Customer loyalty builds brands

One of my favourite branding blogs is truly deeply from Australia and I recommend it to anyone even if you are not based in Australia.

This morning the author David Ansett Tweeted a link to a post from last year called customer loyalty, the holy grail for brands. It’s a short, thought provoking post.

We want to be part of all the brands we live with
We want to be part of all the brands we live with

It never ceases to amaze me that despite all the stats pointing to investment in retention and loyalty are key to building a profitable brand, most brand owners invest the majority of their marketing dollars in acquisition tactics that belong to a world that no longer exists.

The belief that advertising can build a brand in the social economy is laughable yet where do brand owners go when they want to build a brand? The nearest advertising agency. it’s ludicrous because if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Advertising agencies only have advertising so all roads lead back to advertising and the problem with advertising is that NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION.

And this is where I disagree with David’s comment that “It is increasingly difficult to build long term relationships with hard won clients and customers”. I disagree because it has never been easier!

We know where everyone is, physically and digitally, we have their names, their addresses, both digital and physical, we know what they like, what they dislike, we know who their friends are, who they like, who they don’t like, who influences them, we know what winds them up and most important of all, we know that they want us to be part of their lives.

Yet most brands ignore building loyalty or give it a cursory nod in the form of generic, meaningless loyalty programmes that often provide ‘deals’ that are worse than what the customer can get himself.

Good customer service builds brands
Good customer service builds loyalty

Firms prefer instead to focus on acquisition and then, when there is a problem and brands fail to address the issue or worse, ignore the customer completely or address it in an amateurish, arrogant manner, brands wonder why those customers leave and angrily share their frustration across social media.

It has never been easier to build long term relationships with our clients and customers to improve loyalty, it’s just that most brands are going about it the wrong way.


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