We live in a time when brands are a dime-a-dozen. Everyone seems to be coming up with their own brands, especially because the internet has made it so much easier and democratized being an entrepreneur.
If you want your brand to succeed in a sea of competition, then you need to create brand loyalty. The key to creating brand loyalty is building a community and seeing your consumers are valuable, instead of a way to make a profit—and they need to see it for themselves.
Here are some helpful tips for establishing an online community that will care about not just your products, but also your brand’s entire vision:
Update your market research
If you haven’t done your market research and analysis in a few years, now is the time to update it. Here’s the thing that business owners need to understand in light of current events: Consumers change as the world changes. Your 2019 target audience is different from the one you have now, even if they are the same age and stage in life. Here are some tips you need to know as you conduct your market research:
- How did the landscape change post-COVID-19? Where are your competitors now, what are they doing, and are they succeeding at it?
- How did your target audience’s priorities and values change since the pandemic? Is sustainability more important to them now? How about their purchasing habits and what they’re willing to spend money for?
- Partner with a reliable digital marketing company to understand how these changes affected your customers’ willingness to buy, and what strategies you can employ to speak to your audience in a way that will get them to respond to a call to action.
Move to a messaging app
Your market research should also include which social media platforms and messaging apps your target audience spends the most time in. Once you determine which one it is, move the entire community there. Create a group chat where your community can gain access to the latest information and announcements from your brand. If you have an influencer or brand ambassador working with your company, have them drop by the group chat from time to time as well. It’s a great way to stay connected and to make them feel like they’re truly part of building the brand.
Provide your community with special perks
Once you’ve created the group chat, make sure that there are special perks for the people who choose to be part of it. Here are some ideas of perks you can include:
- Give them first previews of upcoming products or services. If there is always excitement around your brand and the products you come up with, your community will appreciate having a first look at them before the whole world does.
- Provide them with discount codes and links. It doesn’t have to be a huge discount; just enough for them to feel like joining the group chat was worth it. Another special perk can be free shipping.
- You can also ask for suggestions for your next product—like the name, or other features and characteristics of the item.
Give the brand a human face
If you have never had a brand ambassador, now is the time to do so. Choose someone who has no scandals to their name, someone who cares about your brand’s advocacy, and who truly uses your products and services. They need to have a good reputation because they will always be connected with your brand no matter what.
Bolster your corporate social responsibility
To create a loyal community, your brand needs to stand for something more than just making money. You need to bolster your brand’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) so that your consumers feel like their money is going to do something worthwhile. Here are some ways you can do this:
- Reevaluate how your products and services are impacting the environment, and pledge to utilize recyclable, reusable, and biodegradable materials wherever you can.
- Overhaul your systems and put policies in place to ensure that every member of your team feels valued, heard, and cared for.
- Partner with a non-profit organization or create one on your own and let a percentage of your sales go to a worthwhile cause.
Strengthening your CSR is one of the best ways to build an online community because more people will be encouraged to want to be part of it.
Follow these steps to ultimately create loyalty for your brand and foster genuine connections with your customers. They’re not just an audience; they can be one with you in your vision, too.