Gone are the days of promoting your brand, of talking it up as the coolest brand around so that the customer loves you. We are now in the age of the empowered consumer, and these customers are skeptical of traditional marketing tactics, all they see is a gimmick.

Traditional loyalty schemes don’t work anymore, as the brand is no longer in the position of power. Consumers have become savvy to the various marketing techniques, and have been let down by empty promises so many times that they are done with the brands that spend their ad budget on puffing themselves up, without having any real substance to back it all up.

Behavioural Loyalty vs Authentic Loyalty

Brands who market to their target audience with gimmicks will only receive a very fickle loyalty back in return. These brands are eliciting a ‘behavioural loyalty’, which is superficial and will last as long as the campaign that’s being run. Consumers will quickly see through any brands who are more concerned about what the consumer can do for their bottom line, than what they as a company can offer the public.

The idea of ‘authentic loyalty’, on the other hand, is where a brand receives real and pure loyalty from consumers, as a result of enriching the consumer’s life. This type of loyalty is garnered through the brand providing the customer with a service or product that will actually prove useful in their life, not just prove to be a fad or a gimmick.

Transparency

The more transparent the brand, the more trust they will nurture from empowered consumers. These consumers approach every new brand with skepticism, so the more a brand works to genuinely dispel this skepticism around their motives, the more successful they will be in the long run.

Once a business decides to approach the public in this way, then they will also learn quickly that the energy that was previously spent on puffery and self-promotion, can rather be turned onto finding out how the brand can be invaluable to its potential customers.

The Mobile Age

Now is the perfect time for brands to start understanding their market on a more personal level, as once they’ve done their research, the mobile world opens up so many options for brands to prove useful to consumers.

When brands want to stop promoting and rather start informing and helping consumers, they could choose to improve their brand utility through mobile apps for their customers – ones which the customer could use on a daily basis to enrich their lives, and then subconsciously associate with the brand to bring them that utility.

We touched on this subject in our recent DigitLab Insight, “Finding Success with Mobile”. Mobile technology has allowed brands more access to their customers than ever before, but now it’s up to each brand to be welcomed as a useful entity within that space.

To read more about how we applied the five disruptive forces into the Retail Industry visit DigitLab for the latest #DigitLabInsight “The Future State of Retail

Originally published as Authentic loyalty through brand utility on Bizcommunity