A boat broker’s guide to brand loyalty
When it comes to selling boats online there are a few things that our team here at Spidersnet Marine and our brokers feel are extremely important. We’ve spoken time and time again about the importance of search engine optimisation, explaining what it is and why it’s so vital. However, one subject that we haven’t touched on, but that is definitely at play in the minds of boat buyers, is brand loyalty.
In this guide you can read a breakdown of why brand loyalty is so important to your boat brokerage. We also outline some steps that you can take to help build loyalty with your customers.
WHAT IS BRAND LOYALTY?
Brand loyalty is the label given to the positive association that a customer will have with a certain brand that causes them to choose to purchase products from that brand over its competitors. When a market is crowded, and there are lots of very similar products all competing with one another, brand loyalty can make the difference.
A loyal customer will choose to purchase a boat from a dealer regardless of price or convenience. They have built a relationship with that business and know that it meets their specific needs. They simply aren’t interested in taking the risk and experimenting with another brand.
This certainly doesn’t mean that good brand loyalty is all that’s needed. The price, quality, and availability of products are still vital deciding factors in the buying process. However, strong brand loyalty, combined with these other factors, may well lead to customers coming back to you to buy a boat time and time again.
WHY IS BRAND LOYALTY SO IMPORTANT?
Brand loyalty is incredibly valuable to your business. In fact, studies have shown how valuable brand loyalty can be to businesses, and how much it can benefit your bottom line.
The Pareto Principle states that 80% of your future revenue will come from 20% of your customer base.
This shows just how important it is that you do all you can to build trust and improve relations with your customers.
HOW CAN YOU CREATE BRAND LOYALTY
Brand loyalty can be created and nurtured in many different ways and there are a number of steps that you can take to build trust with your customers. Here are some suggestions…
1 – Quality boats and products
Whilst some brand loyalty is built through a connection with the brand itself, some customers are loyal to businesses purely due to the quality of their products. Ensuring that you’re supplying the right boats and services for your target audience is a great way to begin to build brand loyalty with that demographic.
It’s important that your boats are well presented, in good condition, and competitively priced. By doing this, and providing your customers with exactly what they need.
2 – Excellent customer service
Impeccable customer service is the most important thing to bear in mind when it comes to brand loyalty. Along with offering an excellent quality product, ensuring you go above and beyond, doing all you can to ensure your customers are happy with how you’ve dealt with them is imperative.
Buying a boat is a very expensive purchase for most people. When customers are spending large sums of money, they want to receive an excellent service. If they receive poor service, then they won’t come back.
“51% of customers ended their relationship with a business because they were unhappy with the service they were receiving”
Every side of your business must be operating as well as possible and all customers need to be treated with the same level of enthusiasm and professionalism. We advise that you do all you can to ensure that every single interaction a customer has with your business is as good as can be.
3 – Social media can be extremely effective
Social media is a valuable tool to most businesses, and boat dealerships are no exception. You can utilise Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even YouTube to humanise your brand and build trust with your customers.
Here are just a few ways social media can be used to help build brand loyalty:
- A – A human touch: Post photos of the day-to-day running of your business to show off the people that make your dealership tick. People buy from people, and the more personality you give your brand, the more your customers will feel they can buy into you.
- B – Offer up advice: Post advice onto your channels to offer your customers useful information to help them in all aspects of boat ownership. You could create videos for your YouTube channel, or write guides and share them on Facebook. By helping your customers with genuinely useful information, you can build their trust.
- C – Keep people updated: When customers feel an affinity with a brand they like to be kept in the loop. If you’re attending an event or trade show, make sure you let people know. If you’ve sold a boat why not share a photo of the happy customer? If your customers feel a part of your dealership’s little community it will help grow loyalty.
- D – Something to bear in mind: It’s very important that your social media profiles match your website. This means having consistent branding and contact details. You also need to make sure you have a consistent tone of voice throughout all your online channels, which will solidify your message and your brand in the minds of your customers.
4 – Make the most of email
Email marketing can be a fantastic way for you to engage with your customers and build a relationship. You can send regular marketing messages to your customers to keep them invested in your business. You can inform them of new boats you have in stock, let them know about any promotions you’re running, and keep them up-to-date with any other goings on at your dealership.
This type of regular contact with customers can go a long way to building brand loyalty. As long as you’re providing them with what they want, and not spamming their inbox, it can work wonders in strengthening any bond they have with your business.
You can sign up to make use of free email marketing software which will allow you to put together email campaigns and send them to your database. One nice and simple tool that you can use is MailChimp.
If you do decide to embrace email marketing then you’ll need to do some research on GDPR. Here’s a handy guide regarding consent under GDPR rules.
5 – Feedback is very useful
Gathering honest feedback from your customers is a great way to improve the services you offer. By listening to the opinions of your customers, and taking whatever they have to say onboard, you can continually make changes to ensure you’re doing all you can to help your customers in the future.
If customers can see you listening to these suggestions and implementing them, then this will work towards building that all-important brand loyalty. Customers like to feel valued; by taking what they have to say onboard, you can do just that.
We hope that you now know a bit more about what brand loyalty is, and how useful it can be to your boat dealership. By engaging more with your customers, and striving to offer a top quality service at all times, you can really build lasting relationships. Building brand loyalty is not a quick fix. It’s not something that can be done overnight. But by working with your customers so they feel an affinity with your business, you can ensure that they come back to you time and time again.