Stop fishing with a wide net and focus on deeper relationships to build loyal customers.

If you try to please everyone, you’ll appeal to no one. Have you heard that lately? Believe it or not, there’s a significant lesson in there for branding and creating loyal customers. Is your brand continually casting a wide net with its key messaging? Or does it focus on deeper, stronger relationships with existing target audience(s)? This is a pivotal point that impacts your brand in several ways.

A satisfied customer does not equal a loyal customer.

This might sound odd, but consider this for a moment. Have you ever purchased something from a brand, been completely happy with the product, and never returned to that business? Everyone has. That’s important to remember: satisfied customers simply get what they wanted. That alone does not result in loyal customers.

What does this tell us? Loyal customers are created when a brand provides added value. Go the extra mile. How, you ask? We’ll get to that in a moment.

Loyal customers are created over time.

Be patient and focus on the long term, lifetime value for the customer. In a world of instant, Snapchat gratification, this proposition remains steadfast. Even when using a “brand influencer,” long term relationships work better. Loyalty isn’t built overnight, although it can vanish from your world like a one-hit wonder. Just consider what happened to United Airlines after a passenger was dragged from a flight.

It costs more to acquire new customers.

We think this goes without saying. The cost difference is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more than building loyal customers. Despite the fact that loyalty is built over time. Drop the wide net and focus on those deeper relationships.

Here are 5 ways to focus on the quality (instead of quantity) of the relationship with your target audience.

  1. Be clear about WHO your ideal target audience is: you can’t create loyal customers if you are vague about who they are. Use a customer “avatar” to identify your perfect client. Pick 1-3. If you are trying to connect with 5-7 different ideal clients, you are casting too wide of net that won’t build lifetime relationships.
  2. Be clear about what problems you solve, both literal AND emotional. You can’t solve everything and be everything to everybody: people pleasers always fall short. A mousetrap doesn’t protect your dog from fleas. Be sincere and authentic in the problems you solve and the promises you make. This, in turn, will help you focus on strengthening those existing relationships and creating loyal customers.
  3. Deliver on your brand expectations and promises. If you fail to deliver the solutions you promise the first time, then you won’t have a second date.
  4. Engage with your target audience and create a forum of open communication, including sincere requests for feedback. Make your target audience feel heard. This, in turn, will make your target audience feel like they are more than $$$$$.
  5. Remember that your target audience is composed of individuals, not numbers and profiles. This is particularly true when your target audience is part of the millennial generation. One way to help keep this perspective is to use actual clients for your customer avatars. Treating your target audience as people will help you build the trust that creates loyalty.


Build deeper relationships to generate loyal customers. Perhaps it helps to think of an anti-Archetype (one to avoid) like that of a “People Pleaser.” Spend time strengthening existing relationships and avoid the temptation to become everything to everybody. Otherwise, as the saying goes, your brand will be nothing to no one.