In today’s fast-paced, instant gratification world, there are more choices than ever before. Companies are constantly coming up with new ways to try and get as many eyes on the product as possible. That’s why establishing a brand loyal customer base is crucial in today’s market. But what is brand loyalty?
“Brand loyalty is a pattern of consumer behavior where consumers become committed to brands and make repeat purchases from the same brands over time. Loyal customers consistently purchase products from their preferred brands, regardless of convenience or price.”
The Benefit of Brand Loyalty
If a company can establish a strong customer base who has become faithful to their product it can be a significant advantage. Creating such a base doesn’t happen overnight. It requires engagement from the company to the consumer and continued output of quality products and services. Price will always be a factor, but being viewed as a “trusted” or “preferred” brand with a devoted following could prove to win out over everything else . . . including price.
Examples of Brand Loyalty in Action
Over the years, we’ve seen the advantages of brand loyalty play out and translate into real world results.
Remember when Coca-Cola announced New Coke back in the 1980’s? The public hated it. The company had to scramble to get New Coke off the shelves and bring back everyone’s favorite, Coca-Cola Classic. The funny thing is . . . New Coke beat the traditional Coca-Cola in head-to-head taste tests. When brand was taken completely out of the equation New Coke was the favored beverage. It was only after people discovered the brand they had grown up with was being replaced that they revolted.
In the construction world, the five best-selling equipment manufacturers have remained largely unchanged for years. Caterpillar has now held the top spot on that list for the past 14 years. With revenues among the top 50 manufacturers falling to the lowest point since 2009, having that kind of consistency and customer base can’t be ignored or overstated.
Obviously, it took time and superior output from these companies to reach the summits of their industries as they have. Over time they have been able to get consumers to identify their brand with top-tier quality and customer satisfaction.
It may seem like an impossible task, but creating your own brand and customer loyalty is not an unobtainable goal. It will take patience, quality merchandise, and excellent service . . . but it can be done.
Harness the Web
With the internet becoming an increasing part of everyday life, the flood gates have been opened for consumers looking to buy. The constant and easily accessible flow of information on products or equipment has totally changed the landscape in today’s world. Everyday consumers aren’t the only ones researching and comparing prices either. The internet can play a major role in B2B purchasing as well, including the construction equipment market.
In this information-driven, digital age, it is critical to to keep up to date with the latest digital marketing capabilities and best practices. If you have a loyal customer base you must continue to work hard to keep it. If you find yourself at a disadvantage to older, more established companies, you should strive to get your products in front of customers and get them not only to buy from you, but to buy continually from you.
Putting Information Into Action
You may be asking yourself, but how? Bigger more established companies may have the advantage, but there are still ways to compete. Having a clearly defined market and target for your product is the first step. What need or problem of the customer does your product address? It seems like a simple question, but it is often overlooked. Knowing exactly who your ideal prospect is will inform how to move forward. If your product addresses a very specific issue, then it is imperative to identify and reach out to those with that issue. It does no good to advertise in places where no one needs what you are offering.
You can also focus on prospects who aren’t committed to a brand and may be persuaded to change brands. Being able to identify any current customers of competitors who may possibly be swayed to your product could be an effective route to growing a loyal base. Why waste time hammering on an audience who is currently committed to another brand? Go after potential customers open to trying something other than the “big guys.”
Competing in today’s world can be tough. Being able to establish any kind of advantage can set you up for success over the competition. Creating brand loyalty to your company or products can help take your company to new heights. It’s not something that is easily gained, and when competing against larger or more established companies with a loyal following, it’s easy to feel like there’s no chance of competing.
By applying the knowledge gained from using a database such as Randall-Reilly’s EDA, you can begin the process of establishing your own dedicated customer base. Over time by continuing to apply these principles and maintaining an excellent product that connects with and fulfills your consumers’ needs, you may one day be one of the “big guys.” It will take time and hard work, but brand loyalty can be what sets you up for success and sets you apart from the rest.