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StrategyJan 29, 2021

Building Brand Affinity Marketing: 3 Tactics to Improve Competitive Advantage

Kaylin Blancas, Taylor Marley, Gabriella Biasiotta, and Melanie Beecher

The world is adapting and consumer behaviors are quickly changing. As a result, marketing tactics must evolve to reach customers where they are and with a tone that resonates. Companies with the strongest omnichannel experiences retain 89% of their customers on average, compared to 33% retention for companies with weak experiences. This difference supports the increase in investment many companies are applying toward improved digital experiences. In a highly competitive marketing landscape, the long-term question marketing leaders should be asking is, “How can we be known, but also loved?”

There are three tactics to build brand affinity:

  1. Brand affinity requires intentional efforts to know your customers.

  2. Convert purchase to passion and increase brand equity.

  3. Harness first-party data to deeply understand customers.

Brand Affinity Requires Intentional Efforts to Know Your Customers

A resilient marketing strategy requires a positive customer experience and intentionality. To be intentional, brands must deeply know and understand their customers. Building meaningful customer relationships requires connecting at the right time via the most thoughtful channel. This combines targeting strategy with that of channel and technology strategies, moving away from customer acquisition and moving toward retention, flipping consumers to customers.

“It takes five to eight times the effort to win a new customer than it does to sell additional products or services to an existing customer, meaning ROI is much greater on the existing customer. To lower leakage and increase loyalty among customers, brands need to consider a distinct attribute in a value proposition—to be inspiring. Create a meaningful or emotional impact with the customer as a potential strategic lever for reducing leakage and increasing loyalty.” Gail Stout Perry, Partner at Credera

As marketers, meeting the needs of consumers at the right time unlocks an emotional connection, leveraging not only their products but also their brand values. Products come and go, but a brand and its engagement with its audience deliver persisting returns.

Convert Purchase to Passion and Increase Brand Equity

Brand affinity is achieved when a consumer’s path to purchase is followed with a path to passion. In order to achieve the competitive advantage brought about by brand affinity, Credera partners with brands to create value, delivering the right content through our engagements and experiences with customers. We work with clients to enable journey evolution from purchase to passion, maximizing the value and capitalizing on shared goals, values, and needs. Achievement is akin to marketing nirvana, and the brand equity gained leads to lower product marketing costs and lower cost per gross ad (CPGA) figures.

Harness First-Party Data to Deeply Understand Your Customers

Data is a key to creating a successful brand affinity strategy. Marketing organizations that develop strategies to intelligently synthesize and activate data-driven tactics can excel at intentionality and retention at scale. However, many organizations have a wealth of first- and third-party data that often goes untapped as finding signals in the noise is both an art and a science. Using data science can help organizations determine how to leverage data to advance one-to-one marketing and in a more automated fashion. Utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) techniques can equip organizations to reach target audiences at the right time with the right messaging and/or offer. Measurement and analytics will enable the organization to learn, iterate, and optimize to stay ahead of the competition.

“If you can layer your own proprietary data on top, you have something unique. This differentiation allows you to know more about your customers, which means that you can better design a meaningful customer experience, and your competitors cannot. In other words, you can drive better efficiency leading to higher total conversions even on a smaller budget.” Vincent Yates, Partner and Chief Data Scientist at Credera

Case Study: Outdoor Voices Has Mastered Brand Affinity

Knowing your customers, by investing in brand affinity, enables your brand to deeply connect with customers. A company that has mastered brand affinity is Outdoor Voices, an athleisure brand headquartered in Austin, Texas. Outdoor Voices has created more than a brand; it has fostered a movement that inspires fans through its tagline: “Doing Things.” One of Outdoor Voices most popular products, the exercise dress, has taken the world by storm, encouraging women in that they “can do anything in a dress.” This messaging is powerful, inspiring, and empowering, and celebrates the femininity and strength of its target market of female customers. It is no surprise that this messaging transcends the hierarchy of needs, fostering self-actualized customers and a deeply emotional connection to the brand, not just the dress.

The Takeaway: Unlock Deeper Brand Affinity to Unlock Lasting Returns

A deeper brand affinity will improve your bottom line. Brands that know their customers and their highest, most profound needs, and meet them there, will create engaged customers. Let’s develop a data-driven strategy to inform customer marketing, experience, and loyalty. Reach out to us at findoutmore@credera.com.

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