The “Social Loyalty Loop”

Things have changed . . . yes, and they have changed dramatically for marketing your business! Today’s consumer is connecting with brands in totally different ways than with traditional marketing strategies used in the past. In fact, many of those strategies are now considered obsolete.

In an article, entitled “Branding in the Digital Age; You’re Spending Money in All the Wrong Places,” in the December 2010 Harvard Business Review, David Edelman refers to research by David Court and others resulting in a theory known as “Consumer Decision Journey.” The theory states that consumers used to select a product by narrowing down their choices in a process known as the “marketing funnel.” Because of social media and the “in touch” environment the consumer is placed in, the process is much more repetitive as in a loop, a social loop, of bringing the brand around and around to the consumer through the social media. These “touches” along the “Consumer Decision Journey” have become an opportunity for the brand to influence the consumer “before, during, and very importantly, after” the purchase.

The theory has now evolved into the “Social Loyalty Loop” with “vast touch points” where the brands are now building campaigns to spread the word not only to buy into the brand but to “cultivate brand loyalists.” In “How to Create a Social Loyalty Loop,” Roger Katz identifies four ways brands can “fuel” such a loop. Here’s how it works:

  1. Brand Consideration (engaging)—Hyundai recently gave its fans an opportunity to build their dream car in the hopes that even if they don’t buy that dream car they will share it with their friends who consider the friend that shared it with them to have credibility—so “If so and so might buy a Hyundai, maybe I should, too;” a very powerful recommendation!
  2. Brand Advocacy (sharing)—New Belgium Brewing launched a new beer through solely through social channels i.e. fans on facebook invited their friends to join them in trying out the beer together—as a bonus, fans who participated were entered into a drawing for a party to share the beer with their neighborhood. All in all, New Belgium used relationships to build a friendly engagement with the brand through sharing.
  3. Brand Enjoyment (fun)—“Give fans something they can do that’s enjoyable, related to your brand, and, ideally, shareable.” Universal Picture’s promoted The Lorax by encouraging fans to add the large yellow mustache to a photo and then share it, hopefully prompting all kinds of “hullabaloo”, putting the brand into conversation, ultimately leading to participating in the brand.
  4. Brand Building (relevant/shareable)—Outside Magazine  tested their fans’ “Fitness IQ” by posting daily “fitness-provoking” questions, like a Myers-Briggs for fitness, that they could then share with their friends, who would then participate to find out how “relevant” the questions are to them, tying them into the brand.

We hope these insights will lead your business to powerful marketing solutions.

-Your friends at Kroma Marketing

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