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How to Build Lasting Brand Loyalty

Think about the last time you were in the grocery aisle contemplating which jar of peanut butter to toss in the cart. Maybe you reach for that same brand you’ve been eating since childhood because that’s what Mom used to make your PB&J’s. Maybe you’ve got 20 pairs of socks from the same company in your drawer because they also donate to a cause you care about. Or maybe you’ve been going to the same coffee shop every morning because you had a great customer service experience with them years ago. 

These simple day-to-day decisions are more than just transactions—they’re acts of brand loyalty, small yet significant gestures that show brands they’ve earned your trust and your business for the long haul. 

But what actually defines brand loyalty, and why should cultivating brand loyalty be a priority for your business?

What is brand loyalty?

At its core, brand loyalty is the unwavering dedication of customers to a particular brand. It's when they choose your product or service not just once but repeatedly, even in the face of enticing alternatives. It's when they become your advocates, spreading the word and singing praises of their positive experiences. In essence, brand loyalty is the ultimate endorsement, a testament to a brand's ability to connect on a deeper level.

Why does brand loyalty matter?

According to a 2019 survey, 59% of American consumers claim that once they pledge allegiance to a brand, they're in it for life.

Why does that matter?

Because a returning customer always costs less in both money and effort than acquiring a new one. Plus, loyal customers aren't just repeat purchasers—they become brand ambassadors who amplify your reach and influence. When you spend time courting returning customers, chances are those customers will become your customers for life. 

But creating brand loyalty isn’t always as simple as it might seem. Before you can start cultivating brand loyalty, you need to be able to understand your customer’s needs and how your brand can emotionally connect with them.

The customer relationship

75% of American consumers say they’re more likely to be loyal to brands that understand them on a personal level, which means capturing a lifelong customer extends far beyond simple transactions. From the first point of contact to ongoing support, these relationships are the foundation upon which sustainable growth is built.

The ways in which you interact with your customers will vary depending on the type of ideal customer you’re courting, which is why that “ideal customer” archetype should be built into your brand strategy from the get-go.

How do brands cultivate customer loyalty?

Here are a few key strategies that businesses use to build loyalty to their brands:

Exceptional Customer Service

Exceptional customer service should be a no-brainer for any business, but the brands that go above and beyond to address their customers' needs are the ones that leave a lasting impression. Whether it's resolving issues promptly, offering proactive support, or providing personalized assistance, outstanding customer service will usually keep customers and make new ones through word-of-mouth referrals.

Personalization & Customization

People love being provided with chances to personalize and customize, whether it’s a product or experience. Customization can be as simple as options to add your own design touches to products to digital experiences as well. Brands that allow users to personalize their online profiles, tailor content recommendations, and adjust settings to suit their preferences create a sense of ownership and empowerment.

Loyalty Programs & Incentives

Loyalty programs are designed to incentivize customers to engage with a brand consistently and frequently by offering rewards, discounts, and exclusive perks. At the core of a successful loyalty program lies the concept of reciprocity—customers receive value in exchange for their continued support and patronage. Whether it's earning points for every purchase, receiving special discounts on birthdays, or gaining access to VIP events, these rewards create a sense of appreciation and exclusivity.

Consistency in Brand Messaging & Experience

Consistency is the glue that holds a brand together and reinforces its identity in the minds of consumers. A brand that feels inconsistent sends the message that your business may be unreliable or unprofessional. In order to keep your visual identity, messaging, and tone consistent across all touchpoints, create a comprehensive brand guide or work with a branding studio to create one.

Aligned Values

Today’s marketplace is more socially conscious than ever. Consumers are directly drawn to brands that share their values and beliefs. Brands can demonstrate aligned values by supporting causes and initiatives that reflect the interests and concerns of their target audience, like donating a portion of proceeds to charity, participating in community service projects, or advocating for social and environmental justice.

Build a Community

By creating spaces for interaction, collaboration, and shared experiences, brands can cultivate a sense of belonging and connection among their customers. One of the most effective ways to build a community is through social media platforms, where brands can engage with their audience in real time and facilitate conversations around shared interests and passions. By creating branded hashtags, hosting live events, and encouraging user-generated content, brands can foster a sense of camaraderie and solidarity among their followers.

How do you hang on to a happy customer?

Now that you’ve got your happy customers, how do you keep them? Here are some key strategies that will help you nurture and maintain the customer relationship with your brand long-term:

Customer Segmentation

Not all customers are the same, which is why you should tailor your approach to customer interactions by utilizing segmentation. Categorize groups of your customers by things like demographics, purchase history, behaviors, or whatever makes sense for your brand or sales process. Customers will then feel like they’re being spoken to in a more personalized way.


It’s not just about what you say, it’s how and where you say it! Segment your customer base and identify preferences for different communication channels. Brands often think they have to be on every single platform and marketing space available, but it’s actually more effective to just bring your A-game to the platforms that make the most sense for your audience and brand. In other words: Do your customers use TikTok? If the answer is no, then don’t spend time, energy, and resources creating content for TikTok! Maximize the effectiveness of your efforts by getting really good at communicating on the platforms your customers are actually using.

Deliver on Your Brand Promise

Every interaction with your brand should deliver on your brand promise to the customer. From browsing your website to contacting customer support to making an Instagram reel—make sure each touchpoint with a customer reflects the core of your brand and reinforces what makes your brand stand out.

Return & Retargeted Marketing

Targeting past customers, especially those who have left positive reviews, can be a highly effective strategy for encouraging repeat purchases. These customers have already demonstrated satisfaction with your brand, making them more likely to engage with future promotions or offers. Send marketing emails tailored to segmented audiences of repeat customers and use retargeting advertising to deliver relevant and timely messages that resonate with their immediate interests and needs.

Referral Incentives

Happy customers are your best advocates, so leverage their satisfaction to attract new business through referral incentives. Encourage customers to refer friends, family, or colleagues by offering rewards or discounts for successful referrals. Not only does this incentivize existing customers to spread the word about your brand, but it also helps you acquire new customers who are more likely to be loyal and engaged from the start.

Level up your brand and create loyal customers

Entrepreneur and author Gary Vaynerchuk wrote, “Part of why you love your parents is because they loved you first. Brands need to do that.” 

If you want customers who are advocates who tell people about your brand, you have to show them that you love them first. By prioritizing the needs and experiences of your customers, you lay the groundwork for meaningful relationships that endure.

If you need help building a brand that attracts loyal customers, work with the creative brand experts at Quill Creative Studio! We can help you develop a brand strategy and brand identity that resonates with your audience and sets you up for long-term success. If you’re interested in learning more, let’s chat!