Written by Kali Andre, Marketing Specialist & Digital Sales Manager

These days it takes much more than a great product or service to build up a customer base that truly loves and advocates for your brand. If you want to work on your brand love, check out the following tips and suggestions.

1. Create a connection

Much in the same way that Starbucks baristas write customer’s names on their cups, you must try to create a personal connection with your customers. When people feel acknowledged they become much more interested in your brand and they will remember the experience in the future.

Name recognition is always a great way to create a connection; try to find a way to identify the customer as an individual not just another sale. Even Coca-Cola found a way to do this with their personalized cans and bottles as part of their “Share a Coke” campaign. The campaign was a huge success with a 2% increase in sales – consumption went up by 200 million products per day.

Have you ever hoped to find your name on a Coke bottle? Even if you don’t find your name, you couldn’t help but look anyway, even just for a second or two. That, my friend, is brand engagement.

When moving forward, make sure to foster that connection in the form of communication. By facilitating conversations with your customers you will build their trust and loyalty to your brand while also keeping an eye out for concerns that they might have. If customers care enough to have constructive or positive conversations about your brand, it means you are doing something right.



2. You don’t have to please everyone – focus on your loyal customers first

It can be difficult to convert consumers from hating to loving your brand – it also costs 5x more to gain a new customer than it does to retain one. It is best to focus on the consumers who already love your brand; listen to their suggestions and concerns and tailor your company to better serve them. Once your customer base has developed a loving relationship with you, it will be easier to rope in the consumers who aren’t so sure about you.

According to Forbes, existing customers are worth about 30% more than you know. How many of you have the Starbucks app on your mobile device? ✋ How many of you use it to gain Rewards? ✋



3. 80% of revenue for most companies comes from only 20% of their customers – the loyal ones.

Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools around and if your customers are telling their friends how great your company is, chances are their friends will be much more willing to give your brand a shot.

Additionally, focusing solely on attracting new customers can make your already loyal fans feel unappreciated and your plan could backfire on you.

Moslon’s Beer Fridge campaign rewards Canadians traveling in other countries by having them scan their passports to receive free product. Not only does this branding strategy align itself to national pride, it also rewards both loyal fans and new customers alike. Genius! Now imagine coming across one of these fridges nearby. You would probably tell your friends about it to share in the experience. By doing so, you just helped extend the campaign’s reach and increased its brand value.


4. Keep it simple and clear

70% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand that they feel is simple. Simplicity is more than just a clean design: it includes transparency, ease of use, and understanding. Consider all aspects of your brand and try to make everything as simple and concise as possible for your consumers to win them over in their already complex worlds.

This simple, clever, and easy packaging does a lot. It puts a smile on the customers face and makes them look forward to receiving their next package. Customers might even collect them.

A great example of a brand that is providing an unprecedented level of simplicity to consumers is Dollar Shave Club; they include simplicity in every aspect of their business:

  • Clean Design Products arrive in a nondescript brown box, razor design is clean and simple, website is laid out easily and is not cluttered.
  • TransparencyEasy for customers to contact a customer service rep or unsubscribe from the service if they wish.
  • Ease of UseSign up is a simple process – select your razor, input your info & done!
  • UnderstandingThe process is simple and clear – nothing hidden here.

Check out the Simplicity Index from Siegel+Gale for more information on why simple brands thrive – it provides information gathered from over 12,000 consumers in 8 different countries about which brands win at the simplicity game and why.



5. Perception vs reality

Consumers buy products based on their perceptions of your brand, what your products can do and how your products can change their lives. When purchasing a product people like to focus on the possibilities that are associated with the product rather than the realities of what the product will actually be used for.

For example, people who purchase a GoPro camera expect to use the product to capture amazing action shots of them performing stunts and tricks however the reality is not nearly as glamorous – most will simply generate footage of themselves attempting (and quite possibly failing) the same trick over and over again.

Consumers like to imagine what their life could be like if they buy your products so try to show them that image but keep it from being patronizing. A great example would be the memorable Old Spice campaign: “Smell Like a Man, Man.” This campaign focused on how Old Spice products could turn regular guys into manly-men and it was a huge success, shooting Old Spice to the #1 spot in men’s body wash and antiperspirant categories.

In addition…

Some other easy ways to build brand love include:

  • Conduct business with integrity – showing that you know what is right and wrong lets consumers know that you share the same values as them, which in turn makes them feel better about supporting your business. In fact 64% of people cite shared values as the main reason they have a relationship with a brand.

  • Being honest – people simply don’t trust brands as much as they used to so it is becoming increasingly important to be honest and transparent about your company. Show some behind-the-scenes images of your staff or offices. Let consumers know where their products are coming from and own up to any mistakes that you make. Your customers will love and trust your brand that much more.

  • Go the extra mile to provide great service – in such a busy market customers often feel like they are unimportant to companies, show your consumers that they matter to you by providing great customer service to them. This means easy and responsive communication, quick problem solving, service with a smile and so much more.

  • Show that you love your brand too – don’t expect customers to love your brand if you don’t. Show consumers that you live and breathe your brand’s products and values and they will show you the same back. This idea is embodied by all of Lululemon’s staff; they are ambassadors for their brand and they love to show it.

Run with some of these suggestions and watch the love for your brand grow.