How to Build Brand Loyalty: 15 Proven Strategies to Turn Customers into Advocates

Building true brand loyalty takes more than just great products or services – it requires making an authentic connection with your customers. According to a Sprout Social report 88% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll outline 15 proven tactics and examples to turn more of your one-time buyers into lifelong brand advocates.

What is Brand Loyalty?

Brand loyalty is when customers feel an emotional connection and actively prefer to repeatedly purchase from your business over competitors. It goes beyond customer satisfaction to a deeper trust and affinity for your brand values.

Loyal customers provide a dependable revenue stream and are less likely to leave you for competitors’ promotions or cheaper prices. Plus, they become powerful word-of-mouth marketers for your brand.

A Sprout Social study found 92% of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends above all other forms of marketing Creating brand loyalty must be a core part of your long-term marketing strategy

Why is Brand Loyalty Important?

Here are some key reasons you should make cultivating brand loyalty an urgent priority:

  • Increased sales: Loyal customers spend more over time. A study by Deloitte found loyal customers have a 306% higher lifetime value.

  • Reduced marketing costs: It costs 5-25x more to acquire new customers versus retaining existing ones. Loyalty allows you to spend less on constant new customer acquisition.

  • Higher retention: Loyal customers stick around and are much less likely to churn to competitors.

  • Improved brand reputation: Loyalists act as authentic brand ambassadors, organically spreading positive word-of-mouth both online and offline.

  • Pricing flexibility: You have more flexibility with loyal customers, who care more about the value they receive than getting the absolute lowest price.

Let’s explore exactly how to start building more meaningful connections with your audience.

Tips to Build Brand Loyalty

Here are 15 proven and effective strategies to improve brand loyalty:

1. Provide Best in Class Customer Service

Outstanding 24/7 customer service shows customers you truly care about their experience at every touchpoint. Make it easy to reach your team through channels like phone, email, live chat, messaging apps, and social media.

Empower staff to go above and beyond to help resolve issues. Look at every support interaction as an opportunity to create lasting positive impressions.

2. Offer a Loyalty or Rewards Program

Loyalty programs give customers incentives to proactively engage with your brand. Popular programs include points, tiered benefits, early access to sales, free products, personalized rewards and more.

72% of consumers say loyalty programs make them more likely to continue buying from brands. Make sure to promote your program on your website, email campaigns, packaging, receipts and other touchpoints.

3. Respond Quickly on Social Media

Be highly responsive on all your social media channels. Followers notice when you are attentive and engaged.

Prioritize assisting customers who complain or ask questions online, as social service recoveries seen by others can turn detractors into advocates. Assign team members to monitor social media closely across channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

4. Create Surprise and Delight Moments

Random delightful surprises spark joy and connection with your brand. For example, on special occasions or recovery interactions, include handwritten notes, small gifts, upgrades, discounts or other unexpected gestures.

Zappos empowers call center staff to go above and beyond, like sending flowers to customers who may be having a tough day. Think creatively for how you can surprise and delight your own customers.

5. Spotlight Loyal Customers

Feature loyal brand advocates on your website, email campaigns, social media and other marketing content. The validation from other customers is incredibly powerful.

Interview them on your blog about their experience, repost user-generated content (with permission), and highlight customer success stories. Collect these assets to reuse across channels and really maximize the impact.

6. Host Loyalty-Building Events

In-person events strengthen bonds between brands and customers. Exclusive gatherings make loyalists feel valued as part of a community.

Events can range from small local meetups all the way to massive conferences like Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. Give sneak peeks at new products, offer promotions and make them memorable.

7. Prioritize Mobile App Experiences

An app gives loyal customers quick access to your brand anytime, anywhere. Include capabilities like mobile payments, loyalty programs, exclusive deals, support chat, user accounts and more.

Starbucks has built an incredibly successful loyalty program into its app, resulting in higher purchase frequency. Ensure your app aligns to loyalist preferences and integrates with your other systems.

8. Send Handwritten Notes

A handwritten thank you card or note shows customers you value them as more than just a transaction. Reserve this for your VIP buyers, big milestones, or recovery situations.

The extra effort of handwriting goes a long way. MailChimp even found handwritten envelopes had a 45% higher open rate than typed. Set aside time each week to send a few handwritten notes to surprise and delight loyal patrons.

9. Create a Brand Community

Bring your biggest fans together to connect around shared interests. A forum, Facebook group or community platform allows customers to bond over your brand. Make it meaningful, not just a random space.

Offer perks for valuable members like badges, status, sneak peeks, discounts and product input. Communities generate insights and exponential word-of-mouth as members share with friends. Assign moderators to build relationships and nurture the culture.

10. Get Personal with Segmentation

Loyal customers want to feel recognized and appreciated. Marketing personalization tools allow you to tailor messaging around individual interests, purchase history, behaviors, demographics and attributes.

Use data like past emails opened, items purchased, and birthday or anniversary, to deliver relevant offers at the right times across channels like email, site experiences, ads and more.

11. Keep innovating your Core Product

Nothing destroys loyalty faster than stagnant products that fall behind what competitors offer. Regularly research customer needs and frustrations. Invest in continuous product enhancements, innovation and improvement.

Release updated versions, editions and new complementary products that give loyalists more reasons to stick with you. Also fix any usability issues immediately – don’t give people a reason to go elsewhere.

12. Develop Brand Ambassador Programs

Your most passionate loyalists will enthusiastically vouch for you if given the opportunity. Formal brand ambassador programs provide rewards in exchange for sharing their love for your brand on social media, with friends, at events and more.

Give ambassadors access to exclusive events, early previews, discounts and swag. The payoff is authentic peer-to-peer recommendations that resonate so much more than advertising. Just ensure you recruit ambassadors who align well with your brand values.

13. Respond to Reviews

Reviews significantly impact purchase decisions today. Respond professionally to all reviews, especially negative ones. Thank customers for taking the time to share feedback. Demonstrate you care and are committed to addressing issues.

Positive review responses can help convince those still deciding. Negative responses allow you to improve perceptions by showing your responsiveness. Monitoring review sites must be part of your brand loyalty strategy.

14. Create User Accounts

Registered user accounts add a layer of personalization and community. Customers can track orders, manage preferences, earn rewards, save payment info, set alerts and access other special features.

Signup should be fast and frictionless – don’t make customers fill out long forms. Offer guest checkout as well for those not ready to create full accounts. User accounts deepen relationships over time as customers engage more with your brand.

15. Write Thank You Emails

A thank you email is an opportunity to show appreciation for every order. Personalize each message with the customer’s name and order details. Include links to leave reviews, provide feedback or contact your support team.

Ecommerce players see open rates as high as 90% on post-purchase emails. Follow up after a few weeks as well to check in on satisfaction. Handwritten notes also make a wonderful accompanying surprise.

Measuring and Improving Brand Loyalty

Like other marketing initiatives, you need to closely monitor brand loyalty KPIs to determine effectiveness. Here are some key metrics to track:

  • Customer retention and churn rate
  • Repeat purchase rate
  • Average order value increase from repeat customers
  • % of sales from existing customers vs new ones
  • Customer lifetime value
  • NPS or customer satisfaction scores
  • Social media engagement and advocacy
  • % of customers enrolled in loyalty program

Regular brand tracking surveys and NPS can provide loyalty insights from directly asking your customers as well. Trend lines will reveal whether your efforts to improve loyalty are working. Be sure to continuously refine your strategies based on the data and customer feedback.

Final Thoughts

Building authentic brand loyalty in 2023 and beyond involves truly caring about your customers and crafting memorable end-to-end experiences. It starts from your first interaction and continues through onboarding, ongoing support, communications and product usage.


how to build brand loyalty


Keeping customers close to your brand, employees and services is a great way to keep them as your customers for the long term. Here, we’re looking to subconsciously link them to the brand. But this is not an easy task. My Customer suggests that customer loyalty is decreasing, meaning we have to work harder to achieve this.

Here are 7 ways to build brand loyalty with your audience and customer base.

One of the obvious ways of building brand loyalty is to deliver on everything you have promised and deliver that to the highest of standard. Never letting them down. The services and products you provide also need to be of the highest quality – maintaining this quality in everything you do so that the value you offer is never questioned. Understand what satisfies your clients and focus your energy on here. If you can exceed your client’s expectations, there will be no reason for your client to look elsewhere in the direction of your competitors.

Regularly speaking to your customers helps strengthen the bond between you and your organisation, and your client and their organisation. Tell your clients about the developments within your organisation (and in your personal life where relevant) and ask them about theirs. Use social media to keep you informed so you can actively participate with their updates. In this instance, you are looking for the client to like you on a personal level and there’s no better way of doing this than taking in an interest.

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Also, ask for feedback on what you do – let them know you care, so listen and apply the feedback you gather. You can do this via a range of channels, such as the traditional B2B methods (emails and calls) as well as more unconventional methods (social media, physical letters). Being human works wonders in a B2B sense.

Authenticity and trust comes from consistency – consistency in service delivery and also consistency in your brand. A brand needs to give customers a feeling of familiarity every time they engage with emails, documents, web pages etc. Should either of these branded assets look and feel different to each other, warning signs might ring, whether the client knows it or not. Ensure all of your marketing materials are consistently branded and narrow your focus in what your offer so that your brand can become the go-to destination to solve a particular problem. Look after your brand, and treat your logo, values, personality and tone as if it was your own reputation at stake. A branding agency in the UK can help you introduce this consistency into your organisation by creating communication guidelines, designing uniform branded materials, and developing comprehensive guidelines for their proper use and implementation.

You can promote your brand and influence your audience successfully, but when someone else promotes your brand and organisation (via word of mouth referral) you can reach a heightened level of trust with your customers. Word of mouth is one of the strongest forms of marketing. Turn to your media partners and other industry influencers to help promote you and your brand so that your customers can see your popularity within your specific vertical and marketplace. Positive PR – perhaps in the form of charitable work or sponsorship – can help with this can generate some in-direct awareness in your community. Stay relevant.

Another way of building loyalty is by focusing your organisation’s combined efforts on customer experience and service. By adopting this particular business/marketing orientation, rather than a sales orientated approach, for example, you’re reminding your customers that they’re always the focus of your operations. (The opposite to this would look like your organisation rewarding new customers by giving them better deals than for current customers, which should always be avoided.)

Always be responsive to your clients when they get in touch and look to understand them in every way. Using appropriate technologies, such as certain CRM systems and marketing platforms, you can build up a profile of your clients’ preferences so you can continually improve the experience you are providing, from the start of the relationship to the present day.

Sometimes, the best way to make a positive impression with your customers is to surprise them. Providing unexpected incentives in this way helps strengthen the bond and shows real appreciation whereby you are essentially thanking them for being your customer. Sending gifts or messages during birthdays and other personal milestones, as well as during seasonal events, is a quick and easy way to achieve this. Keeping an eye your client’s personal social media feed will also reveal the sort of activities they take part in their personal time which you can look to support in any way you can. Look to surprise your client once or twice a year.

A final tip to ensure you are building up loyalty with your clients is to always stay on your toes. And that’s with everything you do, certainly everything you do for your customers. Don’t get sloppy with marketing and send automated emails without addressing your client’s name. Personalise every piece of marketing communications – to avoid hitting the spam folder – where possible and anticipate your clients needs so you can help the client before they are even aware of the need to speak to you, or so you can be ready to offer support when the times comes – giving them a real reason to come back. Be proactive. The client would prefer not to have to go through the process of finding a new supplier, but this shouldn’t mean that you get complacent.

As well as building brand loyalty, there are also ways to reward your loyal customers and clients to help keep them on your side and coming back for more. Don’t forget that loyal customers are profitable customers, so rewarding them will help keep them loyal for longer.

Here are a further 7 ways of rewarding loyal customers.

Exclusivity is always positively received. This why (using the example in #5 above) organisations have always tried to offer new customers exclusive discounts; because those prospects are more likely to buy – but of course, this alienates current customers who should be getting this discount instead. So, offer your customers improved prices to show your appreciation, for them to, in turn, stay loyal to your organisation. This mindset does not need to be limited to monetary values, as it could be that you decide to offer your clients access to new products that haven’t officially launched.

Similarly, if you can offer additional perks for being your customer, you will go even further on the brand loyalty spectrum. Are you able to partner with other like-minded organisations to offer your clients other offers such as discounted memberships or free food and drink? Consider what your clients would appreciate in this respect – what they value – and look to set up a scheme that offers them this need at a discounted price. Strategic partnerships should not be overlooked regardless of the size of your organisation and look at similar/local organisations to partner with.

We all like to feel a part of communities that offer mutual benefits, such as personal development support and opportunities for social interaction. Digital communities – LinkedIn/Facebook Groups and Forums – are a starting point, but you can also look to create physical events and communities that allow your customers to meet and discuss topics of their choice. Customers will always trust their peers more than they trust your organisation. Therefore, become the middle-man and create an environment that your customers can be a part of which they couldn’t if they weren’t your customer.

Your customer, although helps to pay your organisation’s bills, is a real person and real people like to be recognised for their contributions. Can you celebrate the client or the organisation in any way to say thank you and to make them feel appreciated in the process? Using owned channels, you can feature stories or snippets about your customer and their role in what you do. This recognition could go a long way towards encouraging other customers who are fans of your organisation to get more involved in your success.

I like this idea because it helps achieve a number of the tips on both of the lists within this post. Many organisations decide to host a customer-focused event around Christmas and other seasonal milestones, but I think organisations can be more proactive in taking their customers on day outs. Taking out your customer reminds them of their importance to you and the day out also allows you to strengthen ties with that individual. Whether its a day out at the races, golf course or cycling event, or an annual customer day or a trip to a restaurant for food and drink, the outcome is the same: You are creating an event to show appreciation that your customers can look forward to.

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We have touched upon keeping an eye on your client’s (the specific contact within your client’s organisation) social media feeds and becoming more of a friend rather than a service provider. The reason for this is to develop a stronger bond with your client. And what do friends do with each other? They support each other’s activities. Look to support your client’s activities, whether it’s helping with charitable fundraising or attending an event which they are organising, and make an effort to connect with that person outside of the working environment.

The final tip on this customer reward list is a big one: Flexibility. Your clients will know that you’re trying to run a business, just as they are trying to run theirs or their specific department. They are aware that processes help steady the ship and make this run more smoothly. But sometimes a process might not suit the customer or client who would prefer if you could adapt to their needs. If possible, this is the right thing to do. If a customer has the ability and the desire to refer a friend to the organisation, can you offer them discounts or free items based on what they want? Can you offer out of hours service to a customer if the customer is located on the other side of the planet? If you can find what your customer wants or can do, look to alter your processes just for them. This will not go unnoticed.

Increasing the customer lifetime by building brand loyalty and rewarding loyal customers.

The customer-purchasing process is a long and winding road.

Multiple touchpoints on multiple channels intertwine to form a buyer’s journey that is difficult to predict and influence to make a sale. Within a B2B pharmaceutical and life science new business context, things are more difficult yet.

Even for the seasoned marker, marketing to attract new customers and clients going into 2020 is difficult.

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But assuming you already have a roster of customers or clients on your books, you can focus less on acquisition and focus more on keeping current customers happy and coming back for more. It makes total sense: Spend more time with the clients you have already won and stop chasing around aggressively looking for new clients.

The costs associated will also be less than the costs associated with customer acquisition. To achieve this, you can look to build brand loyalty and reward your current customers.

12 Ways to Build Brand Loyalty for Your Small Business – How to Gain Customer Loyalty

How do you build brand loyalty?

The best way to build brand loyalty is to create strong relationships based on common values. Find out what your customer cares about — both on and off the invoice — and look for commonality within your organization. Engaging in common causes in the community can create decades-long partnerships that extend far beyond one sale.

What is real brand loyalty?

Real brand loyalty is when customers will go out of their way to purchase products from a particular brand. Consumers are usually loyal to brands if they offer products and services with unmatched quality, have stellar customer service, and have values that consumers can identify with. The best ways to start building brand loyalty are by:

What factors go into building brand loyalty?

There are lots of factors that go into building brand loyalty – factors which we’ll dive into in detail in this piece – but at its simplest, brand loyalty is won or lost through a combination of great products, top-notch customer experience (CX), and efforts to reward those customers who stick by you.

What makes a brand a loyal customer?

This loyalty is often a result of the value a brand offers to its consumers. For example, superior customer experiences drive more loyalty. In that sense, these brand-consumer bonds are similar to everyday relationships. Think about it: Lasting friendships aren’t formed after a single trip to the movies.

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