Build customer loyalty through brand equity

What emotions do your customers experience when they interact with your company? What impression do you or your employees, internal systems and products leave on your customers and business partners? What is the essence of your business that will stand the test of time?

In my BLASTTM marketing system, I spend a lot of time teaching entrepreneurs the importance of creating both a company and a personal brand to support their business. A brand is created through a multitude of different marketing messages, images and touchpoints and goes far beyond your logo, websites and brochures. It’s about emotions and thoughts. What do customers think of when they hear your company name? What is the lasting impression? For example, what comes to mind when you think of FedEx? How about “If you absolutely have to get it there overnight” and did you think of the big plane they use for their commercials? Or when you’re talking to a customer and need to get something done overnight, you automatically say, “I’ll FedEx you that,” as if FedEx was a verb?

How about Walt Disney? What’s on your mind right now? What is the lasting impression? How about “Happiest place on earth” or the word magic? Disney did everything it could to leave a lasting impression and create a world of fantasy, bliss and imagination, and everything Disney-related supported that impression. When I start singing, “I’m stuck on the band-aid brand because… can you finish the sentence?” Do you sing “Because Band Aid Is On Me”? You probably even remember a story from your childhood when you used Band Aids’ product.

When companies have successfully connected with their customers, and live and breathe every moment in support of that connection, then they create a brand – an emotional element that is connected to your company, its people, its process and all its points in between that make that support Emotional connection. So what are the dots in between? Simply, however your business touches a customer or potential customer. It could be your people and their behavior, your internal systems – technology, billing, phone, website etc. and your external systems – your product, the way the product is delivered, your marketing and customer service. When that connection is made, your customers stay loyal to your brand.

To build value in customer relationships, develop a concrete brand strategy with one word – three simple letters: BID – Brand Promise, Identity and Deliver your Promise.

B – Brand Promise

Your brand promise should be compelling and unique. It needs to make a public statement that your product works the way the customer expects it to, every time. It becomes reliable and creates and resonates emotionally with your target group. It should be short and really present why you are different – “if it absolutely has to get here overnight”

I – identity

Your identity defines who you are and, more importantly, why you are in business. You should focus on strategically defining yourself, not on the functions you perform. Focus on your core values, core differentiators and the markets you serve. Be confident and confident in who you are, and your customers will rely on that identity.

D – Keep your promise

Your promised delivery will make or break your brand. As the old saying goes, “Practice what you preach”. Your promise should permeate your entire culture and everything that touches the customer should support your brand promise and strengthen your brand identity. There are never exceptions and once you make one you lose credibility and trust with your customer.

To build brand equity and customer loyalty, you must have a strong corporate identity that people can identify with and a public commitment or guarantee that people can expect every time they engage your company, including your people, internal and external systems and the actual product or service provided. By mastering BID, you will develop a loyal relationship with your customers, much like the Blindly Proud Grandparents from my last article, Master Strategy: Know Your Customer.