What Your Loyal Consumers Can Teach You about Your Brand!

Margo Jay
7 min readJan 31, 2021

Brand loyalty is something I think about a lot, but it’s been on my mind even more recently. We’ve seen so many amazing stories of people rallying together around local businesses and entrepreneurs. These may seem like little more than feel-good stories for trying times, but there’s so much more to the story here.

We’re not seeing people rallying around businesses because they really love that latte their local café serves or they got a good haircut at the salon that one time. It’s not the product or service, really, that keeps people coming back.

It’s all about the emotional connections these people have to the businesses in their communities and lives. A latte is a latte is a latte — yes, maybe there’s that one café that sprinkles a little cinnamon on top, but it’s ultimately the way the latte makes you feel that keeps you coming back. Maybe you have lots of good memories about meeting friends at this café, or maybe you feel good about buying from them because they support fair trade coffee and sustainability. Maybe you just really love the atmosphere.

How Coca-Cola Won Branding

Maybe the biggest thing here is that we know all this already. All we have to do is look at the world’s #1 ranked brand, Coca-Cola. Coke isn’t inherently better than Pepsi (actually, most people can’t tell the difference in a blind taste-test), but people who love Coca-Cola won’t accept any substitute.

That’s because Coca-Cola is so wrapped up in our memories — a lot of them warm and fuzzy, even. Although they didn’t invent the red suit, Coca-Cola helped popularize the modern image of Santa Claus — a character intimately connected to lots of good memories for lots of people: Christmas, presents, the joyous feelings so many of us have around the holidays.

That’s not the only way Coke has used emotion to build relationships — and brand loyalty — with their customers. Think about some of their recent ad campaigns, focused on sharing a bottle of Coke with a friend, or capturing a feeling in a bottle.

All this to say: Coca-Cola didn’t stumble its way into the top spot. It got there by building strong emotional relationships, by understanding what people are actually buying when they choose Coke.

It’s not cola. It’s a feeling.

The Value of Loyal Customers

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Margo Jay
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Marketing & Brand Expert | Customer Empath | Master Strategist | Deeper Insight | Finding extraordinary value | Driving competitive advantage |365integrated.com