The social media boom has had major impacts to brand loyalty at retail. If anything, brands that have been able to properly leverage this very popular marketing medium have been able to improve brand loyalty.
The Financial Times recently released an article, “Can Your Brand Win With Social Media,” which speaks to social media as being one of the most important global developments in media, marketing and technology today.
Through social media consumers can “like” a brand’s page on a social site like Facebook or Twitter, and scan a QR codes on in-store displays or on signage on the highway to receive discounts on merchandise. Brands can benefit from positive feedback made on their social sites by happy customers which can open them up to their social networks with an endorsement.
While the positives far outweigh the negatives, social media does have its negatives, and brands must address the negatives in order to ensure continued brand loyalty. Just as a consumer can take to a brand’s social media presence, or their own, to share positive experiences, they can also do so to complain about a bad experience. This is very damaging to brand loyalty because not only could the brand lose the customer who had the bad experience but also the brand loyalty of many in their social network. At the JVS Strictly Business event last year the key note speaker was Jordan Banks, Managing Director of Facebook for Canada. One interesting point made at the event was the stat that a consumer is 4 times more likely to buy from a brand that one of their friends or family members “likes”.
Another major challenge for retailers and brands alike is the emerging trend that CNN has tagged as “Showrooming”. This is where a consumer visits a retailer, sees and takes photos of products that they like, and then return home to try to find them online for less.
Social media and smart phones have also changed consumer buying psychology because of the speed at which they can get information or find what they need. If your brand’s products are not available, out of stock or difficult to find, consumers often do not have the patience they used to. They will simply select another similar product offered by a different brand.
The only way that brands can thwart the negative impacts that social media have on brand loyalty is to go above and beyond the call of duty to deliver a customer experience that exceeds their customers’ expectations every time.
For this to happen, a brand must be on top of what happens with their products at the retail level and making an investment in brand loyalty services is a start.
There is no guarantee that every consumer is going to like your product, that is a different issue altogether, but you can take steps to guarantee that the customer receives top notch services and support when they look to purchase your product at retail. Your product must be accessible and available to consumers where they expect to find it and when they need it.
For more information about our brand loyalty services please contact Storesupport at 1 (877) 421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.