A one-time buyer is good. A repeat customer is better. But loyal customers and brand evangelists are some of a brand’s greatest assets.
Just how valuable is brand loyalty?
Brand evangelists spread the word. Plus, happy customers love to tell their friends about their favorite products and services, and customers trust other people, not ads. In fact, 92% of consumers said they trust recommendations from friends and family over paid media.
Personalization is key to creating lasting, emotional relationships with customers and converting them into big fans of your brand. Brands that personalize provide a more valuable brand experience with content and offers that empathize with their customers’ needs, helping them, not selling at them.
Here’s how personalization earns repeat customers and lifelong brand evangelists.
According to Facebook, 77% of customers are repeat buyers, but only about one-third identify as brand loyalists. Brand loyalists tend to love their favorite brands because of emotions and — of course — trust.
Customers also identify with a limited number of brands. Emarsys found that about half of customers say they are only loyal to about two to three brands. In total, most customers were loyal to six brands or less.
And while the average customer is a card-carrying loyalty club member to 13 brands, they tend to use less than half.
The takeaway? Brands need to compete not only for customer attention, but for their fandom.
Key to creating loyalty is living up to — and exceeding — customer expectations. And customers expect personalized, relevant and seamless brand experiences.
When brands fail to deliver on the promise of personalization, customers get frustrated.
Consider the last time a brand emailed you a coupon for an item you just purchased — or worse yet, an offer so off-base, you would never dream of purchasing it. Would you waste your time opening their emails again? One-third of customers won’t.
But strong personalization creates happy customers. Brands that personalize their loyalty programs has eight times as many satisfied loyalty club members than those that did not.
The difference between repeat buyers and loyal customers lies in emotion. Sure, price and proximity can sway purchase decisions, but customers are willing to pay more for a consistent, quality and personalized experience.
Nurturing first-time customers into evangelists isn’t easy. But loyalty and customer satisfaction is driven by personalized brand experiences. It requires strong, complete customer data to glean keen insights and deliver empathetic, useful content.
Creating loyalty — and eventually, big fans of your brand — requires wowing customers with personalized service again and again.