Increased mobile presence is one of the most important shifts in the brand loyalty market right now, other than millennials, which we’ll talk about later! In fact, 65% of Americans want to engage with their loyalty programs through their mobile device (2014 Loyalty Report).
As people interact with brands more intimately, we are seeing a hunger for personalization—a step away from mass production and a movement towards agency and relevancy. This desire for engagement supports the 4-Drive Model of human motivation approach to brand loyalty, with regards to the drives to create and to bond—both of which in turn foster a deeper emotional connection between consumer and brand.
Innovative Brand Personalization
An interesting example of a company doing personalization in a fun new way is the retail chain Uniqlo that has created a mobile app for users to design and create their own t-shirts. What’s new about this? Well, the UTme! app lets users draw or upload photos and apply unique effects to them by shaking their phone, which is then printed on the t-shirt of their choosing. To add an interesting social aspect to this process, there is even a site that hosts the most recent and popular designs that have been created. Though this service is currently only available in Japan, you can see this customer experience blends the important concepts of mobile usability and social strategy, which are of huge significance to brand loyalty.
Personalization is a great way to create agency for a consumer—to use their own creative assets and input to make something that truly belongs to them. It is also a mark of great brands to see their audience interacting with their offerings: posting product pics on Instagram, acting as a brand advocate in the social sphere, or reaching out to a company on what they like about you, or maybe more importantly what they didn’t like. Either way, by placing the power to create and help build up your brand in the hands of your customers, is a great way to build brand loyalty.
Why is Personalization Key to Brand Loyalty?
- Giving your customers agency to creatively interact with your brand will allow them to form a greater emotional bond with you.
- Engaged customers are repeat customers and this will build up trust and respect between both parties—the very stuff of brand loyalty.
- Communities are founded when members are allowed to offer up their own creative insights and critiques surrounding a brand.
- Advocacy – giving customers a chance to interact with the brand and enjoy softer benefits beyond just coupons or points helps drive WOM and advocacy for you brand.
The one size fits all approach isn’t fitting anyone anymore! As consumers put more time into interacting with brands through the use of mobile apps, social media channels and interactive online assets, they want more than just the same old product. They want agency! Agency to effect change and be a part of the create process and have their voices heard. The question is are you listening?