are as much of a fashion and trend statement as they are a functional phone, pair of earbuds, or computer.

And Range Rover is one of the best “gold standards” of brand loyalty given how you feel like a million dollars when you slide into the sumptuous leather seats that elevate you. Rover enthusiasts are so loyal to this brand that they have off-roading clubs that allow their members to drive their Rovers through extreme water/mud/hill terrains just to prove the vehicle’s capabilities.

With Amazon, Jeff Bezos spends over $5 billion on Google Ad campaigns per year to ensure that Amazon is almost always in first place with Google Searches. This, coupled with Amazon’s command of the eCommerce world, provides for an estimated 55% of consumers to start their product search directly on Amazon, not Google.

As the CEO and founder of Clove & Twine, a high-end corporate branded goods company, I think a lot about these fabulous brands and how they created loyalty, and specifically how we do so for our own brand, albeit in a much smaller way. We start with a tagline of “remarkable branded goods” and follow up that statement with a promise to curate and sell products that are not cheap tchotchkes, but rather high-quality apparel, office, tech, outdoor, drinkware, and other unique goods. Examples include S’well, lululemon, The North Face, Bang & Olufsen, Patagonia, and others. We then catalog them in a beautiful website that stands apart from the throngs of promotional products companies and instead creates a warmer and higher-end consumer-like shopping experience – even though we are a pure B2B company. Finally, we provide creative and expert account managers that help customers with unique products and kits that are responsibly logo-decorated. All told, this has created the Clove & Twine brand and promise – that if you are working with Clove & Twine on corporate branded goods – you can count on quality products that your recipients will utilize and cherish for a long time to come. Much better than the typical outcome of throwing away trinkets that you receive at a trade show or sales event. And we know this loyalty to our brand works by virtue of the fact that our customers come back to us again and again, year after year. To me, that’s true brand loyalty!

Ainsworth Neal | CEO | Borough Agency

If we want to talk about Brand Loyalty in this current climate, we can no longer overlook community building as a part of any marketing effort. Having an engaged community is what will drive any business moving forward. To get to that point you have to build a business that is Vision-Centric. Where your customers feel that your values align with theirs. It will require you to have empathy, commitment, and be very authentic. 

Community will help you retain customers, it will help you stay in conversation everywhere. By being engaged with your community and providing more value too them. Their loyalty will eventually help your marketing budget and income statement by being your flag bearer and sharing your brand with everyone.   

If you’re able to do this, a community can take you from brand love to brand loyalty. 

Patrick Cahill | CMO Simmons Partner Network

To earn loyalty, a brand must:

1. Have a product or service that is WORTH returning to.

2. Be deeply committed to the VALUES from which that product has arisen.

3. Cultivate collaborative RELATIONSHIPS with talented and influential believers. 

From there it is simple: Create an EXTRAORDINARY experience for people who align with your values. Invite the best, most aligned content creators and influencers to create and distribute content capturing this experience. Your product or service must help people on their journey toward something ultimate.

Chris Adamo| Chief Business Officer at WhereBy.Us

Right now is the very best time to give and earn a ton of social capital among audiences and your customers. Give is the key word here. This is not the time to be selling the same as you always have. Now is the time to give more than you ever have as a brand and use that positivity as your brand messaging on a daily basis. 

I’ve forever preached that brands should shift much of their advertising dollars to sponsorships of movements that they believe in as a company and begin to align with their audiences. 

Does your brand believe that economic equality or the environment is the most important challenge to resolve?

If so, go out and put your marketing where your mouth is and help people in those movements make an impact right now. Or maybe sustainable farming and healthy eating/wellness is your thing, align and support the people making an impact on those challenges. 

You will be rewarded ten fold for getting involved and will end up with a dramatic shift in your customer loyalty by being a brand that does good. We at WhereBy.Us have helped a number of brands support organizations and communities doing impactful work in our cities and have seen our communities gravitate towards these brands doing right by them.

Gone are the days where you can just be a business.  Personally, I’m cutting down on the brands that I work with and consume, based on how their values align with mine. Brands need to hone in on what they stand for and go all-in on doing good in this world. 

The world is ready for change and brands have more influence than ever.

Jason Rose| CFO | Social Norman Media

I think the most effective way that brands can build brand loyalty continues to be by listening to your consumers and showing that you hear them. Listen to what they really want. If that is different from what you as a brand thought they wanted, then it’s up to you to pivot towards those wants (yes wants not needs). 

If a large majority of your consumers are on twitter extremely disappointed about losing their spicy chicken nuggets from your menu, then maybe you should add spicy chicken nuggets back to the menu. I’m not saying that if you don’t bend to their every need they’re going to not continue to support your brand. But showing your consumers that you’re listening to them will always go a long way towards making them loyal consumers. 

They’ll also likely tell their friends that you’ve been listening. With access to so much data & analytics, customer service logs, and social media it’s pretty hard to not hear what they’re saying.

Jazz Gordan | Founder | Social Blackbook

It is very hard to scale or have longevity without establishing a culture behind your brand. Today, it’s almost vital for you to have loyalty amongst that culture in order to survive. Participants in a culture advocate intense loyalty that becomes contagious amongst their peers.

The question is how do we redirect your brand’s marketing strategies to attain that brand loyalty? The real target is the hearts of the micro-influencer. It is no coincidence that the popularity of micro-influencers has risen. They are the consumer that is carrying out the trend in the communities.

Macro influencers adopt their trends from them. They use the affirmation of their peers and the leaders of the culture around them to scale their own brand. They turn to the DJ at your favorite nightclub, the cool guy at the water cooler, the store clerk that is wearing the new underground street brand, etc.

In regards to focusing on your efforts today to dictate the future, you must evoke empathy and guide your loyal consumer towards a purpose. Our society is a bit lost as it’s transforming into a never foreseen paradigm. Produce content and campaigns that supply your consumer with a direction that will guide them to the new normal. 

Once they get to where they are comfortable with as their new normal they will be loyal to the morals and beliefs that got them there. Don’t let that be your competitor.

Chuck Figueroa| Sports Endorsement Agent

Brand loyalty is the most important aspect of business during these uncertain times. I feel athletes need to show their fans that they truly care about the brands/organizations they do business with. Athletes should be using their products/services and incorporating them into their lives organically. Consumers or fans will certainly notice these nuances. 

Jey Van-Sharp| MyÜberLife Consulting Group

The New Normal is the First Normal – simple and familiar.  

Previously, the business go-to-market approach was to create a product first, then create a marketing gimmick, then hope people would engage and buy. If that didn’t work, the typical add-on tactics were to run sales and discounts. The hope here was to clear out inventory. Then rinse and repeat.

Now, as consumers are more conscious, and the tools to evaluate & compare offerings have grown, and niche competitors have increased, for businesses and their brands, it has become harder to differentiate and capture relevance. 

The world is noisy and emotionally vocal. Great. So what does a brand do? We at MyÜberLife recommend building a community first. Build a community around a pet peeve, a problem, or altruism, then use that time to understand how you, as a brand, can help them accomplish their goals. This approach will increase product market fit partly because there is less guessing involved.

In this community-building scenario, the community becomes the marketing tactic, where brands and customers can learn from each other. 

In the community-building scenario, a brand’s logo can go from a cyclical sales gimmick to a Love Mark. LOVE AND LOYALTY GO HAND-IN-HAND. Love is a commitment and not a gimmick. The New Normal is the First Normal – simple and familiar. Familiar as in family.

What builds Loyalty that goes Beyond Reason? What makes a truly great love stand out? We say community.  Build it and commit.