In an age when consumers can buy almost anything from anywhere in the world with just the click of a button online, brand loyalty can seem like something from the past. It’s more difficult than ever for brick-and-mortar retailers to get customers through their doors – and even harder to keep them engaged and coming back. But as always, some brands are getting it right and leading the way for the rest of us to follow.
We asked a handful of our Sandbox retail experts the following question: Which brand has your loyalty, and why?
Here’s what they had to say:
Ryan McNeil, Director, Engagement Planning
Loyalty extends far beyond the practice of maintaining a “loyalty program” and simply rewarding customers for their loyalty. It truly relies on the end-to-end experience with that brand. If I am rewarded for my loyalty AND that appreciation resonates in every interaction, I will seek every opportunity to engage with that brand. One that comes to mind is Delta Airlines. I’ve been fortunate to have the need to travel to cities for business and pleasure where Delta offers heavy service. Thus, I’ve been able to accumulate some level of status with the airline. However, I’ve found that even without that evidence of my loyalty (points and status), my interactions with Delta are consistent and extremely pleasant (considering the state of air travel at this time…).
Chris Brulatour, Director, Strategic Planning
A company can certainly win my business and even retain me as a customer through well-designed promotional offers, database “loyalty” programs and, of course, strong quality / price value. You know, the science of marketing. But, I’m only really loyal to brands to which I feel a connection. And that’s all about the art of branding. It revolves around a consistently exceptional experience that makes me feel the brand not only gets me, but “gets it”. That is to say, brands that stand out because they stand for something unique and purposeful and, more importantly, because they actually live their ethos whenever I interact with them. For this reason, Apple has won me over. So have Southwest Airlines, Ping, and MINI.
Matt Stacks, Copywriter
I am loyal to Lululemon. The product is more expensive than other activewear brands, but I’ve had nothing but positive interactions in store. They are attentive but not overbearing and provide excellent customer service. A few pairs of shorts from them were unraveling at a seam. I took them in and kindly asked if they could do anything for me, and they were able to provide a new product in an exchange. Bottom Line: Most consumers will happily to pay more – and stay loyal — for a superior experience.