With the introduction of the Internet, customer loyalty has become a very hard thing to come by. Now, with the availability of many variations of the same project, companies struggle more than ever to retain a loyal consumer base. According to a study completed by Ernst and Young, a mere twenty five percent of customers in the United States hold loyalty to a set brand.
An article recently completed by Forbes addressed this issue and provided some specific advice to help brands build a loyal base of returning customers. In the eyes of the article, kindness is key. Termed Generosity Marketing, this campaign draws on an anthropologic means to generate strong reciprocity bonds. In essence, social customers demand something stronger than the standard charms of average marketing campaigns; they want something more—a connection to the brand and the product. Emotional connection to a brand will work wonders in generating present and future business.
The first means to this end is to harness the strength of social media portals to the corporation’s advantage. Consumers have become the best ambassadors for a product, thanks entirely to the capability of social media to spread word on products. Corporations, as a result, should not hesitate to reward their customers through their use of these sites; reward points based on shares that build towards future purchases.
For Milennials with shorter attention spans, instant gratification can also be a very profitable reward method of Generosity Marketing. To accompany an online purchase, include a digital gift card reward that offers an instant extra gift attached to the original purchase. This little touch may prompt the extra incentive to stick with one company over a competitor in the future.
Finally, there is the method of employing the Social Halo, which is the most well known form of Generosity Marketing. Consumers are constantly more aware of the global challenges faced by those around the world. Finding a way to address these concerns in return for purchasing a product will draw in far more consumers than any stale marketing gimmicks will. For instance, Toms, a company that has had much success in the Social Halo market by creating a pair of shoes for a child in need with every pair that is purchased, is now expanding this idea to their coffee sales; for every bag sold, a day of clean water can be provided to those in need.