Using Psychology-Backed Marketing to Develop and Maintain Brand Loyalty
A marketers dream is to create a loyal fanbase of customers that not only repeatedly purchase your product or service, but also advocate for your brand and essentially, advertise your business for free. This is the essence of brand loyalty.
Note that brand loyalty is NOT the same as customer loyalty. Customer loyalty refers solely to repeat purchasers and customers who are more receptive to upselling and cross selling, whereas brand loyalty looks at continuous brand engagement and advocacy over a long period of time.
An often unconscious and overlooked aspect of marketing is the psychological factors that come into play when a brand is creating and enforcing its image. Understanding the psychology behind brand loyalty will put you and your business ahead of the competition, furthering your ability to create a loyal customer base like those created by Apple, Walmart, or Starbucks.
To utilize psychology-backed marketing to improve your brand loyalty, you must create and execute an overarching and consistent positive brand image. There are a few characteristics that brands express to specifically target customers’ emotions. These characteristics are directly associated with a brands personality and can help increase overall brand loyalty. We’ve outlined our top 5 below (in no particular order):
- Does your brand inflict feelings of honesty and sincerity?
- Do customers feel as though they will not be scammed or misled by your brand?
- Are you transparent with your customers about the key elements of your product or service?
How can I make my brand seem authentic?
Transparency is key here, along with actually fulfilling your promises 100% of the time. If things go wrong, you must do everything to correct it, including making sure that all financial aspects involved are properly and ethically communicated.
- How sophisticated is your product or service perceived to be?
- Does your brand inflict feelings of trust, security, contentment, and confidence?
A high quality product that offers an aspect of rarity, timelessness and exclusivity often inflicts feelings associated with sophistication. Learn More
- Does your brand invoke feelings of safety, comfort, and responsibility?
- Does your product or service do what it is designed to do with a high level of efficiency?
- Is your product or service perceived to be reliable?
Standing behind your product and offering generous warranties or return policies will help relieve purchasing anxiety and convince customers that your product must be reliable. Testimonials and social media mentions are also a deciding factor that can increase the perceived dependability of your brand.
- Does your brand create feelings of excitement, wonder, and provoke interest? Do customers feel safe enough with your brand to take things to the next level?
- Do you offer something that is currently missing in the market, but is also useful and beneficial to potential customers in desperate search of your product/service?
Playing outside of the box with your marketing and launching exciting but risky campaigns can help your brand come across as powerful and engaging.
- Do customers feel a sense of appreciation, belonging, and respect when they interact with your brand?
Focus on the value your customer provides, not the money they give you. A way to showcase this via marketing is to display testimonials and present loyal customers with exclusive incentives to invoke feelings of appreciation and belonging.
Targeting one or a few of these characteristics will help you direct your marketing to invoke the associated feelings on customers when they interact with your brand. According to the University of Southern California, consumers subconsciously recall the feelings they associate with a brand, regardless of whether they can recall the brand name or the ad. The more positive feelings associated with your brand’s personality, the more likely it is that customers will become attached to you.
Altogether, the goal with using psychology-backed marketing is to have customers develop an emotional investment into your brand as a whole. Understanding consumers needs and emotional responses to your brand is crucial to developing brand loyalty. Seek out customer feedback and listen to it. The path to devoted and loyal customers becomes clearer when you connect with your audience on a deeper level.