Innovative Customer Engagement Strategies for Building Brand Loyalty
- Empowering brand enthusiasts. Harness the organic advocacy of brand enthusiasts within local communities as a potent strategy for cultivating a lively brand connection with customers.
- Crafting localized immersive experiences. Prioritize authentic, localized experiences over generic global marketing campaigns.
Fostering brand allegiance and enhancing customer interaction is always the goal. The best path’s just not always clear.
It requires connecting to customers on a deep, personal level and simply knowing where their passion is, was and is likely to be. Brand loyalty is often found nestled within these nuanced customer engagement strategies.
Sounds easy, right? It isn’t. It takes work connecting with customers on a level beyond support and commerce transactions. How do you truly connect with your customers in a non-transactional way?
Justin Racine, CMSWire Contributor, recognizes these personal customer connections can lead to great customer engagement strategies. He catches up with us today with another awesome personal tale spanning yesteryear and today and gleans important customer experience business lessons. The video interview stems from Racine’s article on brand loyalty via early memories of Porsche enthusiasts — including he and his Dad, as Justin recalls taking rides in a Porsche with his father behind the wheel. He’s now a brand enthusiast that loves going to car shows years later.
The conversation in the video interview unveils:
- Brand Enthusiast Harnessing: Channeling the organic advocacy of brand enthusiasts, within the core of communities, as a channel for nurturing a vibrant brand environment.
- Local Experiential Cultivation: A maneuver toward fostering local communities, where authentic real-life encounters overshadow the appeal of traditional marketing campaigns.
- Dialogue-Driven Engagement: Transitioning from monologues to dialogues, where insights gleaned from engaged communication sculpt experiences that reverberate with resonance amongst customers and potential brand enthusiasts.
- Sensory Engagement Venture: A journey toward crafting memorable moments, engaging human senses and forging deeper brand connections.
- Social Media Storytelling: Unraveling authentic brand enthusiast narratives on social media platforms.
The myriad facets of these strategies reveals a common thread: the quest for authentic, meaningful interactions that lay the cornerstone for enduring brand loyalty and vibrant customer engagement strategies.
Let’s dive more into these customer engagement strategies that can lead to brand loyalty:
Leveraging Brand Enthusiasts
Brand enthusiasts, with a lens on the automotive industry, can act as organic brand ambassadors within their communities. This form of organic advocacy, Racine suggests, connects people with a brand beyond traditional marketing and customer support and customer experience campaigns.
“Not only do they drive the vehicle, but they embody what it means to represent that brand,” Racine said. “They make their vehicle uniquely their own, and it becomes a part of their personality. And it’s a representation of who they are. And because of this, these auto manufacturers are now starting to embrace these enthusiasts even more through social channels. … And really embracing the idea that these folks are not only brand ambassadors, but they’re also helping them sell cars.”
Brand enthusiasts go to car shows and extol the virtues of the latest features and models their favorite brands offer. Not only that, they connect with people who may be in the entry levels of brand enthusiasm and inspire them to maybe buy a vehicle of their own, Racine added.
Brands can emulate the concept of the car show by creating communities of customers, where brand enthusiasts inspire one another on a deep, personal level. You can’t replace consumer-to-consumer interactions where brand enthusiasts interact, and “you can actually tangibly feel the passion that this person is articulating with their words and their actions and their body language.” That’s more than any salesperson can do, Racine said, adding, “and I think a lot of the automotive organizations are realizing that the power of enthusiasts is so strong that they should tap into it, because it’s helping them sell vehicles, and it’s helping them create customers for life.”
The takeaway for brands: any brand is capable of curating an enthusiast group.
Related Article: 10 Guaranteed Ways to Improve Customer Satisfaction
Localized Immersive Experiences
With a personal anecdote of a Porsche event as a backdrop, Racine delves into the essence of crafting localized, immersive experiences. He sees a shift of focus toward nurturing local communities, placing a premium on authentic, real-life experiences over generic, global marketing campaigns — ultimately leading to stronger customer engagement strategies.
“And I think that’s what you’re going to continue to see in the automotive space, of course, but this is also going to push into other verticals as well,” Racine said. “And if your brand can adopt this mindset, and start to build some of these immersive interactions, and looking more local versus global … global campaigns are important for marketing, of course. But if you can focus the locality of the people within the community, and tap into different organizations that already have the finger on the pulse of what’s important to them, the dividends will provide massive amounts of uplift for years to come.”
Related Article: Brand Loyalty: Cars, Coffee & Exceptional CX
Two-way Communication and Customer Engagement
The conversation with Racine also covers shifting from monologues to dialogues with customers, shedding light on the significance of two-way communication. Racine suggests gleaning insights from engaged communication, especially through the lens of customer service and sales personnel, to tailor experiences that resonate.
The best way to leverage this? People on the front lines. In B2B settings, you have customer service and sales, and “they’re the tip of the spear on the front lines to the sentiment that customers are providing,” according to Racine. “And I can guarantee you today that they know of two or three or four or five different people that they’re servicing that are enthusiasts or brand advocates.”
They love ordering from a particular salesperson. Or a particular technologist within the brand helped them build some new features on the website.
“And they feel heard by the B2B organization,” Racine said. “There’s a dialogue. We don’t want to have a monologue. We want two-way communication. … Even in a B2B organization, folks will tell you how they’re feeling. And that’s a great way to start. And once you’ve identified these folks, it’s really then just enabling them. How can their story become a part of your story?”
Appealing to the Five Senses
Racine foresees a movement toward experiences that speak to human senses. He references his earlier tale on Corona beer, elaborating on how brands can create indelible memories by engaging the senses, a pathway he believes leads to more immersive in-store experiences, fortifies the brand connection and creates solid customer engagement strategies.
“That is a perfect example of what we’re going to continue to see in the customer experience space,” Racine said. “We as consumers, or really we as human beings, have five senses. And when all of them are appealed to in a way that meets and exceeds our expectations, we really have a good experience. And I think brands are starting to do that more with immersive experiences within stores. Before you buy that new stainless steel pan to cook on, why not come in and take a cooking class and see how it can be used?”
Curate experiences within your brand communities that are focused around the five senses. And if you can do that effectively, you’re going to create customers for life, according to Racine. “That’s what I’m focused on,” he said.
Related Article: Embrace Multi-Sensory Customer Experience, Just Like Corona Does
Cultivating Loyalty: A Harmonic Convergence of Engagement Strategies
In conclusion, clearly not all brands can gather consumers around the calendar year in one room showing off great products like a brand like Porsche can. That’s why Racine mentions online communities and avenues like online reviews and social media as a conduit for narrating authentic stories of enthusiasts, a potent marketing tool in his view. Brands like Porsche are now narrating real enthusiast stories on their platforms, etching a more authentic and relatable brand image to work into your customer engagement strategies.
The landscape of customer engagement strategies is akin to a fertile ground where the seeds of brand loyalty and enriching customer experiences are sown. The narrative underscores a shift toward more authentic, localized and immersive strategies, each chord playing a symphony that resonates with the modern consumer.
“At the end of the day, you’re only as strong as your last best experience,” Racine said. “So why not continue to curate experiences in the way that customers want, and what customers want is to be able to relate and connect and have communication with other people who are like-minded.”