Why you need to gain brand loyalty as an entrepreneur

Every self-employed entrepreneur constantly seeks ways to build their business, whether it be improving customer experience or differentiating your brand (business, products and/or services) among competitors. Here we share some pointers on achieving brand loyalty.

What is a brand and what is brand loyalty?

Successful businesses are often associated with strong branding. Small business entrepreneurs to multinational enterprises all play the same ‘branding game’, as such, albeit with larger stakes.

Ask yourself the following questions: ‘What kind of people are going to invest in my brand? What issues will my brand solve? How will my brand help my customers? And what are the key benefits of owning my product or supporting my brand?’

Factors that play a part in brand loyalty are: emotional, economic, shared values, purpose and belief, previous experiences or associations, and quality. These are the prime drivers in choice making in the marketplace.

How can the self-employed build their brand loyalty?

Why you need to gain brand loyalty as an entrepreneur

Make your brand identifiable. Differentiate from competitors with your image and identity. Use powerful visual design elements, icons, characters and imagery. Eye-catching signature colours as well as catchy phrases or jingles make for clever marketing devices.

Once brand recognition is well established, brand loyalty is enhanced by being easily identifiable between competitors. Effective packaging can sell a product at its point-of-sale. Consider the materials and textures of your product in the design phase.

Every entrepreneur or business requires a well thought out marketing strategy to reach their demographic. Firstly, setup goals which includes a Social Media content marketing plan. Remember that first impressions matter. It can be a costly affair to attempt to heal a damaged brand if you did not get your strategy right at the get go.

Focus on targeting your desired demographic as opposed to a general approach. This will assist in achieving an increase in cross sales from your website to your brick and mortar store and vice-versa.

Knowing what is unique about your brand can give your product personality and create positive associations in the minds of your customers. Focus on customer service by ensuring people are happy and satisfied with your brand. Follow-up with client feedback channels (on- and offline) and conduct surveys from time to time.

Improve on ways for clients to locate your product.

Ways on improving your brand and to grow brand loyalty for the self-employed

Why you need to gain brand loyalty as an entrepreneur

Consistency in branding creates a synergy in your product and service portfolio.

If you are introducing a new product to the market, perhaps give away samples at large events. Branded promotional items like t-shirts, hats, lanyards and mugs will also get your brand recognised.

Consider employing loyalty cards whereby a point system earns a customer a reward after a set number of purchases, for example.

Be as highly adaptable to change as possible by keeping track of trends and regularly analysing the results of your marketing efforts. Make the relevant changes as and when required.

Seek to always communicate clearly and effectively to your audience. Contract skilled in- or outhouse staff to assist you with this craft.

Invest in streamlining your website in all areas, whether it be the design, copy, calls-to-action, benefit bars and content load time. Split testing is vital as it allows you to accurately analyse the effectiveness of your sales funnel.

When it comes to your company mailer, keep the content meaningful in a conversation-style format. Keep your database regularly updated with those that have unsubscribed

Extra aspects that grow confidence and brand loyalty to your business and products

Why you need to gain brand loyalty as an entrepreneur

Strive for improvement in all aspects of your business as a general rule. Be innovative, bold, daring and honest.

Many consumers make decisions according to the perceived value of a brand, so increase value perception at every opportunity. Always aim to fulfil expectations and any promises you make.

Try to create a sense of intrigue so customers essentially become ambassadors for your brand, telling others what they have discovered. They are your ultimate referrers.

Make your brand a high stakes investment for your customer if you can. Consider how a company like Apple accomplished this remarkable feat of ingenuity.

Naming your audience intimates a sense of identity and community. A tech company calls their clients ‘cyber elitists’, for instance.

Make your clients feel special, even famous if possible. Share publicly something significant they may say about your brand, with their permission. Reward your loyal customers with gifts every so often, but keep within budget.

Choose environmentally sustainable ingredients and packaging in and for your products. Many conscientious consumers prefer brands that are safer for the environment than others. An added benefit is that your clients will associate your brand with a responsible, caring attitude.

The psychology of human behaviour informs us that people prefer to stick to brands they know and can trust. If customers enjoy the experience of purchasing or supporting your offerings, and feel as if you have their best interests at heart, they will keep on returning as well as refer others.