Driving Loyalty & Deeper Consideration During Crisis

In the current period of uncertainty, existing customers are your biggest asset. The best opportunity for brands, whose physical doors had to close for the time being, is to nurture those existing relationships. Based on our expertise, we have put together three ways of making your customers feel valued in a time of crisis, which will inevitably service your business in the long run. 

1. Retain existing customers through cost-effective opportunities. Existing customers are most likely to continue completing purchases during difficult times, so it is important to provide incentives to showcase your appreciation of their loyalty to your brand. While physical stores are closed, allow for free shipping, increased loyalty points, or gifts with purchase. Truly consider what you can offer to stay connected and on your consumer’s mind. Consider using Mobile Wallet Cards as an easy, direct-to-consumer communication about your product and service updates, company news, reward points, or affirmations amid a crisis. Without a single app download, you can use MWC to remind your loyal consumers about claiming their rewards points or personalized time-based special offers to double their reward points.

2. Form new relationships by growing your current consumer relationship. Acquisition of new customers can be tricky in a time of crisis. With varying product availability, consumer consideration for buying one brand over another is leveling - they don’t care what brand of paper towel it is, they just need paper towels. As a result, marketing strategies are being re-evaluated to consider how to play a little defense instead of constantly being on the offense against supply chains. One approach to this end is to make your existing customers your advocates.

  • Encourage referrals from your loyal consumers in exchange for a gift with purchase.
  • Reward customers by giving them a discount on their next purchase if they post your product with a specific hashtag on social media or send you a hi-res image, allowing for free marketing materials that can easily be amplified on social media to desired demographics.

Incentivizing authentic social media promotions and referrals allows for long-term results through increased traffic and awareness of your brand. Even if just a small percentage of new customers is willing to consider buying your brand during or after COVID-19, you will have shifted your marketing exponentially. 

3. Grow your branded community. Despite social distancing, communities are growing. Relationships are being strengthened through commonality and digital opportunities. For example, gyms and various workout class facilities are hosting free online classes and using influencers as well as paid media to push the awareness of such opportunities via social media. Such actions ensure that once the crisis passes, their customer relationship will be stronger thanks to a newly formed community. In fact, 68% of consumers are motivated to be loyal if they share your brand values, which can easily be created through a shared cause on social media using AR filters. By incorporating messaging around your brand values into an AR filter, you can remind customers what you stand for in a time of need. Whether you temporarily stand behind the cause or continue to support it longer-term, it showcases your brand as ethical, making consumers want to associate with you long into the future.

At the end of the day, consumers will continue to shop online. Amid a crisis like COVID-19, your priority is to ensure they shop with your brand rather than a competitor. And, there is no better way than through continued communication, appreciation and community building among your loyal customers.

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