Are you earning brand loyalty?

Are you earning brand loyalty?

I had the luxury of spending last month in Nafplio, Greece, where I was embraced by the locals. Restaurateurs, shopkeepers, and even the gentleman at the printing place made me feel welcome. Almost every person I met offered recommendations and asked if I needed anything – and they didn’t just mean from their store. One shop owner who did not have what I needed personally walked me out of his shop to one down the street that had the item I sought.

I rarely feel this special as a buyer in the United States, nor do I have much brand loyalty. Yes, restaurants and businesses thank us for our patronage, but the Greek people I met went above and beyond that. It made me wonder: Could we be doing even more, to earn brand loyalty by making our buyers feel special?

I believe we could. Here are three things marketers can do to make buyers feel special and earn brand loyalty:

  • Personalize interactions.
  • Skip the hard sell.
  • Focus on helping your buyers succeed.

Personalize interactions to earn brand loyalty

Salespeople are excellent at personalizing interactions with prospects and clients. When possible, marketers should be, too. That starts by avoiding marketing email mistakes, such as sending emails with the wrong recipient name or organization.

When possible, take personalization a step further. Try to find out information such as birthdays, celebrated holidays, children’s and pets’ names, and even whether they are caring for elderly relatives. Collaborating with Sales can be a good way to find this information.

Once you have the information, develop a plan for how to use it wisely. I say wisely because it was great that sent my cat a birthday card when he was alive, but once he passed away it was awkward.

Skip the hard sell

I know many people, and I have never met anyone who enjoys being on the receiving end of a hard sell. Yet thousands of salespeople still use this method, even in Greece (I avoided those people and their businesses).

Are you earning brand loyalty? Man that salesman is persistent
The hard sell rarely increases brand loyalty.

People who respond to hard sells are often worn out, hungry, or the price is right, but that doesn’t mean they have brand loyalty.

To earn brand loyalty, market and sell to buyers by giving them the information they seek and telling them what’s in it for them. Creating and using a Message Map can be a great way to guide your efforts and keep your clients happy.

Help your buyers succeed

…even if it means helping them find your competition.

Above all, marketers should be focused on the success of clients and prospects, even if it means your solution is not right for them. If you solely focus on the needs of your clients versus your need to generate leads and revenue, you will see success in the long term.

People remember people who help them. If someone doesn’t purchase from you at a particular time, they are more likely to recommend you or purchase from you in the future if you were more focused on their success than on making a sale.

I frequently collaborate with other consultants my clients hire. Because I want to do whatever it takes to ensure my clients succeed.

And when I return to Nafplio next year, I will be sure to visit the gentleman who ensured I found what I needed – he earned my brand loyalty.

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