How to Increase Brand Preference: Strategies for Building Customer Loyalty

exterior of Timberland store with the brand symbol shown

Brand preference is critical to set your company apart in today’s highly competitive business landscape. When consumers prefer your brand over others, they are more likely to choose your products or services repeatedly, even when faced with alternatives.

This loyalty translates into increased sales, improved market share, and long-term business sustainability. So, how can you increase brand preference? This blog post will explore practical strategies to help you build and strengthen customer loyalty.

What is Brand Preference in Retail?

Before delving into strategies, let’s clearly understand brand preference. Brand preference is the inclination of a consumer ior group of consumers to choose one brand over others offering similar products or services.

Various factors influence brand preference, including product quality, customer experience, brand image, and emotional connections.

In order to grow and improve the preference of their brand, retailers should work to achieve the following:

Deliver Outstanding Quality

The foundation of brand preference is delivering consistent and outstanding quality. Consumers want you to meet or exceed their expectations no matter what you sell. Quality is the first building block of a strong brand preference strategy. 

Emphasize Customer Experience

Customer experience plays a pivotal role in brand preference. Make sure every interaction with your brand is positive and memorable. This includes offering excellent customer service, easy navigation on your website, and hassle-free returns.

Develop a Unique Brand Identity

Creating a unique and recognizable brand identity is crucial. This includes your logo, color scheme, tagline, and visual and verbal communication.

Distinct brand design makes it easier for customers to remember and choose you over your competition.

Tell Your Brand Story

“The brand story is not just the narrative we tell, but the emotional connection we create. It’s the heartbeat of your brand, and in a world overflowing with information, it’s what makes you memorable and drives success.”

Jamie Q. – Sweet Treat Donuts

Share your brand’s story and values with your audience. When customers understand the “why” behind your brand, they’re more likely to connect with it on a deeper level. 

What makes your brand, store, or products different? Develop a consistent, original, compelling brand story. Stories create emotional bonds.

Ensure your brand messaging is consistent across all touchpoints, from your brick and mortar store to your website, social media profiles to advertising. Omnichannel consistency builds trust and familiarity.

an example of a social media post to increase brand preference from Pisqueya hot sauce Instagram page

Leverage Social Proof

Customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies are powerful tools for building brand preference. Positive feedback from satisfied customers can influence potential buyers.

Now, let’s delve into strategies that can help you increase brand preference.

Prioritize Customer Satisfaction

It’s no great secret that the retail world is highly competitive. Simply put, customers who are happy with their experiences are more likely to prefer your brand over the many other brands on the market. Here are some strategies retailers should pay attention to:

Listen to Feedback

Actively seek, listen, and respond to customer feedback. Use surveys, reviews, and direct interactions to understand what customers like and dislike about your products or services.

Consider incentivizing surveys with coupons, discounts, or free shipping. This type of engagement will show customers that you value their opinions. At the same time, you will be encouraging them to make purchases and try new products. 

Swift Problem Resolution

When issues arise, address them promptly and professionally. A fast and effective resolution can turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal one.

If you receive a negative review on Facebook, Yelp, or Google Reviews, work to respond and resolve the issue immediately. Similarly, if an unsatisfied customer returns to your shop, work to rectify the situation so the clientele feels seen and valued. 

Personalize Interactions

Personalization shows customers that you value their business. Use point of sale data to tailor your communications and offerings to individual preferences. Curate product recommendations based on these insights, offering personalized discounts or promotions and providing tailored content through various marketing channels. 

“We started out just blasting the same email to everyone on our customer database. That got us put on a lot of spam lists, unsurprisingly. Once we segmented and personalized our promotions we got much better results, and we never looked back.”

Mark W – Ye Olde Bottle Shoppe

With customer insights, you can power more accurate marketing. For example, let’s say you run an athletic wear shop and want to target specific customers.  By looking at purchase history you can determine which clientele are long-distance runners. 

Offer this group deals on running shoes and jogging shorts instead of basketball sneakers or bicycle helmets. Segmented marketing outreach has a much higher effectiveness and return on investment. 

Cultivate Brand Advocates

Brand advocates are customers who prefer your company and actively promote it to others. These loyal advocates can be your most valuable marketing assets.

To cultivate brand advocates, think about the following strategies:

Reward Loyalty

Implement a loyalty program that rewards customers for repeat purchases. One study found that 81% of customers were more likely to make repeat purchases with a company that has a great rewards program. 

Design a user-friendly program offering valuable rewards and personalized incentives. Offer exclusive discounts, early access to products, or special perks to your most loyal customers. These perks should be appealing enough to generate customer interest and value while maintaining your bottom line

Engage on Social Media

Retailers can harness the power of social media to boost brand preference by actively engaging with their audience. Create compelling and shareable content that resonates with your target demographic, showcasing the brand’s uniqueness and values. Let your staff take over your platforms for a day to highlight their personality and knowledge. 

Running targeted advertising campaigns on platforms like Facebook and Instagram will help retailers reach potential customers with tailored messages, driving brand recognition and preference.

Also, by promptly responding to customer inquiries and feedback on social platforms, retailers will build trust and demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction. 

Finally, fostering user-generated content and encouraging customers to share their positive experiences amplifies brand advocacy and enhances brand preference among social circles.

retail employees volunteer to sort through donated clothes

How to Increase Brand Preference: Create Emotional Connections

Emotions play a significant role in brand preference. Brands that evoke positive emotions are more likely to be preferred. Share stories that resonate with your audience’s values and aspirations. Emotional storytelling creates a strong bond.

Support Social Causes

Align your brand with social or environmental causes that matter to your target audience. Show that your brand cares about the same issues they do. 

Partner with organizations or initiatives and build those philanthropic themes into your brand identity. 

Surprise and Delight

Occasionally, surprise your customers with unexpected perks, gifts, or personalized messages. These small gestures can create lasting emotional connections.

Reaching new customers is hard. Some surveys show that it can be ten times more challenging to acquire new customers than it is to sell to existing ones. Investments encouraging repeat purchases from loyal customers will pay dividends in the long run. 

Monitor and Adapt

Finally, it’s essential to continually monitor your brand’s performance and adapt your strategies as needed. Use data analytics to track customer preferences, market trends, and the effectiveness of your brand-building efforts. Adjust your approach accordingly to maintain and grow brand preference over time.

Stagnation can erode brand effectiveness. Regularly assess and improve your products based on customer feedback and market trends. Show your commitment to delivering the best. You must innovate and evolve to stay relevant and exciting to your customers. 

Be Nimble With Merchandising

Flexibility to adapt to changing consumer preferences and industry trends is a must. Show that your brand is forward-thinking and capable of meeting evolving needs.

Tweak your merchandise based on customer purchase trends and sales data. Identify which products are popular and which are underperforming. Once these trends are identified, retailers can optimize their inventory by increasing stock of popular items and potentially offering complementary or upsell products alongside them.

Foster Great Brand Experiences with Powerful Point of Sale

Robust cloud-based retail point of sale systems provide retailers with tools that touch on all aspects of business operations. KORONA POS features comprehensive sales reporting data to power more accurate marketing outreach and smarter merchandising decisions.

Our software integrates with vertical-specific loyalty programs proven to encourage repeat customers. Finally, KORONA POS works seamlessly with eCommerce platforms to optimize your omnichannel approach.

Click the link below to learn more about KORONA POS and how we can take your brand to the next level.

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FAQs: How To Increase Brand Preference

1. What influences brand preferences?

Brand preferences are influenced by a combination of factors, including the quality and performance of a product or service, the brand’s reputation and trustworthiness, and customer experiences. Marketing efforts, such as advertising and social media campaigns, also significantly shape brand perceptions and preferences.

2. What is an example of a brand preference?

An example of brand preference is when customers consistently choose Adidas over other sportswear companies because they perceive the brand as offering superior quality and style. This preference is often driven by positive experiences with products, trust in the brand’s reputation, and alignment with branding styles and values. As a result, the customer remains loyal to Adidas despite other options in the market.

3. What does a high brand preference mean?

A high brand preference means consumers consistently favor a particular brand over its competitors when purchasing. It indicates a strong and positive attachment to the brand, often driven by product quality, brand reputation, and emotional connection. Higher brand preference leads to increased revenue and market share.

About the Author

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Shane Ortale

As a history enthusiast, Shane loves reading and writing. He blogs about small businessmarketing and cloud based POS. He is also an avid bird watcher, and Liverpool FC fan.