March 20, 2014 Alchemist Studios

Brand Loyalty: Truth or Myth

 And what information you basing your decisions on? How companies should engage with their customers to encourage the elusive but valuable attribute of brand loyalty is the subject of long-running debate. But the results of recent research are turning the accepted beliefs upside down and have blown some long-held myths out of the water.

The truth and the fiction

Apparently there are three big myths relating to brand loyalty:
• customers want to build a relationship with the brands they are loyal to
• increasing customer interactions will be beneficial
• brand loyalty is the result of regular engagement.
However, apparently none of these points are true. In reality, customers are not looking to build a relationship with brands and brand loyalty comes about as a result of shared values. In other words, people like companies which they perceive to hold values similar to their own. And this is the driver of people’s desire to be associated with a particular company — not how many emails they receive or Facebook interactions they have.

Make this truth part of your marketing

While it has become apparent that most customers don’t care whether they have a relationship with a company or not, those that do base their loyalty on the fact that they share values, opinions or philosophy with the brand in question. Enhancing this belief among consumers is not, therefore, a simple matter of engaging with as many of them as often as possible. Instead, your marketing communications need to reinforce these shared values — they need to remind people what your company stands for in relation to the bigger picture.

To make this work for you, you first need to identify the core values which run through your company and that your customers can relate to. Companies that do it most successfully tend to have a strong visible stance on issues such as the environment, community, charity, health and well-being, service excellence or approachability. In other words you need to align yourself with a feel-good factor and show that your company is not simply there to make a fast buck.

Once you have established the value message with which your customers will wish to associate themselves, this needs to be communicated both explicitly and implicitly across your whole range of marketing activities. People actually gravitate to becoming members of a team or group and when a company exhibits strongly held beliefs, customers are happy to identify with that company — to become a member of the team.

Your implicit message and your logo

The explicit part of sharing your core values is straightforward enough — simply tell your customers what you stand for. But to keep an implicit reminder running through all your marketing threads can be more of a challenge and nowhere more so than incorporating your value message into your company logo.

It’s easy to dismiss the idea of disseminating a complex brand value through a small and simple graphic device. But by using the psychology of logo design — how to draw together the elements such as shape, colour and choice of font to create a harmonious whole — a deceptively simple graphic can carry a strong message. The colour green can act as a reminder of your environmental credentials, while curved lines and circles imply nurturing and inclusivity. An echo of an earlier logo combined with the use of a serif typeface hints at your company heritage, which in turn may speak of stability and reliability.

Distilling a complex story about your company into a strong, simple graphic is obviously no easy task. It’s one of the reasons why logo design, something which may appear straightforward on the surface, is one of the most taxing challenges faced by graphic designers. In literary terms it’s like trying to convey the content of War and Peace in a Japanese haiku. In other words, this isn’t a project for the inexperienced designer.

However, when it is successfully achieved the result can be extraordinarily powerful. The corporate logo then becomes shorthand for and an instant reminder of all that people value about your company — a visual token that will drive brand loyalty forward.

Share this


Don’t be shy, drop us a message as we would love to hear from you.