Is your brand as credible as you think it is?

If your company doesn’t consist of these six components, are you doing something wrong? Probably.

Fifty-eight percent of customers switch to a different brand, according McKinsey Research. But 29 percent of customers shop around but ultimately repurchase from the same brand.

Do people use your brand because it’s convenient or because it’s a trusted credible brand? Just because you’re convenient doesn’t mean you’re the best option. Customers may use your band because it’s cheaper, closer or what they need for the moment. But are they loyal to your brand? What makes them a returning customer? Do you have what it takes for them to come back for more?

Credible brands are more likely to keep customers than the non-credible ones. If you struggle with keeping customers, see if you’re missing these must-haves:

Authenticity

In 2013, a study conducted by Boston Consulting Group showed authenticity is one of the top qualities that attract customers to a brand.

What does your brand have that makes you different from everyone else, even if you provide the same product or service as the competition? What makes you stand out as original? In order to be seen as authentic through the eyes of customers, it should be portrayed naturally. Take time to see what your brand stands for, find the core values of your company and make sure your business aligns with those values.

Transparency

Customers want to feel involved in the progression of your company. If they’re willing to put money into your brand, the least you can do is be open and honest. Giving customers access inside will build trust between the brand and consumers. Ninety-four percent of customers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that pledges to full transparency.

Consumers know when they’re being lied to. In a time where people believe everything is a conspiracy, it’s important to exemplify clear communication with customers, which eliminates negativity toward your brand.

Millennials are the largest consumer group in history but are also the least trusting. Just like any relationship, if there’s no trust and communication, what do you have?

Building an emotional connection

Building real relationships with customers is an important factor to the success of your company. A Gensler study found that 94 percent of respondents would be highly likely to recommend a brand they were emotionally engaged with. They also found our favorite brands hold the same traits we value in our friends and family.

Make your brand a reflection of the values you stand for. Customers choose brands they can relate to and share emotional connections with. Building these strong emotional connections will have customers choose your brand over the competition, regardless of price difference.

Creating that emotional connection will encourage your customers to keep up with your brand, trust your advice and recommend your company. Establishing an emotional connection will keep loyal customers coming back and create generations of clients.

Testimonials

Allowing others to see current customers’ experiences with your brand will give future customers an idea of what to expect from your company. This helps validate your brand. Which shows that your product or service is legit and will provide the desired outcome. Testimonials can also show what your company lacks, so be honest about what your product brings to the table for customers.

Responding to online negativity

With social media being at an all-time high, it gives people a voice, whether it’s positive or negative. According to Zimmer Communications, 57 percent of people say unaddressed negative reviews are a good reason to leave a brand.

Customers want to feel that your brand cares about their wants and needs being met. They also want to feel your brand shares the same values as them. Keeping a negative comment unaddressed may show others there’s truth to the negativity and might results in a major viral PR disaster that couldn’t been avoided in the first place.

Reward loyal customers

Customers like to feel they’re getting a good deal. Creating some type of loyalty system will ensure customers come back and make them feel appreciated. This builds loyalty and trust.

LL Bean had a lifetime warranty on their merchandise, which now has ended. This initially protected customers from defective products and customers saw LL Bean as a reliable trusted brand. Reward customers who have been loyal to your brand throughout the years, and show potential customers that quality of service you’re willing to provide.

 

Michele Cuthbert is the CEO and creator of Baker Creative, a global WBE-certified creative brand management firm based in Ohio.