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Customer Loyalty 101

You may have heard the phrase “80 percent comes from 20 percent of your customers”, and as we’re finding at Brightbox, customer loyalty is essential to business success!

Most brands have nailed this down for most of their more establishedtarget audience, but experts show that it’s a whole other ball game when working with up-and-coming young adults.

What sets Millennials and Gen Z apart?

Millennials and Gen Z are aunique customer segment as they have been exposed to a variety of commercialism from a young age, with a bombardment of ads, billboards, and commercials from television, computers, cell phones, and just taking a ride down the freeway.

Marketing not only needs to be creative, but most of these younger members in polls are demanding business transparency and as an audience are capable of holding businesses accountable to their mission values. 

Why be loyal when they don’t stand with a business’s values?

It might be time to review and rebuff your business mission statement and reevaluate how you are portraying (better yet, LIVING) company ideals.

Best ways to gain customer loyalty:

 

Transparency

With modern technology, there is virtually no way that social media or customers won’t find out if your company isn’t living up to expectations. 

Customers with buying power nowadays have been around when companies were able to hide shady deals or put on a good front about important topics such as locally sourced products, being environmentally friendly, or supporting (or lack thereof) important moral issues. 

Transparency is the key to gaining loyal customers. When you say what you mean and live up to business values that are portrayed in your slogan or mission statement it has more meaning to buyers now than ever before.

An example would be looking at Nike, whosemission statement is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” Nike offers grants, scholarships, and other financial programs to help communities in the United States and worldwide to get their children active and engaged through their Nike Community Impact program

Such transparency and willingness to make an effort have helped customers and even non-customers recognize the sportswear company as an honest and trustworthy brand that is reliable, therefore they were more willing to do business with them. 

 

It's more than about the sale

During theearly years of commercialism in the 1970s and 1980s competition for customers was rising as the quality of products was raised across the board. To combat this, marketers tried getting people to shop for the brand, no matter the price. For customers during that time, sticking with a brand was like sticking to family.

Everyone had their preference, some of which can be seen nowadays between automobile companies (Ford versus Chevy) or most prevalently with technology (Apple versus Android). 

But what’s unique with each of these companies, especially Apple, is that it's more than just trying to sell someone a product. It’s about bringing meaningful experiences for people that bring meaningful life values to fruition. 

Simon Sinek did a TED talk using Apple as an example while discussing the Golden Circle concept. Going over Apple’s core values, Sinek revealed what makes a company successful. It’s bringing the core values of a company and applying them to the core values of customers. 

Within our own company, Shea Workman, Brightbox CEO, decided to startcharging shippingwhere historically Brightbox hasn’t charged previously. Workman stated that while affordability is top of mind when customers purchase from Brightbox, she also wanted her employees to feel appreciated.

“But I need you to know growth is not the only factor here. It’s important to me to be able to give my employees benefits, paid time off, bonuses, etc. I do not take employee appreciation lightly, especially because employee appreciation is part of our brand and messaging.How can I ask other companies to value their employees if we are not doing the same right here in our own house?” said Workman.

And let me tell you, your core value as a consumer or business is not about how many features your product has. It’s about the why. It’s about ensuring that customers can have an experience. In Apple’s case, when Steve Jobs was presenting the iPhone, he wasn’t rambling on about all the specs (though I’m sure employees got that later), it was about how now people can create and build connections hundreds of thousands of miles apart all at the palm of their hands. 

Consumers are more willing to pay extra for their favorite products or brands because they can use products to connect or they feel the business can connect with them. Even if it’s cheaper they could easily trade out of their current company just to feel that they matter, that their choices and lifestyle matter.

Exclusivity


You know how at the beginning of this we talked about how 80 percent of business comes from 20 percent of customers? 

Making loyal customers feel exclusive and a part of the family is essential in retaining them. 

In some businesses like retail, e-commerce, and the food industry it might include a subscription service that is limited to people who have made z amount of purchases or contributed over x amount of dollars. 

Having some form of a loyalty program is not only a smart business idea for sourcing reliable pollings from customers who have been around since day one but also a way to track if you’re able to hold onto new customers. 

But aside from the business sense, it gives customers a feeling of community and they are more likely to refer your business to a friend or family member. It can also be a rapport-building piece when asking for feedback on possible business ventures or soft-open for new products. You’ll get great feedback while trying out different angles without risking losing your whole customer base.

 

In the end, though, showing appreciation for long-standing customers (kind of like your employees…. Refer to this bloghere) is the best way to keep loyal customers. 

Appreciation could mean being transparent in your company dealings. It could mean appreciating vulnerability and relationships with customers by liking or commenting back on your social media or tagging them in a post. Or even it could be sending them an email, phone call, or promo package saying, “Thank you for your loyalty here’s 10% off”. 

Either way, even though customer loyalty looks different in some ways over the years as technology, marketing and advertising have changed, the core thoughts and principles haven’t. 

So, take the time to rethink your next marketing strategy and let us know how it goes! Are you a business and looking to expand your customer appreciation strategies? At Brightbox we offer bulk boxes that can be sent en masse to your place of business or sent individually to each customer near and far! Each of which can be customized with personal branding features, and products you want to be included. Contact us on ourFor Business page and we’ll be happy to discuss strategy and products that are sure to keep your long-standing customers happy!

XOXO,

The Brightbox Team

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