Learn how cultivating loyalty boosts sales and momentum for your music brand.
If you work in marketing for a music brand, you spend your days planning, tweeting, posting, making videos, handling media, developing advertising and a myriad of other tasks to help build your brand. But there should be a bigger payoff than simply awareness and healthy sales.
Your marketing should also build brand loyalty—something every music manufacturer needs to do better. Correctly done, it can pay dividends in so many ways, from steadier sales to creating more buzz to higher visibility and having legions of enthusiasts spreading the gospel of your brand. It’s marketing on steroids.
Think of the possibilities. When you’ve cultivated a critical mass of brand loyalists, they will happily spread the word about your products, freely recommend you over your competitors and defend your company. Loyalists provide a sturdy base to build sales. They serve as the lens to help you focus your marketing efforts. Once you win them over, they will help you win others over. Understand them, and you will understand how you should market yourself.
There are literally stacks of books, blogs and presentations about ways to cultivate brand loyalty. But this is what all those pages pretty much boil down to:
Good product + outstanding customer service + smart marketing and outreach = brand loyalty.
It makes sense. People won’t love your brand unless you have a product people love and customer service that quickly resolves issues.
But before you can win anyone over, you need a winning message. Telling the story of your brand by making emotional and intellectual connections builds a community—a necessity to create an audience of loyalists. Giving fans of your products and your brand a sense of belonging to a group with similar musical interests is powerful. Your customers are people who want to feel attached to something bigger than they are.
Once you’ve created a powerful marketing program that forges strong connections to your most enthusiastic fans, you can start to strengthen those connections. There are plenty of ways to do this, but here are a few tactics to directly help build brand loyalty:
1. Include fans in your social media content.
Reward enthusiasts for reposting content you created or enthusiastically endorsing one of your products online. Feature them in a post or send a tweet as a way of showing appreciation. This helps to foster that all-important sense of community that loyalists need to feel. You could also run a promotion that relies on user-generated content and then showcase some of the winners through your social media channels.
2. Take customer advice.
This is another great way to include customers in your marketing and make them feel as if they are part of your brand and contributing ideas. Launch a poll on Facebook asking customers what they would like to see for upcoming products or about a direction your marketing could take. Publish the results online. You might even be able to incorporate some of the results into your marketing plan. Crediting the customer for suggestions helps build that sense of belonging that creates brand enthusiasts.
3. Do something unexpected.
Offer a one-day discount. Give something away just for fun. Create a product that’s slightly surprising. Provide a sneak peek at some upcoming advertising. When you do the unexpected and give enthusiasts an unexpected surprise, you help build loyalty and make customers feel good about you and your brand. It keeps your audience interested and engaged.
The music industry is notoriously fickle. Tastes change. It seems like musical trends last about as long as a 3-minute pop song. What’s selling today may go into a slump next year. That’s why it’s so important for music manufacturers to build brand loyalty so they have a strong base of customers for the future.