“I signed up with them out of convenience. I will stay with them because they won me over in a way I could never imagine.”
Creating customer brand loyalty should be one of the top goals for every brand in business. Customer loyalty leads to repeat business, referrals, a willingness to pay a higher price for services, and so much more.
The challenge in building true customer loyalty exists from the reality that for customers to truly fall in love with your business, you need to ensure that every touchpoint of the brand journey is meaningful. And the more touchpoints you have, the more opportunities there are for missteps and the chance they lose their passion for you.
Why do some companies earn our brand loyalty more than others?
The reality is there are many reasons for this. Here are a few to consider:
- Convenience (Amazon)
- Quality of products (Whole Foods)
- Innovative Products (Apple)
- Customer Service (Zappos)
- Commitment to the environment (Method)
Sometimes, a brand earns your loyalty by doing something that truly blows you away when you least expect it in a way that not only earns your loyalty for life but makes you an evangelist along the way, wanting to make you share your experience with as many people as possible.
Such was the case recently with our Senior Creative Director & Brand Strategist, Matthew Goldfarb, who, after losing his Dog Gola this year, found himself utterly won over by the online dog food company, Chewy.com.
I’ll let him tell his story.
“About a year ago, I was told that 11-year old Gola, my Cavalier Bichon “hipster mutt,” was diagnosed with Congestive heart disease after a trip to the emergency room. This condition is common for dogs of her breed. So she would have to be put on a series of medications to help control her breathing and kidneys and was placed on a special prescription low-sodium dog food that could only be ordered online or through specialty mail.
The vet gave me a few places to order from, and one of them was Chewy.com. I had never used the company but had seen their marketing online and on boxes from my neighbor’s purchased products. I decided to use them because it was the most convenient, and it felt like I was ordering from the Amazon of dog food.
I placed my first order with the company and had the food delivered to my home. Each bag, priced at around $80 (a few dollars cheaper when placed on auto-ship), was enough for about 3-4 months.
When I signed up for the auto-ship option, I didn’t think much about it. It was a quick choice to save a few dollars, and truthfully, I found myself a little annoyed when the second bag arrived three months after purchasing the first. This was a giant bag, after all, and storage is a luxury in my home. Still, I was grateful to have the bag on demand when the first bag ran out. As time went by and Gola’s condition worsened, she took to eating less and less. So much so that the third bag of dog food arrived when she had barely gone through half of the second.
Earlier this year, Gola collapsed. Her heart was giving out, and we had to make the hard call to say goodbye to her.
I kept myself busy — donating her old bed, unused medicine, and toys. I canceled her pet insurance, medicine prescriptions, and the dog food from Chewy on auto-ship. I also had to figure out what to do with the $80 bag of dog food that hadn’t even been taken out of the box. I was sure I could return the dog food, but I didn’t even want to think about how much it might cost to ship a 40 pound box back.
I contacted Chewy. Can you guess what happened next?
The story doesn’t end there.
My posts on Instagram and Facebook were some of the most highly viewed, liked, and commented on of any that I have ever experienced on social media. And in addition to the wishes of condolences came a host of comments from people in my network who were genuinely touched by the kindness from Chewy, some even stating that hearing my story was the impetus for them to start using their products.”
What you have just read was a masterclass in how to develop Brand Loyalty.
Chewy.com didn’t refund Matthew’s money, allow him to donate the food to charity, and send him flowers because they hoped he would share the story with others. That was all Matthew’s choice.
They did it because they love animals, and they know how profound the loss of a pet is to their owner. They did it because they stayed true to their mission: To be the most trusted and convenient online destination for pet parents (and partners) everywhere. The actions they took are in alignment with what the brand stands for. And they turned one touchpoint into a moment that not only created true brand loyalty with one customer but then inspired that customer to help spread the word about how great a company they are.