Brand affinity is the key to unlocking brand advocacy. Affinity refers to the powerful connection that a customer feels towards a brand because they believe the brand shares common core values and beliefs that are important to them.
Attaining this relationship level goes beyond brand loyalty. Customers love your brand so much that they will go the extra mile to put their reputation on the line to tell others inspiring stories about your brand.
Every business needs to aspire to cultivate meaningful relationships with their customers to connect with them at an emotional level. Here are a few considerations to get you started in building brand affinity.
Journey to brand affinity
The process of achieving brand affinity can be broken down into three stages. The first stage is brand awareness, where your customers must know enough about your brand before considering doing business with you.
Once customers are aware of your brand, the next stage is developing brand loyalty. Customers at this stage consistently choose your brand over your rivals.
The journey is complete when loyal customers feel emotionally connected to your values, purpose and mission. Customers at this stage love your brand enough that they are willing to spread positive word of mouth to their family and friends.
Building personal connections
Brand affinity relies on making it easy for customers to feel connected to your brand. Being authentic and transparent will be critical to creating an emotional connection with your customers. Don’t forget people connect with people, so it’s essential to be more human when engaging with your customers.
Trust earned by consistently showing your brand personality will transform your loyal customers into advocates. Trust is built by excelling in delivery, customer service and responding to feedback. National Express redefined its customer service in order to develop personal connections with customers.
Make customers feel valued
To nurture the affinity you have with your customers, you will need to make your customers feel special.
Focus on solving your customer’s challenges and create more value in their lives. Promptly respond to their inquiries and listen to their feedback to know what they like and don’t like.
Last but not least, remember to appreciate and thank your customers for doing business with you.
Measuring brand affinity
Alexa labels brand affinity as the distinction between an iPhone user versus an Android user. Or people choosing to drink Coke over Pepsi. Customer loyalty to these brands demonstrates the deep emotional connection between brands and consumers.
Brand affinity can be measured by the number of brand advocates created. They act as a form of advertisement for the brand itself. When your customers love your brand, they will go the extra mile to spread the brand’s message to more people.
In an increasingly competitive and crowded world, cultivating brand affinity is a sure way of sustaining organic growth. Nurturing your loyal customers into engaged advocates will not only increase your customer retention but will also increase your brand awareness and enhance your brand reputation.