Learn how to develop (and keep) brand love — you need it to grow your business.
What is brand love?
Consumers don’t buy products only based on need or for purely logical reasons. A lot of the time, emotions are involved.
- You only purchase a certain brand of headphones because you feel pride wearing them out and about.
- It was a particularly rough day at work, so you buy some ice cream on your way home to cheer yourself up.
- The news reported an increase in break-ins in your city, so you upgrade your security system out of worry.
Of all the emotions, the most important for a brand is that of love.
That is, a deep and lasting bond brought about by the positive emotions and association consumers have for your brand. Because when that happens, they are more than just customers—they are evangelists and (unpaid) influencers for the brand.
You can see why building brand love is such an important goal for any small business!
Benefits of being a beloved brand
You know what they say: where there’s brand love, there’s loyalty. And, frankly speaking, loyalty (and repeat purchases) matters a great deal when you’re trying to grow a business.
Brand love = price flexibility
Customers that love your brand are less sensitive to price adjustments. They’re even willing to pay a premium because they know the value; they know your product is worth it. They also know – based on previous experience – that you won’t let them down.
Brand love = confidence in you
Launching a new product? With brand love, you won’t have to work as hard to encourage customers to give new items a try. Loyal customers will be the first to seek them out – no nudging required!
Brand love = trust you’ve earned
Customers will continue to buy from you because their previous experience was a positive one. They’ve seen that your product is good and that you deliver on your promises. No regrets.
Brand love = staying power
Price aside, we need to feel an emotional connection with a brand for us to continue buying their products. Or put another way, for customers to stay loyal to a brand, they must trust, like or even love what they purchased from it.
Yes, that includes products that are commodities.
For example: There are a ton of options out there but once you grow to love a particular brand of orange juice, chances are that’s the one you’ll be picking up at the store every week. And if that’s out of stock, you buy their brand of apple juice instead.
But if you feel indifferent towards a brand, there’s nothing stopping you from picking any other alternative at the store—it doesn’t really matter which brand you bring home.
In short, it’s the emotional connection consumers have for a brand that gives a brand its staying power. It’s what allows that business to stay in the game—and beat the competition!
How to build brand love: 5 strategies you can use today
As with any relationship, brand love doesn’t happen overnight.
You start out as strangers then work your way towards like and then love. In other words, it’s a process. And much like our personal relationships, it grows out of honesty, engagement and trust.
What does this mean for marketers?
To develop brand love, you need a consistent marketing strategy. Because before a customer feels love, he must first be happy with you for an extended period of time.
How do you go about that? Here are 5 brand love strategies you can use today.
1. Create a memorable customer experience
Trust is the foundation of any long-term relationship—including our relationships with brands. And a great shopping experience along every stage of the purchase journey goes a long way towards actually earning that trust.
2. Ensure customer satisfaction
A customer is satisfied when your product is the solution to their problem and when your products live up to their expectations. A lot of the time, YOU set those expectations with your product copy. A customer is even more satisfied – happy even – when your brand can be counted on with excellent customer service post-purchase.
3. Communicate value
Customers want your products and will actively seek them out when their value is crystal clear. Put simply: they need to know what makes your products great in order to desire them. Social proof like testimonials and customer reviews play a big role in highlighting value.
4. Listen to your customers
Feedback is priceless! You need to listen to what shoppers are saying to respond to needs, remain relevant, and stay top of mind. It also shows you care.
5. Build a community
You need to nurture your relationship with shoppers in order to move your brand from the indifferent category to that of like and eventually love. Budget-friendly ways to do that include storytelling, creating content and engaging with customers on social media.
6. Stand for something
These days, consumers (particularly Millennials and Gen Z) would rather support brands that stand for something; brands with a purpose. Brands that are affiliated with great causes are easier to love than those that don’t do anything.
7. Brand love should start at home
Or in this case, in the office. Your employees need to like where they’re working to do a good job—and feel pride to be affiliated with you. When employees are happy, they speak highly of (and actively promote) your brand to family, friends and even strangers.