3 Ways to Build Brand Loyalty with Experiential Marketing

Though brand loyalty is becoming much more difficult to retain, it is far from extinct. If you subscribe to the old adage about how it is much more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one, the numbers are looking bleak. 

According to some surveys, 92% of consumers around the world don’t consider themselves brand loyal. Worse still, 82% of consumers said even just one bad experience with a brand will lower the likelihood of recommending the brand to others significantly. And despite brands’ best efforts to keep their top customers, it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon.

Here, we take a look at three ways that experiential marketing can help brands build loyalty and keep their top customers coming back for more.

1. Human Communication Builds Brand Loyalty

Digital communication through social media and chat bots has opened the door for more immediate engagement between consumers and brands. However, consumers expect those conversations to be personalized and authentic at every touch point, and a brand’s performance during those interactions can have a huge impact on customer relationships. 

Experiential marketing can be a highly effective tool for brands to communicate their story, educate consumers on their products / services, and engage in a two-way conversation that allows consumers to share real-time feedback. 

Ultimately, consumers who experience a human connection with your brand are more likely to recommend – and, most importantly, purchase – than those who do not.

2. Create Emotional Connections with Your Brand

The most successful brands have long understood that creating an emotional connection with consumers is key to driving loyalty. However, the increasing financial influence of Millennials (and Gen Z, in the coming years) is making it all the more important. 

A full 83% of Millennials want the products they purchase to say something about who they are and what their values are. It’s been shown time and again that they would switch brands to one associated with a cause. 

Translation? Your brand ought to stand for something bigger than the bottom line.

Large group of people gathered in a school quad, around numerous tables and umbrella. A sign, "Spread Good Vibes" is prominently displayed.

Once you’ve identified a cause, though, it’s not as simple as just communicating it to consumers. 

Millennials and Gen Z are able to sniff out inauthenticity from a mile away, so it’s imperative that brands live by the values they preach. Experiential marketing offers brands the opportunity to create one-on-one connections with consumers and show them how the brand aligns with their lifestyle and values.

3. Build Brand Loyalty Through Surprise and Delight

Thanks to brands like Amazon, whose Prime offering has over 200 million subscribers, consumer expectations are higher than ever. The result? It’s not enough to just meet expectations anymore; brands have to work even harder to set themselves apart from the competition. 

Whether it’s an unexpected addition to the product itself or an unexpected experience, surprise-and-delight moments go a long way towards getting customers to keep coming back.

For Thomas’ bagels, we had the honor of helping them celebrate National Bagel Day in style. Based out of Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, we surprised busy commuters with delicious bagels and cream cheese and invited those who had the time to snap a quick pic in front of our “Bae Goals” wall or our larger-than-life toaster. These brief, fun moments may be but a small gesture, but for a busy commuter in the middle of the work week, the positive memories associated with Thomas’ will last long beyond the bagel and cream cheese.

Is your brand looking to keep customers coming back for more? Contact us today to learn how our suite of experiential-led services can help you create connections that lead to lifelong loyalty.

Updated 2022, original post by Rob Patterson

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