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What REALLY Builds Brand Loyalty? Surprise…

What really builds brand loyalty?

Surprise… it’s not what you might think.

Many social media experts, marketers and businesses have been led to believe that loyal followers turn into loyal customers.


“Engagement” — interacting as much as possible with (customers) and building relationships doesn’t hold on to customers.

Are you kidding me?! Nope.

So what really builds brand loyalty?

What really builds brand loyalty?

Surprise…your shared values turn followers into ongoing customers.

What is a shared value?

The Harvard Business Review says that “A shared value is a belief that both the brand and consumer have about a brand’s higher purpose or broad philosophy”

Can you give me some examples of shared values?

•   Patagonia, outdoor clothing and gear retailer, has a commitment to the environment and social responsibility.

•   Pedigree Dog Food’s shared value is a belief that every dog deserves a loving home.

•   Harley Davidson’s goal is “to fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling.”

How do I figure out what my company stands for?

Here’s how to identify what’s at the core of your business:

Ask yourself, “What do I/we believe in?” and “What makes my/our products, services and business standout?”

Where should I promote my company values?

Your website is a great place to communicate values.

•   Virgin Airlines has an entire page outlining their cultures and values. Including this one, “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do.”

Tag-lines can also include your values.

•   A few years ago, I did some work for former supermodel turned entrepreneur Kathy Ireland. She and her team made sure that I was aware of the company values defined in the tagline, “…finding solutions for families, especially busy Moms.

Customers of the Kathy Ireland brand are very loyal. According to Forbes magazine, in 2011 “her company sold an astounding $2 billion worth of licensed products at retail.”

Your values can be also listed in your mission statement, on-line profiles and business cards. The sky is the limit.

It’s your turn…

Please share your business values, comments or questions below.

Hi, I’m Kelly McCormick, a Business Growth and Marketing Strategist. I help entrepreneurs & companies to identify opportunities for growth. Plus, I develop targeted branding, marketing & sales strategies. I can help you too!

4 Responses to “What REALLY Builds Brand Loyalty? Surprise…”

  1. I launched my product/brand in April and have been refining ever since. The product is not nearly as important at the message standing behind it. Our “tagline” which is still in development is Reclaiming Family Weekends. I’m not sure how to improve it, but I believe in it 100%! Families need to reconnect, and they don’t need expensive trips to do that. Thanks for your encouragement.

  2. Hi Kelly! You are so very right — shared values do indeed build brand loyalty — and I love that you wrote about that because this part of the puzzle often gets ignored in articles giving social media and business advice. It’s essential to have a strong personal brand that includes your values. Not everyone will have the same values as you (and I would caution against including known hot-button topics like religion and politics in your personal brand unless it somehow directly relates to your product or service) but that’s why it’s crucial to state what your values are — what makes you or your company different from all the others: those who DO connect with your values will develop passion for you and your brand. And this passion will last beyond one or two retweets. For instance, my company, KOTAW Content Marketing, values branding Pit Bulls as the sweet and lovable dogs they they are as much as we value branding companies and people. Pit Bull lovers, and all-around dog lovers, connect with these values and send me pictures of Pit Bulls and stories about Pit Bulls (as well as ask about my Pit Bull — and KOTAW’s Brand Ambassador! — Ivy) on a regular basis. It make my day when a client says they chose to work with KOTAW because of Ivy. And client values are important to me as well when I decide whether or not to take on a client. A client who is donating portions of proceeds to animal causes? That’s someone I want to work with. So it goes both ways. Thank you for a much-needed blog stating what shouldn’t be a surprise, but IS because for some reason not a lot of people are writing about it! Thank you for writing about values and standing out!

    • Hi Katherine,

      I’m so glad that you liked the article, and thanks for letting me know.

      Thanks also for sharing your real life example of how shared values are connecting clients to you.

      Fyi, in my next article I am discussing how the law of attraction works with marketing. The theme continues!

      Regards – Kelly

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