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You may often hear a lot of talk about brand loyalty. And while this concept is extremely important, very few people know the difference between loyalty to a brand and brand affinity.
When a brand manages to build an emotional connection with their customers, they create brand affinity.
Any brand purchase a customer makes is a combination of rational, emotional, and behavioral decisions. And when brand affinity is involved, the emotional aspect of the purchase becomes much more prevalent.
So let’s take a closer look at brand affinity, why it’s important, and what you can do to increase it.
As we already mentioned, brand affinity represents the emotional connection between a brand and its loyal customers. You can build brand affinity by clearly communicating all of your core values to your customers. This will always work as long as your customers share those values.
Nearly 90% of consumers would switch to brands that share their values and outlooks on life, which is why so many businesses choose to focus on brand affinity.
When customers find a brand that shares their values, they will feel a sense of gratitude, support, and harmony. In turn, they'll associate the positive feelings with the brand, which indirectly drives their actions, motives, and purchasing decisions.
Building brand affinity will increase your sales volumes and the lifetime value of your customers. As long as they share your values, their emotions will drive their purchasing decisions.
These two terms often coincide and are very similar but they differ by their driving forces.
Brand affinity is driven by different emotions and feelings. These are the driving force that makes people choose a particular brand in the first place. When customers feel an affinity towards a brand, they have already formed a strong personal connection.
There is no rationale within brand affinity because it is formed strictly based on an emotional connection. And as we all know, there is no particular reason why humans feel emotions.
Brand loyalty, on the other hand, doesn’t revolve around creating strong personal connections. Most often, customers are loyal to a brand because they view their products to be high-quality and a better choice than the products their competitors sell.
But to ensure you always have a stream of repeat customers, you need to work on increasing both your brand affinity and loyalty.
Brand affinity doesn’t happen overnight and it’s going to take a lot of work and dedication. Here are just some of the tactics you can use to become your customers’ preferred brand.
If you want to build that emotional connection, you need to understand your customers. Figure out what their core values are. Get to know their wants, needs, and preferences. When you know all of this information, it’s going to be much easier to stay on the same page as them.
And it’s not enough to just know their values, you need to know who they are inside and out. Learn their demographics, interests, what they like to do in their free time, and everything else you need to create buyer personas.
Top-notch customer service is important for brand affinity and loyalty. As much as 96% of consumers say customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand. If you’re willing to put in the extra effort, your customers will leave every interaction with your brand happy and satisfied.
Don’t forget that your customer service team is the face of your company and your clients will form an opinion of your brand after just one interaction with them.
If you learn how to turn unhappy customers into loyal ones and ensure they’re never angry, frustrated, or disappointed when they contact your support team, brand affinity will only increase.
Influencer marketing has exploded in the last couple of years because it’s a completely new way to promote your products while also increasing brand affinity.
When you work with influencers whose following consists of your ideal customers, you will be working with someone who already has the same core values as those customers. And through association, those potential customers will see your brand as someone who shares the same values as them and their favorite influencer.
Even though a lot of consumers don’t realize it, feelings are a big factor in driving purchasing decisions. Smart brands that understand how creating positive feelings relates to a high number of sales know the importance of brand affinity and do everything in their power to increase it.
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