Sharing Values to Achieve Brand Loyalty
To achieve true customer loyalty, brands need to have values, not just provide values. It come back to the mantra ‘show, not tell’. People are loyal to brands that they relate to and that play a role in their lives. This is why companies need to focus on their purpose, because it’s the ‘why’ that really matters to customers.
Highlighted in Saatchi & Saatchi’s Red Paper Brand Loyalty Reloaded, sharing values is the largest driver of brand loyalty, with sixty-four percent of respondents in the Corporate Executive Board study citing shared values as the primary reason to have a brand relationship. Similarly, a study by SAP indicates that the key reason that shoppers are loyal is because they support brands that are ‘like them’. Price and availability are part of the mix, but shared values create brand loyalty.
A shared value is a belief that both the brand and the customer have about a brand’s higher purpose or broad philosophy. The Harvard Business Review gave the example of Harley Davidson’s goal “to fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling,” noting that it’s this type of commitment that feels authentic to consumers, and provides a sound basis for shared values and relationship building. More recently in Harley Davidson’s 2014 Annual Review, it noted that “global growth is the result of opening our doors to lots of different customers and giving them the freedom to become a part of the brand in their own way…”
Brands that have achieved customer loyalty through creating genuine, value-based connections with customers have one thing in common – they mean it. These brands are tapping into an effective way to create an emotional connection with their customers; one that lasts. It’s an asset that can’t be replicated through advertising or marketing.
Feature image source: flickr/rovingeye365