Knowing what level your customers perceive your brand to be and the improvements you need to put in place to maintain or move up a level makes all the difference.
Every business’ wish is that repeat customer with an endless matrix of referrals that brings in more customers.
But how does this happen? How does one build a loyal following of diehard brand advocates?
I often think of it as that level where if every product, service and features were taken out of that container we call an offering, what would be left behind is a true brand.
Some brands have gotten so powerful that any product or service association with their name increases the value perception. Imagine a plain white polo T-shirt that would cost 10 dollars.
If the same T-shirt had a tiny Nike logo embroidered, the doubled cost would be more than accepted by customers.
There is four distinct levels to brand loyalty.
Level 1 | Satisfaction:
This is the very first level and the characterised by fairness. It is the beginning of trust and customers looking forward to closure. Satisfied simply means that the product or service did what it promised it would do. This is where majority of the brands operate.
Level 2 | Delight:
This is where you surprise your customers with unexpected compliments. It is characterised by excitement, peak of experience, increase in trust and social recommendation. Customer statements at this stage would sound like; “Oh wow, I did not know it would be this cool. I’m telling all my friends about this.”
Level 3 | Engagement:
Brands that operate at this level have a tribal-like following of diehards. This is characterised by customer loyalty, emotional attachment, automatic repurchase and a very strong sense of belonging. I find Apple to be one such brand. I love their products and whatever other category they release because I know it’s going to be just good.
Level 4 | Empowerment:
This is the pinnacle for all brands. Where customers realise a sense of self actualisation beyond the product and service a brand XYZ is offering.
This is characterised by a feeling of fulfilment, social status and personal business success. A testimony from a customer benefiting from a brand at this level would sound something like this; “I don’t know what I would do without brand XYZ. My life wouldn’t be the same again. It’s just not possible to find a substitute.”
Now more than ever, its crucial to get people to join your brand rather than just buy your products. If it’s digital, encourage your fans and followers to become a part of your brand instead of just another consumer.
Get them to do more than just “Like” or “follow” your brand. Connect with them in a much bigger way that keeps the brand fresh in their minds and fades the distinction between fan and brand advocate.
At what level is your brand and what interventions have you put in place to maintain or move up a step?
Robert Kayimbye is Group Brand and Marketing Communications Manager (B2C) at BBOXX