Since the beginning of commerce, brands have been searching for ways to turn buyers into loyal customers. And while loyalty programs have improved greatly since the days of punch cards and stamp books, consumers are no longer limited to the choices available at their corner market. With nearly unlimited options available at the click of a button, competition for loyalty is fierce.
The digital age calls for a new kind of loyalty — one that goes beyond reward points and loyalty apps. Building genuine, lasting relationships requires a deeper connection between brands and customers: an advanced state of loyalty called emotional loyalty.
What is “emotional loyalty”?
Genuine loyalty is far more than just a marketing tactic, like a points program or rewards card. It’s an outcome — a goal that can only be achieved by truly knowing your customers and carefully nurturing the relationship at every opportunity.
Emotional loyalty is made up of three components: affinity, attachment, and trust:
- Affinity occurs when a customer likes the brand, but may not be loyal.
- Attachment is when a customer has some type of connection to the brand, whether or not they actually like it or are loyal.
- Trust can only happen when a customer believes in the brand and knows they will be treated with respect and authenticity.
You can achieve some degree of connection with only one or more of these elements, but it’s only when all three are present that true emotional loyalty is achieved. We’ll talk about each of these concepts in more detail over the next few weeks — so stay tuned!
Why does emotional loyalty matter?
While achieving emotional loyalty takes some effort, the rewards are significant. These include:
- High customer retention — making each successive sale easier
- Cross-sales — increasing revenue for less cost
- Brand advocacy — so your customers are marketing for you!
OK… so how can I achieve emotional loyalty?
Building true emotional loyalty requires a complex, dynamic mix of activities and interactions between your brand and customers — each designed to drive engagement at every touchpoint.
In our new ebook, A New Kind of Loyalty, we explore the idea of emotional loyalty in more detail, and provide actionable guidelines to start building deeper, more genuine relationships with your customers. We also share a real-life example — and impressive results — from a brand that’s taken their loyalty program to a whole new level.
Genuine loyalty is far more than just a marketing tactic, like a points program or rewards card. It’s an outcome.
We’re excited to share the concept of emotional loyalty, and this is just the beginning of our content on the topic. There’s lots more ground to cover on this exciting idea, and we hope you’ll check back for fresh content on a regular basis!
And since you probably haven’t seen me here before, I also wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. I’m the new Director of Content Marketing at Cheetah Digital, and this is the first new content asset we’ve introduced since I arrived. I’m thrilled to see it come to life, and I’m looking forward to bringing you plenty more useful, interesting content in the months and years to come.
Jen Ribble is the Director of Content Marketing at Cheetah Digital. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, including nearly 10 years in the marketing technology industry, she is passionate about the art of storytelling and the science of creating high-quality, data-driven content.