In today’s world, shared values and emotional connections play a significant role in shaping brand loyalty. As consumers become increasingly concerned about issues like climate change and social justice, they are realizing the impact their purchasing decisions can have. Research from a Yotpo survey, more than 84% of respondents worldwide said they’re more likely to make purchases from a company that shares their own values. This trend is even more pronounced among the future consumers of Generation Z. More than 90% of Gen Z participants globally base their loyalty on their shared values.
Shared Customer Values
When asked about the company values or business practices that would decrease loyalty, respondents cited affiliation with big polluters and partnerships with supply chains that have factories where they mistreat employees. Sustainability has become an all-encompassing consideration that extends beyond the final product. It now includes the entirety of the production process, supply chain practices, the product lifecycle, its packaging, and much more. The power of shared values lies in its ability to foster a truly meaningful connection that can go beyond simply creating a favorable association with the brand in the minds of consumers. It builds emotional loyalty. It creates action-oriented and personal relationships between consumers and their favorite brands. Emotional loyalty surpasses superficial rewards such as points or VIP tiers. It taps into the genuine connection that customers feel toward brands. Brand loyalty is just one essential element. Companies must strive to gain the emotional loyalty of the customers too, to be able to motivate them to take action. Prioritizing the shared values of consumers is a great way to establish a connection and create better brand loyalty strategies right from the beginning.
In terms of brand loyalty, consumers have relatively high expectations. They seek exceptional customer service, excellent experiences, and real connections with brands. Most importantly, they’d like to know that brands care about the same issues they do, especially social justice and sustainability. Therefore, it’s crucial to develop brand loyalty strategies that reward shoppers for actions that align with their sustainable values. When brands are able to align the values of consumers and their loyalty programs, they generate stronger long-term retention. Yotpo’s survey revealed that more than 60% of consumers become more loyal through loyalty programs globally. Loyalty programs provide customized experiences that make consumers feel valued. Loyalty programs also make sure that consumers have meaningful interactions with the brand at every touchpoint. Whether it’s through email, the website, or SMS messages, every interaction is an opportunity to personalize the experience using the data from loyalty programs. It’s also an opportunity for brands to highlight their values and mission statement.
Examples of Brands Implementing Clean Practices
The sustainable fashion brand Tentree highlights eco-consciousness at every consumer touchpoint. Tentree created the Impact Wallet program. The program allows its members to keep track of environmental impact. They also get to “level up” by achieving different sustainability milestones. By structuring its loyalty program to focus on social responsibility, the company encourages consumers to actively combat climate change and reinforces its brand mission.
Plae is a specialty footwear company focusing on young consumers offers customers the option to donate the loyalty points they collect to a cause. Consumers can donate their accrued points to Plae’s current collaborator, Race4Good, with each point equivalent to a dollar. This empowers customers to directly contribute to a cause they want to support. That includes causes such as reforestation, nature conservation, or ocean de-pollution.
Steve Madden is a global retailer that prioritizes sustainability throughout its organization. The brand uses sustainable materials, implements recycled packaging, and demonstrates a dedication to inclusion and diversity. Steve Madden actively signs pledges. He gets involved with organizations making a positive difference. By acting on the company’s brand mission in various ways, they establish a strong connection with their customers and foster higher loyalty.