Is Your Business Missing A Well Defined Loyalty Loop?

A few months ago we did a workshop on marketing.  Marketing is always a hot button topic from business owners. We had a lot of great content in the two day workshop but one concept was really well received in our workshop that we weren’t anticipating. It was the loyalty loop concept.

A business has 2 loops with which it engages consumers.  They have a sales loop where clients are looking at different options, requesting proposals and buying a product and service.  A lot of the activity in the sales loop still happens offline for a lot of businesses.

In the loyalty loop, this is where consumers are sharing information about your product/service with other people. They are also engaging with the business and building a relationship with the business.  Consumers are engaging in an experience around your brand.  This is how consumers interact with businesses in the civic cycle.

The concept of this specific loyalty loop concept was introduced to me through an article in the Harvard Business Review called “Branding In The Digital Age”. In that article they share a .pdf that is a case study from a light manufacturer about how they redefined their digital strategy.

Many businesses, manufacturers especially, don’t think they need to engage people digitally.  Their websites are often just information places, they don’t use social media, participate in forums etc.

What the light manufacturer discovered is that clients were engaging with each other frequently about their products and services through different forums and other online platforms. These unknown conversations happen about your business every day.

Consumers were sharing information about products, doing research, sharing case studies etc.  The light manufacturer decided to revamp their strategy in both the loyalty loop as well as the sales loop.

The general loyalty loop relationship points are bonding, sharing and advocating.

Bonding has to do with the relationship that consumers have with the business.  This is where businesses can start engaging in conversations that clients are having and build relationships.

Sharing has to do with getting useful information out to the public about the product/service.  This comes in the form of case studies, product reviews, etc.

Advocating happens when you have built that relationship with a client and they love what you do.  They recommend the business and have had communication with the business.

The great thing about these 3 aspects of the loyalty loop is that both consumer and business can and should be engaged in all 3 of these relationship components and all of the components support each other.

The key, for loyalty loops to work, is to maintain consistency through every channel of your marketing process to ensure that transitions from online to offline are smooth and that consumers aren’t getting lost in the shuffle.

The loyalty loop is a much more relevant marketing concept for today’s consumer.  Most businesses are still using the out-dated “funnel” concept to drive business which doesn’t keep people engaged in their brand like it used to.  People have more non-linear options with which to make decisions and engage.  A defined loyalty loop strategy for your business will help you stay engaged in this new paradigm.

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