Loyal customers can be a godsend for a business. They are the ones who make the biggest purchases and are sure to return and generate more business for the company.
Brands who take a strategic approach to maintaining and increasing brand loyalty are winning in 2023. And as the retail game is getting more fierce amid inflation and economic uncertainty, brands need to adapt to the changing landscape and adopt better strategies to keep their customers loyal.
We explore the latest trends this year that will help you improve your brand loyalty and make the difference between thriving and surviving.
Real-time data offers personalised experiences
Personalisation is not a new trend in the industry. Businesses have been mastering the art of personalisation in recent years, but in 2023, they’re taking a new and upgraded approach with real-time data feeding into it.
The key to personalisation is being relevant with your consumers. In 2023, the game has changed. Alongside making customers feel special and understood by providing them with the goods they want, offering connected experiences is a must. In a recent global survey of 5,000 consumers by Salesforce company Mulesoft, 60% of respondents say that they expect companies to respond straight away with the most recent information when transferring across departments.
To do that, businesses must leverage real-time data. It offers a pathway to gaining rich and actionable insights that can help them deliver personalised and connected customer experiences.
“Companies that want to increase customer loyalty must leverage real-time, intelligent, and automated technology solutions that support seamless connected experiences and personalised journeys,” said MuleSoft global field chief technology officer Matt McLarty.
Data privacy and security
According to the same survey, 76% of consumers believe that companies that provide data security will bolster their loyalty.
Forbes Magazine describes data as “the most valuable non-human asset a company possesses”. As both companies and customers are realising the value of data, the efforts to protect it are also growing. In fact, the Battery 2022 Cloud Software Spending Survey shows that 62% of respondents expect their security budget to increase by up to 10% in 2023.
The legislative force in the digital and data space is accelerating is also accelerating this year, meaning that privacy and security regulations are getting stricter. As such, businesses should establish rigorous privacy and security standards adhering to their governing body. This will provide customers with the control over data they’re seeking, thus increasing their trust and brand loyalty.
The value of transparency and authenticity
While elevated language and the habit of sugar-coating information to sell might have been an accepted practice in the past; today, customers are valuing a different approach – transparency and authenticity in brands.
From visible and accessible customer reviews of all sorts, to multiple ways to contact your support team, to detailed information about your products and supply chain, there are many ways you can show up as a transparent brand.
The more transparent businesses are about their data, the more trust they can build in their customers, resulting in their willingness to share more data that fuels greater brand insights and improvements.
The face of your company
Taking a holistic approach to your branding is what will differentiate you from your competitors in 2023 and secure your loyal clients. Consumers are loyal to your brand as a whole, and the way you convey it is critical.
What contributes to your brand’s personality is its visual appearance, your tone of voice, and your employees – the face of your brand.
Acing your branding is easy, and there are a number of digital tools to help you pick your colour palette and typeface. Once you’ve established your key customer base, you can easily determine how you want to speak to your customers and position yourself on your social media through the words you use. But what about your employees?
Businesses often undermine the importance of their employees and their power to elevate a brand’s image and loyalty. If you have a physical store, pay close attention to your employees’ dress code – this is the first thing customers will see.
For most businesses, black is a standard colour that looks professional and when paired with mid-heel sandals for women or men’s smart shoes, will boost your brand’s image. Research shows that people were almost twice as likely to approach a formally dressed employee than a casually dressed one. The reason is that they viewed formally dressed employees as having more expertise than those who were informally dressed.
Nevertheless, that’s not a constant across businesses, as some might prefer to dress their employees in a uniform with their branding and logo, while others might opt for a more vibrant and diverse attire, especially those in the creative industries. Before deciding on your company’s dress code, consider carefully how exactly you want to position your brand.
Mapping a seamless customer journey
As 52% of the respondents in the Mulesoft survey are expecting better experiences from their favourite brands, companies need to put a strong emphasis on improving the customer journey.
From the search intent to the checkout process, consumers are now demanding a seamless experience. What this means for businesses is that they need to discover new touch points and solutions to create a seamless customer journey map, focusing on personalised ads, improved UX design, rich product media, optimised content, and a painless checkout process.
2023 presents businesses with many opportunities to increase their brand loyalty. By chiming in on the latest trends, they can position their brand as trustworthy, therefore gaining customer recognition and loyalty and increasing their revenue and retention.