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brand loyalty

What Is Brand Loyalty and How Do You Build It? (+ Examples)

We all have that one brand that we never part with. Whether you’re a die-hard Coca-Cola drinker or a dedicated Apple user, everyone has a brand they’re loyal to for one reason or another. 

Brand loyalty is a powerful thing, and when you know how to build it, you can retain dedicated customers that continue to drive revenue for your business. Today we’re talking all things brand loyalty, from the most famous examples of it to how you can build brand loyalty for your brand:

  • What is brand loyalty?
  • Famous brand loyalty examples
  • How to build brand loyalty

Looking for a partner to help you build up your brand loyalty? WebFX is an industry-leading digital marketing agency that’s helped generate over $6 billion in revenue for clients. See what we’re all about by giving WebFX a call at 888-601-5359 or contacting us online today.

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What is brand loyalty?

Brand loyalty is the dedication customers feel towards specific brands. This dedication drives those customers to repeatedly purchase from a specific brand, regardless of competing companies’ actions or offerings.

In other words, brand loyalty is the marketing success you attain when you’re able to retain customers long-term. It’s the pinnacle of trust between business and consumer, and a goal all brands strive for when marketing to customers.

Types of brand loyalty

What is it, that drives customers to purchase from a specific brand time and time again? Customer motives can be broken down into three different types of brand loyalty: heart, head, and hand:

  1. Heart-loyal customers: These customers are swayed by an intangible benefit a brand’s products or services offer. Most times, these benefits revolve around leaving a positive impact on the community or environment.
  2. Head-loyal customers: Head-loyal customers are driven to support specific brands by rational and analytical reasoning. Rather than buying something to fulfill a sense of purpose, head-loyal customers purchase whatever makes the most sense for them.
  3. Hand-loyal customers: These customers are tricky to convert or pin down because they buy from a particular brand purely out of habit. Regardless of price, hand-loyal customers stick with specific brands simply because it’s what they like. 

Brand loyalty vs. customer loyalty: What’s the difference?

Often, brand loyalty and customer loyalty are used interchangeably. But while they sound like  the same thing, there’s a critical difference between them. 

Customer loyalty is about a customer’s spending, specifically prices and discounts. Brand loyalty is perception-based, emphasizing image and experience. 

Brand-loyal customers stick with a specific brand because they believe it offers higher-quality products or services. In this regard, price can often not be a factor in their purchasing habits. 

Customer loyalty, on the other hand, is money-based. It’s often inspired by customer loyalty programs that offer special discounts and reduced pricing in return for continued purchases. Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a discount?

Famous brand loyalty examples

For some, brand loyalty isn’t a huge deal, but for others, brand loyalty is everything and, in some cases, taken very seriously. Take some of these famous examples of brand loyalty, for instance.

Apple

Besides the brand’s excellent customer service, Apple’s success in brand loyalty lies in its product positioning as high-value, aspirational products and consistent brand identity.

apple branding

Apple’s brand loyalty is fierce, and it’s best exemplified through the brand’s customer behavior. Those who buy one Apple product tend to buy more from the brand. If you see someone with an iPhone, there’s a solid chance they’ve also got an Apple Watch, AirPods, or a MacBook.

Coca-Cola

Team Coke or Team Pepsi? It’s the question that’s been around since the two popular cola brands emerged. The Coke vs. Pepsi argument is arguably the epitome of brand loyalty.

coca-cola branding

While Pepsi has a loyal customer following, Coca-Cola takes the cake. Associated with the “Good ole days,” Coke products have been inspiring brand loyalty for over 100 years with their emphasis on community, friendship, and positive vibes.

Starbucks

With the help of its customer loyalty program, Starbucks is an excellent example of brand loyalty. How often do you see long lines for Starbucks while the local coffee shop down the street is calm?

starbucks branding

With a top-notch rewards program (that actually does reward customers) and an app experience that feels personalized, Starbucks customers are rightfully loyal, so don’t expect them at their local Dunkin’ anytime soon.

How to build brand loyalty

  • Develop a brand identity
  • Create a customer loyalty program
  • Strive for excellent customer service
  • Offer quality products and services

Develop a brand identity

Building brand loyalty starts with building a brand identity. Your brand identity consists of your brand’s personality, the story your brand tells, and the emotions your brand evokes in customers when they see your brand.

A consistent brand identity is key — you want your branding to be consistent across all platforms and products to avoid any confusion among customers. Not to mention, a consistent brand identity is aesthetically pleasing.

When you build a story around your brand that’s authentic and relatable, you’re more likely to see success in amassing loyal customers who want to stick with your brand for the long haul.

Create a customer loyalty program

Customer loyalty and brand loyalty go together. By investing in customer retention, you can inspire brand loyalty.

Customer loyalty programs reward and incentivize customers who continue to shop with a certain brand. For example, loyalty programs offer exclusive discounts to customers who enroll in the program and encourage further purchases through points systems and transaction frequency. 

In other words, the more a customer shops with a brand, the more rewards — like discounts, coupons, or free items — a customer can earn. These programs keep customers coming back to specific brands and ultimately, can lead to brand loyalty.

Below are just a few of the best customer loyalty programs out there today.

Starbucks Rewards

starbucks rewards

The Starbucks Rewards program offers incentives to customers the more they order from Starbucks. As customer place orders, they earn points, or in this case, Stars. As customer build up their Star balance, they can use them to customize their drinks and even earn free food and beverages. 

Sephora Beauty Insider

sephora beauty insider

Sephora’s Beauty Insider loyalty program is extremely popular and even makes up over 80% of the brand’s annual sales. With every purchase, customers earn points and can redeem them for different things like gift cards, free samples, and even exclusive events. 

Barnes & Noble Membership (Paid)

barnes & noble membership

Slightly different from Sephora and Starbucks, the major bookseller Barnes & Noble offers a paid loyalty program that’s proved incredibly successful in garnering customer and brand loyalty. 

With an annual fee of $39.99, Barnes & Noble Members enjoy perks like 10% off almost everything in-store and online, free shipping, birthday offers, and early access to certain products and books.

Provide excellent customer service

Customers value a positive customer experience. One of the best ways you can give that to them is by offering excellent customer service to all your customers. There are a few different ways you can do this, including:

  • Chatbots: Chatbots offer your website visitors 24/7 customer service. By answering common customer questions and helping redirect users to the correct customer service reps, adding chatbots to your site can help improve the customer experience.
  • Improved user experience: Making your website user-friendly helps your customers navigate your site with ease and even solve some of their own problems. Additionally, you make it easier for users to access resources and other customer service tools.
  • Use customer data: You collect customer data for a reason — use it to your advantage (and the customer!). Integrating customer data with your customer service efforts allows you to provide personalized customer service experiences for your customers.

Offer quality products and services

You can’t build brand loyalty without offering quality products and services that keep customers coming back for more. Offering products and services that stand out from your competitors starts with listening to your customers’ needs and pain points.

Along with customer data, listen to customer feedback and reviews and take what’s relevant to your development teams to help fuel the production of new products that your customer need and want.

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Great agencies have more than 100 testimonials.

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Start building brand loyalty with the help of WebFX

WebFX is home to 500+ digital marketing specialists who can help you build a cohesive branding strategy that wows your audience and inspires brand loyalty. With the help of tools like MarketingCloudFX and services like content strategizing and social media management, you can start to inspire your audience to stick with your brand for the long run.

Learn more about how WebFX can help you build brand loyalty by calling 888-601-5359 or contacting us online today.

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