Brand Loyalty… sounds like another magic bullet, doesn’t it?
I’m very skeptical about magic bullets, by the way.
But I have so much faith in the approach when a brand chooses to inspire loyalty as the main strategic priority, that I’m going to devote this whole blog to the subject.
Definition from Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
“Loyal” – 1. Faithful to a person to whom allegiance or affection is due
2. – Faithful to a cause of ideal.
“Loyalty” – 1. The quality of being loyal. 2. – A strong feeling of support of allegiance.
See, so called “loyalty programs” where you earn a score every time you buy an item above 50$, that then turn it into credit, that you can use to buy items above 100$, and repeat the cycle until you become completely confused… have nothing to do with actual loyalty to a brand.
So don’t expect that this blog will give you a list of primitive yet confusing manipulative customer retaining techniques.
This blog is about developing your business on the basis of creating actual loyalty: in social media and online – when you interact with bigger audiences; at direct interface with clients – when you provide the service, receive a call for support, or follow up with clients; in your office (even if you don’t have any physical office) – when you work shoulder to shoulder with your employees and partners.
It is about human relationships, but not just any relationships.
It is about human relationships between your brand, and those who you want to care about your brand.
However, don’t expect that this blog will provide you with blueprints and recipes for making people care about your brand and become loyal to your business once you find and push the right button.
It just doesn’t work that way.
This blog is about the nature of developing loyalty towards people, brands, ideas…
Brand Loyalty is not based on marketing, or search engine whispering, or social media hype, or ads analytics. Those are simply tools, that are pretty worthless (and sometimes unjustifiably expensive) if one doesn’t understand their effect on other (real!) people (who are very busy with their own lives).
Brand Loyalty is primarily based on human psychology, motivations, behavior (conscious and subconscious), instincts and relations with each other. To inspire loyalty to a brand, the owner must understand those things and know how to implement this understanding in business growth strategy.
So, expect that brand loyalty will be discussed through the lens of psychology, psycholinguistics and behavioral science.
Brand Loyalty is unique to every brand. There can be no general guidelines or instructions for creating it. What works for some doesn’t work for others, just because there are so many variable factors that actually matter.
That’s why understanding the mechanisms behind loyalty, as one of the manifestations of human behavior, is important for being able to devise solutions for your particular brand.
Expect that I will do everything I can to figure out those mechanisms together with you my dear readers.
Behavioral and psychological approach to developing business is really in a very early phase of development.
You see, for most of the human history commercial relationships were based on necessity. “I need it – I buy it”. If people don’t need something, nobody sells it.
We may have gotten used to consumeristic realities, but technology only recently enabled us to create excess of stuff.
Classic approach to commerce was built in the environment of high demand. So classically consumers and employees are viewed as variables that can be simply manipulated, and a business – as a spherical cow in vacuum, that can’t possibly be affected by people’s attitudes, social tendencies and emotional responses.
Even now that we are staring in awe at the power of social connections, and so much is being said about public relationships, business growth is still often viewed rather mechanically without enough regard to human psychology. Although this factor is way more important than the numbers you render and technology you use.
If you don’t believe me, google something like “How to increase your sales in social media”, and you will see numerous articles on how to use technology, how to please algorithms and how to gather analytics, and virtually nothing on how to understand your audience and how to effectively interact with people as a brand.
So, we are in a brave new world and I’m afraid it is not going to be an organized tour.
It’s going to be an exploration.
Expect exploration. Honestly, I myself have no idea what we will discover here.
One more thing, rather personal this time.
I’m very introverted. A perfect networking event for me would be one where more than three people can’t physically get together in one space.
I’m repelled from small talk, loud companies, hustle, and shallow noise-making.
I love books, deep conversations, “thoughts for my thoughts” ©, and a heartfelt coterie instead of a “big subscription list”. I want to write for companions rather than subscribers.
So expect that you are one of the few to read this, and that I’m really looking forward to your comments and our discussions.
And if you subscribe to my mailing list, you can expect to receive new articles fresh from the oven, and no spam or annoying sales pitches.
And the last one.
I want to enjoy creating this blog, and honestly – it’s not such an easy goal.
I promised myself that I won’t start a blog that feels lame to me, no matter how successful it may become.
I don’t like repetitive mundane tasks.
Therefore, this blog is going to be pretty creative. I don’t exactly know in what way yet, but this is the point, right?
I plan to create infographics, short videos… maybe one week you will find a poem here, and another week a comic character will explain you something about consumer behavior…
I’m opening this blog up for my creativity, to keep it breathing with live and artistic energy.
So expect something unexpected.