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Editor’s note: The information in the post is extracted from our “Loyalty: Up close and personal” report which shows why creating customer loyalty is important. Download your copy below:
Beyond quality and price, social responsibility and shared values are key to maintaining customers’ loyalty.
68% of customers said they are motivated to be loyal if they know a brand shares their values.
Customers expect the same things from brands as they do from friends and family – a sense that the brand understands them and knows what is important to them.
In fact, 71% of 16-24-year-olds say they feel strongly about corporate social responsibility. And, 89% of shoppers would switch to a brand that is associated with a good cause, given similar quality and price. It’s no longer enough that the product ticks the right boxes, the customer also wants to know what role the company plays within society at large. Overwhelmingly, they want it to be a positive one.
Customers want their money to go towards supporting something they believe in. 62% of consumers feel that they would join a loyalty program if they knew the rewards had a positive social impact.
While showing your customers that your values are aligned, it’s also important to build an engaged community. 47% of customers said they are motivated to be loyal by becoming part of a community of like-minded people. When shopping with a brand, sharing values with other like-minded customers is a key part of the experience.
Talk about your position on “big-picture” problems to show your customers you’re aligned. For example, this could be in relation to environmental or humanitarian issues.
There’s a difference between supporting a purpose and actively standing for a cause. It might be easy to pick an issue that seems topical, but customers can spot inauthentic behavior a mile away. They won’t be afraid to ditch you in favor of another brand that puts its money where its mouth is.
Annmarie Skin Care is a great example of a brand that weaves its stand-point into their brand authentically. On the loyalty program, customers are educated about their core values (being non-GMO, cruelty-free and sustainable).
If your products are cruelty-free or vegan, communicate this with new customers. This will show that you share values and that if they shop with you, they are supporting something positive.
Shoppers use social media as a source of inspiration to find brands and communities that they resonate with. Individuals curate their news feeds based on what they want to see and what they’d like to become. By weaving your beliefs into the content you put out on social media, the right people will find you through hashtags and related accounts. Social media is a brilliant place for building like-minded communities.
Use automated emails to thank customers who have left a good review and to let them know they will unlock a reward if they refer a friend to your store. This will motivate them to act as advocates for your brand.
Research shows that customers are four times more likely to make a purchase when referred by a friend. This is because they trust the recommendation as it has come from someone they know with similar interests.
Annmarie Skin Care continues to grow a united customer base by actively encouraging referrals through their loyalty program. By giving customers the incentive to tell others about their brand through loyalty points, they’re building a community who have shared beliefs.
Welcome emails are a great way to communicate your shared values to new customers. Use them to educate new members of your community about social causes you care about or how you do things differently.
Annmarie Skin Care remind their customers about the brand’s purpose by having their key mission statements on their points balance and rewards emails. They also send out emails to promote their organic cotton tote bags and products.
If fair working conditions is a key part of how you operate, spell this out in your welcome email. Perhaps show pictures of your workers or interview them as further proof that welfare is a core value for your business and that these employees are happy working with you.
By communicating how you’re aligned with your customers, you can build strong relationships with micro-influencers who share your values. These customers might then act as ambassadors for your brand, encouraging others in their community to shop with you.
Reward loyal customers with loyalty points for leaving a review of your store. This feedback can help new customers to make up their minds to shop with you faster. In fact, most customers read between one and ten reviews online before making a purchase.
Annmarie Skin Care builds out their community further with a top-tier membership. When a customer subscribes to a product, they receive additional perks including access to their closed Facebook group – a space where people with similar interests share stories and seek wellness advice.
The Facebook group is also a private space to launch exclusive giveaways for members that aren’t available to anyone else. This makes customers who aren’t part of the community want to sign up so they don’t miss out.
Your brand’s position on social causes is a huge factor in determining loyalty. 71% of 16-24-year-olds and 73% of Millenials feel very strongly about corporate social responsibility. They want to know that the brands they give their loyalty to are ones that support causes they feel passionate about.
Use your loyalty program to talk about your key brand values in your welcome newsletters, build relationships with micro-influencers, talk about the things you do to make your business fairer and encourage social sharing to get the word out.
To learn more about creating and maintaining loyalty through social responsibility and personal values, download the full “Loyalty: Up close and personal” report.