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August 9, 2022

Why Building Brand Loyalty Will Hinge on Experiences

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These days, brand managers need to have a crystal ball — trying to predict the future and choose a course for building brand loyalty is almost Herculean. Customer loyalty has become increasingly difficult to achieve in today’s overcrowded digital world; however, with the right approach and strategy, there’s still an excellent opportunity to engage customers and build loyalty.

That means it’s time to move beyond digital and take a new approach to your brand loyalty strategies: field marketing.

In this blog, we’ll dive into why experiences are the new backbone of any brand marketing strategy and encourage loyalty in ways that last. 

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What is Brand Loyalty, and Why Does Building Brand Loyalty Matter?

Brand loyalty is a customer’s positive feeling towards a business or brand and how likely they are to purchase from them repeatedly. 

Building brand loyalty is a vital piece of sustained brand growth and revenue. As a business, you want to go deeper than a one-time purchase. Earning your customers' loyalty creates sustained revenue growth since you can always count on them to come back for more of what you offer. 

You can measure brand loyalty through a net promoter score (NPS) and your brand conversion rate, aka the change in brand perception after an experience, is the NPS score before customers attend and after. 

A good product is half the battle to build brand loyalty; you want to encourage an emotional connection with your business. Experiences can create that emotional bond and improve your customer’s lifetime value anywhere from 20% to 50% after attending one of your experiences. 

Experiences can improve customer LTV between 20% to 50% on average.

Create a Unique Customer Experience for Building Brand Loyalty

As digital marketing becomes more oversaturated with content, honing in on what makes your brand different and distilling it into field marketing puts you a cut above the rest. When you create something unique and personalized, your customers walk away with a memory that lasts throughout their interactions with your brand. 

One of the many brand loyalty examples includes craft and hobby giant, Michaels

During the early days of the pandemic, Michaels was exploring ways to expand their community and create memories in the face of the quarantine. Working alongside their leadership, they stood up a robust online classes program. They initially opted to make all these classes free and, nearly out of the gate, brought in hundreds of thousands of new consumers to experience their brand.

Why? Why would something as simple as free classes drive so much value?

For one, Michaels understood that their business revolves around customers and their hobbies. So, by offering to teach the hobby, they earn the goodwill of new hobbyists and create incentives to buy. 

The pandemic, also, was a lonely time. So people will crave an experience that’s community-oriented and straight to their home. And just because the classes were free didn’t mean they lost out on sales. 

In fact, they boosted their revenue by 30% both in-store and virtually when class attendees booked through their platform. Even post-pandemic, those new buyers had such a positive experience that they became brand loyalists. 

Use Field Marketing for Brand Loyalty Strategies

Field marketing doesn’t just bring in new users. Many experiential marketers have found that it improves brand loyalty! In fact, 58% of marketers who currently leverage experiential marketing call it an effective strategy.

When planning your brand loyalty strategy, two metrics you need to consider are your brand conversion rate and your customer lifetime value. Brand loyalty hinges on improving both, boosting the value of your consumer dollars and raising the likelihood of first-time buyers returning again and again. 

Let’s dive into more brand loyalty examples!  Do you know Diageo? If you’re into alcohol, it’s probably one of the companies that carry your favorite brand. This boozy giant created a personalized tasting experience for all their offerings at their brand home.

Using a booking and analytics tool, they optimized their brand loyalty strategy. Using their brand conversion rate KPI, Diageo learned that their Johnnie Walker Princes Street experience increased their NPS by 16 points, meaning their tasting improved their attendees' impression of their offerings. 

“It is incredible to see the smiles and looks of amazement on our guests’ faces, but we could not measure that. With AnyRoad, we can measure NPS, Brand Conversion, and more, providing solid data that shows the positive impact the JWPS experience has on our guests. Then, we can follow up with them to create a lifelong relationship with our brand.”

Rob Maxwell, Head of Johnnie Walker Princes Street, Diageo

Johnnie Walker Head on measuring experiences.

Leverage IRL Data to Connect with Customers and Grow Loyalty

Traditional digital brand loyalty, unfortunately, has a siloed data experience. And with the ongoing death of cookies (may they crumble in peace), the way loyalty managers think about collecting data needs to evolve. 

That’s where IRL Data comes into the picture. Demographics are only one piece of the puzzle, and focusing only on location, gender, and more basic demo questions creates a one-dimensional view of who your customers are. Experiences are vital to building brand loyalty and fleshing out your data to a more three-dimensional picture

That means collecting their opinions of your brand, buyer behavior, and more. Real-life experiences offer value in exchange for data, meaning you can get more personal with it. Offering surveys before and after can illustrate how likely your attendees are to buy, what their value is/how your events influence their value over years, not just days or months. 

https://youtu.be/3kqZH_FfD-w

Stan Sthanunathan, Former Executive VP – CMI at Unilever, has a hot take on brand loyalty.

Direct feedback questions can also flesh out how to improve your brand, test new products, and understand what your customers want from you directly rather than guessing or using an AI algorithm based on vague data. 

Leverage IRL Data to Connect with Customers and Grow Loyalty

Increasing customer loyalty may feel daunting amid an ever-crowded digital world. Still, as you’ve seen, it is possible with a well-thought strategy that captures customers’ attention and gives them exactly what they want. Successfully building brand loyalty means moving into real-life experiences and having proper data analysis to measure the result. 

Want more on building better brand loyalty? Stan Sthanunathan, Former Executive VP - CMI at Unilever, and Daniel Yaffe, COO & Co-founder at AnyRoad talk about how brands can actually create lasting memories instead of simple moments through their experiential programs.

https://youtu.be/QzJBGvTb0q8

Step 1: Evaluate Your Scheduling Software Needs

Before researching online booking systems, evaluating your business needs is essential. After all, you don’t want to overspend on bells and whistles when you only need an online form. For newer events looking to scale, a more sophisticated system might be the goal but not the starting point.

Consider the type and size of your business, the nature of your services, and the volume of transactions you handle. For instance, if you run tours and tastings, you should look at solutions meant for high-volume enterprises that can include add-on shirts, beer steins, and more.

Scheduling Software Flowchart

We made a helpful flowchart to help you decide if you’re ready to invest fully in online bookings or look into a free scheduling app, like Google Forms, as a better starting point.

As someone trying to make smart investment decisions, you don’t want to buy a booking and ticketing solution that doesn’t meet your needs. Use our guided questions to determine where you are in your investment journey.

Booking System flowchart
Use the flow to gauge where you are on your journey!

2. Compare Booking Page Features and Pricing

Booking Page Features

Once you have a clear idea of your business needs, you can compare online booking systems that meet your criteria. Have a list of your most essential needs and what would be nice for you to have. Some features you should consider including on your list include:

  • Website integration
  • Branded booking page
  • Configurability to match your brand
  • Payment processing and add-on sales
  • Automated reminders
  • Automatic data analysis
  • Feedback collection and analysis
  1. Website integration
  2. Branded booking page
  3. Configurability to match your brand
  4. Payment processing and add-on sales
  5. Automated reminders
  6. Automatic data analysis
  7. Feedback collection and analysis

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