Brand and Customer Loyalty

Customer Loyalty: CEO’s #1 Focus to Protect Revenue in the New Year – Part 2

Customer loyalty – the secret weapon in your brand

Customer loyalty (CL) should be the number one focus for CEOs and business owners interested in stabilizing, generating, and predicting revenue. It’s a sound strategy when you look at the stats on loyalty ROI. A recent survey by Martech Today stated: “Customer satisfaction is more important to marketers than revenue or customer acquisition.” The folks at Gooddata agree, noting that as much as 70% of a business’s revenue typically comes from upselling and renewals. In fact, Gooddata says it can cost five times more to gain a new customer than to continue nurturing the relationship with an existing one.

So, how can you unlock the secrets of customer loyalty and leverage the benefits for your business?

In my last article, I explained that there are three key elements that need to be included to accelerate your CL strategy: competitive advantage, branding, and customer experience. Last time, we looked at competitive advantage. In this blog, I will help you integrate your brand and your CL strategy. I’ll also provide some actions you can take today to improve CL, engage customers, and build your brand.

Key Customer Loyalty Focus #2 – Protect the Equity in Your Brand

As a marketer, you should always be looking to build brand awareness in the market; motivate a competitor’s consumers to try your brand; or upsell to your B2B clients. But before you can have success at any of these objectives, you may have some work to build brand credibility.

There are thousands of horror or success stories about branding and rebranding attempts. Brand equity, the value of your brand, remains one of the most highly valued assets of your company. It is in your best interest to protect this reputation within your buying community. In the last article, we discussed the benefits of retaining brand equity by not rebranding to try to stay relevant.

As we’ve seen, the goal is to create a habit. Harvard Business Review states: “We argue that performance is sustained not by offering customers the perfect choice, but by offering them the easy one. So even if a value proposition is what first attracted them, it is not necessarily what keeps them coming. In this alternative worldview, holding on to customers is not a matter of continually adapting to changing needs in order to remain the rational or emotional best fit. It’s about helping customers avoid having to make yet another choice.”

Our clients are always asking us to help with branding or rebranding, but we are also very aware that the preservation of a powerful brand is a very valuable strategy in the marketplace and a crucial focus point for achieving sustainable and buildable revenue. As my partner Christopher Ryan discusses in his latest CustomerThink article, brand equity is the first pillar in driving B2B revenue growth.

Here is an example of how this works for us: Our long-term client recently called us excited that they received a fantastic inquiry from a large company. Our client exclaimed, “This is a great opportunity because the buyer already knows us! As a matter of fact, she attended one of my classes 12 years ago!” The prospect not only remembered the brand, she sought it out as distinct from the competitors, found it still to be as she remembered, and engaged very quickly for a large contract. It was an easy and perfect choice because there was established trust and familiarity with the brand. That’s brand equity!

The Business Value Hierarchy

business value hierarchyA strategic approach to cure underperformance and leapfrog your competition

Protect and enhance your marketplace value by either becoming a top player (perhaps “the” top player) in your value category or better yet, launching yourself into a higher-value and more profitable category.  » Download the Whitepaper

You can start today by taking a brand assessment like this one, to identify where you need help in shoring up your existing brand. It will also help you understand how your brand is reflecting CL and building credibility so it keeps customers coming back.

Jeremy Goldman, CEO of Firebrand Group, recommends branding in a way that “stands for something” – your unique purpose. With Google Consumer Surveys, you can engage with and help validate findings straight from the source: your customers. Make it real, authentic, clear, and purposeful. Most importantly, be aware that your loyal customers are always reviewing, referring and taking your valued brand with them wherever they go. Be sure you (and your brand) are still there when they need you.

Next time, we will take this discussion to the next logical step: customer experience.

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