Brand loyalty should be for life, not just for Christmas. However, for many retailers, gaining and sustaining brand loyalty is particularly important over the festive period when consumers are spending big. Christmas shopping and the post-Christmas sales period present huge opportunities for retailers to engage with their existing consumer base. These periods also offer the chance to leverage seasonal content to spark new relationships with market segments who may not traditionally have shopped with you – and to continue these relationships into the new year.
What makes your brand ‘sticky’ and how can you build brand loyalty? And how can marketers make the most of the festivities? Let’s take a look:
(Don’t be) lonely this Christmas: build your brand following
‘Sticky’ consumers are those who are likely to follow through on an intended purchase, return and make repeat purchases, also recommending their purchases to others. Many retailers will have jazzed up the content on their channels and included seasonal promotions to entice shoppers. Where some will fail to deliver, however, is on achieving that customer ‘stickiness’.
Reliability, value, availability, familiarity, and navigability are all crucial to building your brand following and stickiness; and all can be achieved through effective management of digital assets. A Christmas promotion on your homepage, for instance, must be easy for a shopper to locate across other relevant sections of your site. The richness of the digital content you offer is also a key consideration and should include video, social media share buttons, detailed product descriptions, 360-degree product views, as well as next-gen content like augmented reality and chatbots. Researchers of one 2018 report, for example, found that AR experiences generate almost double the levels of engagement amongst consumers compared to their non-AR equivalent.
Engagement in the moment must lead to continued engagement post-Christmas for a brand to achieve real stickiness and build loyalty. One great example of this is UK retailer Next, which despite having experienced some turbulent times, saw a 15.2% increase in Christmas online trading. How? YouGov’s BrandIndex data puts this down to Next’s top ranking across a range of factors, including consideration score (whether someone would consider purchasing from the brand in future); net promoter score (the likelihood for customers to recommend); and buzz score (a net measure of whether consumers have heard anything positive or negative about the brand in the last fortnight).
Next is among retailers investing in digital content and a strong omnichannel offering; the company doubled its digital marketing spend in 2019, investing £46 million to ensure successes like those seen over Christmas continue year-on-year – and year-round.
Spending big on marketing is all very well – but how can retailers ensure they pick the right marketing tools? Marketers and other departments want to be able to deliver the optimum Christmas shopping experience, but they also need the downtime to be able to join the Christmas festivities themselves!
Merry Christmas everyone (marketers included!)
Rich digital content and consistent brand identity may increase shopper stickiness, but without the right tools at their disposal, they’ll be time-consuming for marketers to achieve. The number of channels and the volume of content brands have to manage (and Christmas promotions/stock levels they need to update) has traditionally resulted in marketing teams investing a lot of time in manual processes. These include searching for content across multiple databases and libraries, and sending and filing different approvals and edits to digital assets. Which of course, leaves little time for creativity or Christmas cheer!
The perfect Christmas gift for any marketing team will therefore be a cloud-based digital asset management (DAM) platform. This provides an easily searchable, centralised repository, so that no matter if your team handles hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands of digital assets, team members can get to the creative files they need, when they need them. A DAM system helps create, manage, distribute, and analyse digital assets from a central location, so your team can spend more time creating seasonal strategies for your shoppers and less time finding and converting assets.
Creativity, consumer engagement, and brand loyalty: give a DAM about your marketing team this Christmas, and give them (and subsequently, your customers) the perfect present.
Credit: Sairah Mojib, Head of Marketing, EMEA, Widen