Does it ever happen that a customer, channel partner, or influencer becomes emotionally engaged with a brand and keeps doing business with it despite getting better offers and prices from competitors? Yes, it happens. It’s known as emotional loyalty.
Brands that manage to touch the hearts of their stakeholders and stir positive emotions are more likely to generate higher sales, enjoy better customer satisfaction, and record more revenues and profits than their competitors.
Here are some studies and stats to drive home the point. A research report released by Capgemini titled ‘Loyalty Deciphered—How Emotions Drive Genuine Engagement,’ revealed seven out of every ten customers with high emotional engagement spend two times more on the brands. The same report said that eight out of every ten customers with high emotional engagement would always buy from the brand they are loyal to when making purchasing decisions.
A Motista report found that customers who are emotionally engaged with a brand have over 300 percent higher lifetime value. Another study found that emotional engagement with customers could enhance a brand’s average annual revenue by five percent.
In this blog post, we discuss the components of emotional loyalty and how brands can leverage their loyalty programs to touch the various components of emotional loyalty. Read on to know more.
Components of Emotional Loyalty
Emotional loyalty has five key components, using which brands can design their loyalty programs and rewards to forge deep emotional connections with their customers, channel partners, and influencers.
Honesty, integrity, and trust are the key drivers of emotional loyalty. Winning customers’ trust is the Holy Grail of emotional loyalty. If a brand is honest, consistent, and transparent with its values, the way it operates, and the way it provides loyalty rewards, then it can win its customers’ trust.
When it comes to loyalty programs, simple, trustworthy, and uncomplicated loyalty initiatives appeal to a wide number of people. Brands that leverage cutting-edge technology and sophisticated software to build transparent loyalty programs are better poised to win the trust of their key stakeholders.
Here are some ways brands can win their customers’ trust using loyalty programs:
- Have a mechanism where they can see how loyalty points are rewarded
- Create a mechanism to stop loyalty program fraud
- Ensure data security and confidentiality
- Respond to complaints and messages on time
- Tailor email communication
- Create charity campaigns where members can donate their loyalty points to various causes
The sense of belongingness is extremely primordial in humans, who have an innate desire to belong. You can provide your customers with a deep sense of belonging with your brand by aligning your mission statement with their values and beliefs and making them actively engaged with your brand.
Belongingness creates a strong connection with customers, which motivates them to walk the extra mile to support the brands with which they have a strong affinity. When brands design their loyalty programs to enhance the sense of belongingness with their customers, they transform them into brand evangelists.
Here are some ways brands can leverage loyalty programs to create a sense of belongingness with their customers:
- Create a close-knit community for customers, channel partners, and influencers
- Organize various community events and invite the members
- Create special or exclusive clubs for community members
- Solicit feedback after every interaction
Brands that make customers feel unique and special build a strong emotional bond with them. Make genuine efforts to know your customers and create tailored loyalty rewards to show them that you care about them.
The Capgemini study stated that millennial customers care more about recognition among all customer groups. Being the most significant and valuable customer group in the world, the purchasing power of millennials far outnumbers any other customer group.
Here are some ways brands can use loyalty programs to show their customers that they care about them:
- Reward customers on special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries
- Encourage customers to complete their profiles and reward them when they do that
- Give personalized and meaningful rewards to your customers
- Gamify surveys and provide bonuses when you or any stakeholder achieve a milestone
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Gratitude is one of the strongest human emotions. When brands express gratitude to their customers, they can make them more welcoming, change their brand perception, and strengthen relationships with them.
When customers, channel partners, and influencers associate with brands for the first time, brands can use the opportunity to thank them. Brands should also thank their stakeholders when they achieve a milestone.
Here are some ways brands can use loyalty programs to express gratitude to their customers:
- Send beautifully crafted heartfelt thank you messages either on the loyalty app or social media
- Send loyalty points along with messages for subsequent purchases
- Organize giveaways such as gift cards, free products, and coupons
- Allow stakeholders to choose the rewards they value the most
5. Emotional engagement
Emotional engagement is more about building a lasting connection. Brands that create a sense of attachment manage to engage with their customers more frequently and the customers are less likely to leave. The Capgemini study also found that 81 percent of emotionally engaged customers like to give back to a brand as much as they like to receive rewards from it.
Brands that engage with customers and other stakeholders in a personal and contextually-relevant manner create high emotional engagement. Brands that support various charitable causes also create high emotional engagement among their members.
Here are some ways brands can use loyalty programs to create an emotional attachment with their customers:
- Create tiered membership programs
- Reward members with experiential rewards and special treatment
- Gamify your rewards by leveraging a sophisticated loyalty platform
- Support various charities and encourage members to participate by contributing their loyalty points to the causes
In the end
Customers, channel partners, and influencers don’t just continue doing business with their favorite brands because of loyalty incentives and rewards, but mainly due to strong emotional connections. Emotions play a critical role in brand loyalty.
At LoyaltyXpert, we help brands leverage emotions to build effective customer loyalty programs, brand loyalty programs, channel loyalty programs, and influencer loyalty programs. If you are looking to build deeper emotional bonds with your stakeholders, get a Personalized Demo today.