“Think about what people are doing on Facebook today. They’re keeping up with their friends and family, but they’re also building an image and identity for themselves, which in a sense is their brand. They’re connecting with the audience that they want to connect to. It’s almost a disadvantage if you’re not on it now.”
A few years back, to create a brand you simply presented it to the audience using TV, radio, newspapers and billboards and you were pretty much covered. To build brand loyalty you would try to find a catchy jingle like the fifteen year old jingle “Always Coca-Cola”! or a sticky slogan like Maxwell House Coffee year 1926 “Good to the Last Drop.” or Nike’s “Just do it,” or” Gillette – The best a man can get”. You would try to design a perfect logo that became part of one’s long term memory like MGM’s logo of a roaring lion before any Tom & Jerry episode! Who will forget that?
Nowadays, the digital world has changed the DNA of building a brand. The number of touch points with the customer are enormous: you have to be on facebook, intstagram, pintrest, linkedin and the list goes on and is ever evolving …
You have to be interactive, sensitive, personal, sophisticated…
You have to be human.
To build brand loyalty in the digital world you have to understand the following:
- Power is in the customer’s hand
Consumer’s feedback, reviews and blog discussions are driving an organization’s image and reputation. This represents a significant shift in dynamics. As consumers become increasingly influential, businesses are becoming less powerful.
This means that you need to focus more on understanding the consumers, engaging them and staying relevant or else you will lose their interest.
- Understand the new way of the purchasing process
How many times did you seek online reviews to decide which brand to buy? And how many times did you change your mind of buying something or requesting a service due to a bad review?
Fluid Market is the new norm, which means traditional marketing strategies are no longer effective. In this world, responsiveness surpasses efficiency. The ability to engage with customers one-on-one, particularly after purchase, is vital to a long-term relationship and building brand loyalty.
- Seamless Experience:
Each interaction with the customer will reflect your brand; the online and offline experience should be consistent. Apple is Apple online, in the App store and when you walk into an Apple Shop.
- Give Digital Priority
Targeting the online crowd is a double-edged sword for the business, so you have to be super careful. How many offers and Groupons have you received in your inbox and deleted, or even worse, directed to your junk folder? This could have a disastrous impact on the brand and the brand image.
On the other hand, well-planned digital activities enable more meaningful connections with consumers.
In 2011, Tesco created a virtual supermarket on a South Korean subway billboard. Waiting commuters could scan the QR codes of products on the billboard, purchase them and have them delivered within 24 hours. This reinforced Tesco’s focus on convenience and brought real benefit to customers. Interestingly, the retailer has had a bumpy ride in the UK during 2011/12 because it resorted to old-fashioned price cuts rather than adding value.
- Build a Digital Culture
So, digital has changed the way we all live our lives and make consumer choices. But has it changed the place we work in?
In today’s world, anything that holds back speed and agility contributes to failure. To keep up with rapidly changing markets, businesses need to gradually move their structure from a “vertical” approach, where efficiency was the key, to a more “horizontal” one, where responsiveness is key.
The digital world is here to stay, it does seem complicated, but success comes down to understanding people and behaviour. If you can engage consumers and enhance their experience you will build your brand loyalty, do you agree?