Brand is many things. It’s also made up of many parts.
In its most basic definition, a brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers (Wikipedia).
Your brand is the experience a customer has with you. It can be based on customer service, user experience, what they hear about you from others, and what they read on the internet about you.
Branding is made up of elements like your business or product name, logo, tone of voice, colors, typography, and more. It’s not any one element on its own, but a sum of all (or at least some).
It’s what people say about you when you’re not in the room.
If you think about branding as reputation management, you can see that while you can’t control what people say about you, you can manage expectations and delivery to empower others to say good things and easily remember you.
So… how does your brand help with customer retention? Here’s a short list of ways your branding sets your customer base up for repeat business.
1) Trust - We Do Business With Those We Know, Like, and Trust
If a customer doesn’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. Before trying to convince a customer to purchase a product from you, it is critical that they believe in your brand (know, like) and trust you.
If a customer loves your product but doesn’t trust the integrity of your company, they’ll abandon the relationship and go with someone else.
Today we have access to all the information as customers. By going online, you can easily find third party reviews and customer reviews of a company and its products or services. Because of this, we as marketers don’t control the message as easily as we once did. That’s why it’s critical to understand branding from a holistic viewpoint and work on it at all levels of a company.
A powerful and memorable brand helps customers talk about you to others, building trust among new customers. In fact research from Nielsen reveals that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising. So having a memorable brand that people talk about - called word of mouth marketing - can help not only retain customers, but find new referrals.
2) Comfort - We Stick With What We Know
Humans are lazy creatures. We don’t make changes unless the pain of the current situation is greater than the pain of change. We love comfort.
When your brand aligns with a customer’s needs and you’re easy to remember, it’s easy for them to stick with you.
We all know that fast food isn’t the best for us. And yet as we’re driving, it’s so easy to see those golden arches and pop in for a snack, a quick lunch, or a Shamrock Shake. We stick with what we know.
Can your customers know exactly who you are by your brand elements and their brand experience with you?
3) Delight - We Stick With What We Like
When our brand goes above and beyond and delights our customers, we build a loyal following. Sometimes that could be as simple as a traditional loyalty program. It could also look like your company giving to the community that matters to customers.
Maybe your clients are all pet families. Every interaction with your brand could result in support of no-kill shelters. As your customers do business with you, they know they’re helping you have an impact on animals that need help.
If you’re in the service industry and your employees receive tips (like an ice cream parlor), part of your brand may be to have those team members vote on a non-profit to support each month with half of the counter tips. This brings communities together, while empowering your employees to give as well.
When a customer likes your brand, and you make it easy to remember it, they’ll stick around.
4) Connection - We Stick With What We Connect To
Personality. Authenticity. Transparency. Engagement. These may feel like marketing buzzwords, but they’re vital to the longevity of your brand in today’s relationship economy.
These days, social media plays an integral role in helping businesses build more meaningful relationships with their customers.
Whether it’s showing personality on Twitter like Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Burger King or it’s creating a Facebook group to make them feel more like they’re part of a close-knit family, social media connections are powerful.
Social media also provides you with a platform where you can further nurture your customers so that they eventually become not just loyal customers, but even advocates of your brand.
Another form of connection is email. Email marketing is one of the pillars of customer retention.
Sending emails with the right content at the right time to the right people can boost your customer retention, increase conversion rates, and generate more revenue.
There are several ways to do this. Start with simply sending your new customers a thank you email for making their purchase, tips for optimal use of your product or service, and even a few questions on how they’re enjoying what they bought. This helps to reinforce their decision to buy from you and makes your brand appear more approachable.
You can also send an email with complementary products and services along with customer reviews. This helps boost the value and appeal of these products and services, encouraging your customers to come back and make a repeat purchase.
Finally, if part of your brand is to connect and show personality (like social media) you could send a newsletter with insider information on your company and the industry, developing a deeper relationship with your customers. This can work especially well with B2B marketing.
When it comes to branding and developing a remarkable, memorable, and engaging brand, you need to think strategically and purposefully. Start with the Impulse Creative Brand Plan on-demand video training below. You can also download the Brand Plan digital guide.
Then let us know what questions you have. We love helping businesses understand their brand and grow strategically.