Retail Observer

February 2020

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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Page 43 of 67

RETAILOBSERVER.COM FEBRUARY 2020 44 C onsumers today are increasingly demanding that our brands work with heart to create meaningful differentiation and authentic engagement. The brands that make the effort to know the intimate wants and needs of the customers and speak to them with connected emotional values are able to create an enduring level of brand loyalty that will yield rich dividends. For 20 years Brand Keys has tracked brands "that engage customers, engender loyalty and drive real profits" through their Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index (CLEI). If you want to engage your customers like the leading brands in the index, you'll need to know what makes your brand unique and how your brand connects to your customers. It will make a world of difference in your marketing and in your company's bottom line. Here are five keys to making your brand work for you: • Begin and End with Purpose — Brand purpose sits at the center of your company. The unavoidable truth is that you cannot win brand loyalty unless you have a clearly articulated purpose that offers a clear promise to your customers that you're consistently communicating through all of your brand touchpoints. The purpose of your brand is to answer the most critical questions facing your organization: • Why do you exist? • What reason for being do you have beyond making money? The most important step in building brand loyalty is to understand that you aren't just in the business of selling products, but of delivering something of value to your customers and their world. Customers want to know your "why." Knowing the answer can make the difference between a one-off purchase and long-term loyalty. • Love Thy Customer — One of the most important things you can help your customers understand is that they are truly valued. If they believe you aren't just seeing them as a transaction but as part of your brand family, they'll commit to purchasing more of your goods and services and they'll share the news with their friends and family. They'll become advocates and ambassadors of your brand within their circle of influence. And if you listen to them, they'll provide priceless cost-free feedback on your products or services. They'll spread word-of-mouth news of your brand on social media and, much more important, face to face. Keep in mind that only 7% of social connection happens online, and face-to-face recommendations are ten times more powerful than Facebook shares. • Engage Them with Your "Best Thing" — Your brand can never be all things to all people, of course. So stop trying to reach and please everybody. Instead, know the single thing your brand is best at, and do it with excellence and a dedicated sense of service. Paul Roth, AT&T President of Retail Sales and Service, says, "We know that if we greet you within ten feet and ten seconds, your overall perception of AT&T is better – you're more likely to say that we have friendly people." This intentional greeting has several key components: a warm handshake, a smile, eye contact, offering a name, asking for the customer's name and inquiring about the nature of their visit. Why does this matter? Engaged consumers buy 90% more often, spend 60% more per transaction, and are five times more likely to indicate that yours is the only brand they'll purchase in the future. All of these factors add up to engaged customers who'll deliver three times the value to your brand over the course of a year. • Make a Promise and Deliver Your Brand Promise is what you promise to deliver to your customers. The best brands deliver on their brand promise with every customer interaction. A consistently delivered brand promise builds customer expectations. Customers will trust and expect that your brand will deliver on their expectations and your promise in every interaction. A fully engaged customer (those with a strong attachment to the brand, or to your brand ambassadors) will deliver a 23% premium over the average customer in share of wallet, profitability and revenue. Your customers will remain with you only as long as they trust that your brand will make good on its promise. If a brand fails to deliver on its promise, the customers will begin to lose faith, and it'll be ten times harder and more expensive to regain the customer once they're lost than to win them in the first place. For the past 25 years, Steve has served as an advisor and consultant on brand strategy, organizational life, and humanized marketing strategy. He has worked with companies such as Samsung, Habitat for Humanity, New Balance, Sony, LG, Amazon, NFL and MLB franchises and is a regular speaker for TEDx, Creative Mornings, CES, HOW Conference, Social Venture Network, American Marketing Association, and AIGA conferences. Steve has published two books, Brand Love and Loyalty and Humanizing the Customer Journey, as well as a forthcoming book, The Evolved Brand: How to Impact the World Through the Power of Your Brand. He has been featured in Business Week, Brand Week, Ad Age, Conscious Company Magazine, MarketingProfs, and HOW magazine. Steve leads his own brand and business strategic consultancy, Mth Degree. Contact:, 619-234-1211 or RO Steven Morris On Brand BUILDING BRAND LOYALTY

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