Forget Brand Loyalty: Brand Experience Is How Consumers Connect

Forget Brand Loyalty: Brand Experience Is How Consumers Connect

happy-customerWe make consumer choices constantly. When you go to a great restaurant, or a happening urban center like Oakland’s UpTown, or even Home Depot, what you remember is the experience. It’s how our minds work. The choreography of the interaction sets consumers up for a great time, disappointment, or sometimes plain confusion. We remember and repeat the experiences that reward us predictably over time.

So many consumer purchases are online now. The lack of real interaction may get you a lower price, but you miss out on the connection, the knowledge you might have found in person. These sales may drive one-time purchases, but even online retailers know they must shape fulfilling and rewarding customer interactions—the 5-star rating is everything.

This experience of real, live connection, even if it’s customer service over the phone or live chat, adds a dynamic to the relationship that makes a difference. Whole Foods Market, for example, completely focuses on connection with customers and building relationships in the community.

The advantage of the once moribund, but now reviving, small retailer in local markets is a familiar, ongoing relationship with consumers. Their consumers—ownership of the relationship is critical to keeping those customers.

So where does brand loyalty come in? It’s only as strong as the relationship behind the product—the interaction, the experience.

Beyond the Black Friday jolt in sales, there is an entire year to nurture experiences that shape a connection with the brand. Whether you are a mom and pop, a regional chain, or even a national brand, it’s the experience that counts.