Today’s consumers have more options for where to shop and what to buy than ever before. Creating customer loyalty is increasingly challenging. If you want to build repeat business you’ll need to find a way for customers to relate to your brand.
Recently I asked my 10 year old son where he wanted to go for lunch. He responded “Subway” (sandwiches). I was surprised by this answer. I was expecting McDonald’s or some other fast food place with toys in kid’s meals. The he said “Dad, I’m a Subway kid now.” My son feels he’s grown out of happy meals and mini burgers and wants a bigger sandwich. Even at a young age, he relates to the Subway restaurants brand.
After this conversation I began to think more about the brands I “relate” to. Several months ago I purchased camping gear at REI. At the time I also purchased their lifetime membership. As a member I get rewarded so I look to REI first for outdoor recreational products; ever since I’ve considered myself an “REI guy.” I’ve found that I relate to that store’s brand. Consequently, REI is my favorite places to get camping gear. Another example is a local barbeque restaurant called Q4U. If someone recommends we go out for BBQ I immediately suggest going to Q4U. Q4U is branding their restaurant as the place I go for good BBQ.
The immergence and success of social networking sites proves people want to feel like they belong to some sort of group, community or cause. Why not make your business something customers feel they belong to. It’s like owning a Harley Davidson motorcycle. It’s about more than the product; it’s about belonging to the community.
What do you offer your customers? If you only think of the product or service you sell, you risk making a one-time sale and nothing more. Today’s business owners need to create a brand their customers can relate to and connect with. Make your customers a part of your business. They will stay loyal longer and will bring additional customers to your business.