Do you dream of having the kind of customers who sing the praises of your brand to all of their friends? The type of clients who love what you do so much that they tell everyone they have to check out your product, who post pictures of your products on their social media accounts and tell everyone how great you are? Then you are looking for brand affinity. Brand affinity is when your customer has an emotional tie to your product beyond its core functionality.
Brand affinity is paramount to maintaining customer loyalty. When your customers have an emotional connection to your brand, they will go out of their way to do business with you. It is why people will wait hours in line for a new iPhone when they could buy an equally functional Android with no stress online.
Brand affinity means that people will talk up your brand to their friends – have you ever met a Tesla driver? You’d know if you had, they tell everyone how great their car is! Brand affinity means your customers will keep coming back and they will encourage their friends to do the same.
Brand affinity is not to be confused with brand loyalty. Many people are loyal to a brand without having any emotional attachment, only because they are used to it. You probably buy the same brand of peanut butter every time you go to the grocery store. However, if a different brand were cheaper next week, you would not be conflicted over trying it instead. This is because you have no emotional connection to your peanut butter.
There are ways to develop brand affinity from the very beginning of your business. This is important because you want people to feel connected to the human beings behind your brand. Especially when you are just starting, you want your clients to want you to succeed. If they feel like they know you as an individual, they will encourage their friends to support you because they want to see you do well.
Think about occasionally posting about the struggles you are facing starting your business, or about exciting milestones on social media. You will also want to prioritize customer service from the very beginning so that every person feels like they matter to you. Make sure you have human beings answering every phone call and email and go above and beyond to help people out whenever you can. A good customer service experience is rare, and it can mean someone comes back to you for decades to come.
Finally, make it easy for someone to be a client of yours. Your website should be simple to navigate, your retail space should be comfortable, and the entire process of purchasing a product should be smooth.
As you grow, you will want to make sure you maintain brand affinity by keeping up those practices and constantly thinking about other ways to build brand affinity, such as these ideas. One frequently untapped source of affinity is your employees – if they love your product, your company, and the work they are doing, they’ll make sure everyone they know is a customer. Make your employees happy, and they will make sure your bottom line is happy too.