Measuring and Building Brand Loyalty
Brand loyalty - definition
Brand loyalty is determined by your returning customers--those who continue to buy your products rather than switch to your competitors. Brand-loyal customers are willing to go the extra mile to buy your product, be it higher prices or the literal extra mile. They are also the most likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues. To a marketer, loyal customers bring in most of the revenue through repeated purchases and referrals.
How would you measure brand loyalty?
Brand loyalty was initially measured by only considering a customer's purchase habits. If a customer repeatedly purchased products from a particular brand, then the customer was considered loyal. However, this approach ignored a significant number of additional factors that contribute to the consumer-brand relationship.
Five metrics of brand loyalty
Over time, the views of marketers and researchers have evolved to include a number of other metrics to measure brand loyalty. These five metrics are:
Involvement and commitment - how dedicated your customers are to your products, as well as your brand
Perceived value - the functional, personal, and social impact your products have on your customers
Trust - how good your brand's track record is with your customers
Satisfaction - how well your products are able to meet and exceed customers' expectations
Repeated purchase - a measure of whether the above four criteria manifest into something practical: a pattern of continued purchases from your current customers
Involvement and commitment
Involved customers have a deeper awareness of your products. They have spent more time using your products and have developed a more detailed relationship with your brand. Commitment to your brand, then, is a measure of your customers' willingness and eagerness to maintain that relationship. Higher levels of involvement and commitment lead to better brand loyalty.
Involvement in and commitment to your brand are characterized by a thorough knowledge of your products. Your questions may be tailored to their exposure to your brand and their association with brand attributes.
"Which product have you heard of the most among the following?" (involvement)
"Would you like periodic updates on our products?" (commitment)
When we think of a product's value, we think of it in functional, emotional, and social terms--how well a product performs, how well the customers relate to the people behind the brand, and how the product becomes part of a customer's identity in the social world.
The functional value of a brand is a direct result of its quality and expected performance. Questions that directly target the specific features of a product can reveal all aspects of a customer's experience with your product's functionality. For example, if the product being reviewed were a mobile app for a food delivery company, a functionality survey may include questions such as:
"How easy or difficult is it to navigate our app's interface?"
"How quickly were you able to place orders with your chosen restaurant?"
"In general, were your orders processed correctly and delivered on time?"
The emotional value of a brand is derived from the human connection a brand establishes with its customers. This is especially apparent in customer service: buyers are far more likely to see value in your brand when their concerns are heard and their needs are met by the people who represent your products. By creating a positive customer-service experience, a brand demonstrates that it cares about its consumers as people, not just as a source of revenue. Strengthening this kind of personal, long-term relationship with your consumers will, in turn, build consumer loyalty to your brand.
The social value of a brand is a measure of the brand's ability to enhance the buyer's identity in the social context--what does using your product say about your customers? What kind of a personal statement does your product make for the customer? Brands with a great identity generally score higher in this context. Examples include brands like Rolls Royce and Rolex.
Loyalty and trust are closely related to one another. Your customers would not buy your product repeatedly or, more importantly, recommend it to a friend without trusting your brand. Trust forms the basis of any long-term relationship with your customers. Any loss of trust would immediately lead to losses of current revenues and future growth.
Gauging customer trust is a simple matter of asking them both direct and indirect questions, such as:
"Would you recommend our brand to a friend or colleague?"
"How would you rate our brand's tendency to perform well?"
How are you setting up expectations? How are you meeting those expectations? Once the expectations are met, what are you doing to exceed them? Customer satisfaction is simply setting up expectations and exceeding them, delighting your customers in the process. The more satisfied your customers are, the more loyal they will be to your brand.
Some potential questions to measure your customers' satisfaction include:
"How would you rate your customer service experience?"
"How would you rate our product's ease of use?"
"How well have we met your expectations?"
Although it is not the only metric used to measure brand loyalty anymore, tracking repeated purchases still signals how committed your customers are to your products. If a customer repeatedly makes purchases from your brand, she is considered a loyal customer. Measuring repeated purchase can be as simple as asking a question similar to the following:
"How often have you purchased our product over the last year?"
Using these five key metrics will give you a clearer perspective on your customer loyalty and a better sense of which areas of your brand need work. With the help of Zoho Survey measuring consumer responses in a quantifiable way, you will be able to not only track your current customers' commitment to your products, but also strengthen your brand's ability to reach and keep new customers.
How can Zoho Survey help?
Improving brand loyalty involves a lot of data that needs to be simplified, surveys that are branded (or in some cases unbranded), and being responsive to customer needs. Zoho Survey helps you achieve all that and more with its diverse set of features.
- Custom reporting - Real-time reports that can be understood with just a glance. They can also be customized to give you data that you prefer in all its easy-to-digest form.
- Branding - Brand your surveys with your logos and colors. Make your customers feel right at home by hosting the survey in your own domain.
- Zoho CRM integration - Every response will be updated to your Zoho CRM system, enabling your sales personnel to set expectations better, know your most loyal customers, and sell better.