work life

On brand loyalty

My grocery store, which is a less-than-10-minute drive with almost no traffic, sells several types of kitty litter. Many are name brands. Some are low-cost store brands. There are at least two different sizes of bags.

Yet I will drive all the way across town, through a ton of traffic on a stoplight-riddled road, just to buy one specific brand of kitty litter. 

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Why?

Because I’m loyal to that brand. I believe in the company’s mission. I believe in the product. They also email me coupons and respond to my tweets. So I make an extra effort to purchase their product.

So, what makes a customer loyal to a particular brand? This is a question I’ve been discussing with a client who’s trying to increase brand loyalty. When a product is a commodity – there are tons of options at tons of price points – what separates those who get repeat sales from those who don’t?

I think the answer lies in our discussion from a couple weeks ago. It’s all about honesty and authenticity.

To me, the single most important question is this: How does your product/website/Facebook page make people feel?

I purchase this kitty litter because it makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my cat and good for my planet.

I buy my favorite soap over and over again because the packaging makes me feel happy.

I spend more money on certified humane eggs because it makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing.

As you work on your 2014 marketing and branding strategies, ask yourself that question. How does your product make your customers feel?

Ask your customers that question.  Ask yourself that question about your competitors.

Strategize accordingly.