I LOVE Victoria’s Secret like some people love chocolate. Or a martini. Or even cake.
I have been on board with them since I was in middle school (I’m now 40).
I don’t buy any OTHER brand.
I don’t care that a bra is $50. I still buy it.
WHY? Because I am 100% convinced their brand is the best.
It makes me feel sexy.
It makes me feel good about myself.
It makes me feel like I can kick ass & take names any time of the day.
Yeah- I feel like a badass.
They create brand loyalty that I salivate thinking about (or maybe it’s just the panties???????)
Creating brand loyalty- how do they do it?
By creating a total customer experience. When you walk into their store, you’re among the elite. You’re surrounded by beautiful things (including the staff) that in turn make you feel beautiful.
You get catalogs that are filled with beautiful pictures of women.You get mailers advertising sales and freebies with purchase.
They have a loyalty program (Angel), of which I am a member, that entitles you to special sales and loyalty points (X dollars translate to points and when you reach certain levels, they send you a gift card).
They are masters of creating a total experience that you believe 110%. You say to yourself, “If I wear their stuff, I too can look that good. I can feel THAT good.”
How can you recreate some of the same brand loyalty?
So, yeah, I’m an insurance agent. Not particularly sexy. Kind of tough to create the rabid kind of brand loyalty enjoyed by Victoria’s Secret within the insurance industry (unless I hired some models dressed in their finest to do CSR work. On second thought……).
But although you may not be Victoria’s Secret, you can certainly harness some of their tricks to use in your business. Even if it’s boring (GASP), like insurance.
Here’s some ideas for creating brand loyalty like Victoria’s Secret
Create the ultimate experience. Whether your environment is digital or physical, your goal is to create an experience for your customers that makes them go “Wow- this totally rocks!” They need to feel special and you want them to go tell as many people as possible how special you made them feel.
How do you do this? Here’s ideas I quickly brainstormed that can be used for the insurance industry (but can be used by any industry truthfully). Many I use in my agency:
- Train your staff to say the following (or a variation thereof) when they answer the phone- “Thank you for calling XYZ Insurance, where our goal is to make insurance easier for you. How can I make that possible today?”
- Always ask your customers what’s the easiest way they can work with you. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them. It still baffles me that many agencies don’t give customers choices. Of course, the agency may not have any choices, so you might want to fix that 😉
- Call people by name. The look on their face is priceless.
- When customers walk into your business, offer them a cup of coffee (or water, or whatever the beverage availability is). Overall, make your environment welcoming. I offer people a cup of coffee or water when we’re sitting in my office. We also have two cats, a fish tank, and most afternoons my daughter is here. People feel comfortable coming here and often just drop by to say Hi.
- When you hear positive news about someone or a business or read about it on social media, send a note of congratulations. Yes, I do this and they are handwritten.
- If your website looks dark and dismal- that’s how potential customers may view you. I’m not saying it has to look like a rainbow exploded everywhere, but a few bright colors here and there, along with some smiling people make a world of difference.
- If your social media sites have the same dreary feel as your website, that’s bad news too. Use the social media sites to add an extra layer of the experience. Inspirational messages that tie into your brand message, smiling pictures of staff with a fun bio attached, pictures from events the agency is involved with, and humor do wonders to build your brand message.
- Make yourself irrestible. Create so much value that people flock to you. Perhaps that’s frequent blog posts that answer customers’ questions (one of my tactics). Perhaps it’s a report or whitepaper that expands on one of those questions (note- a whitepaper does NOT have to look like a doctoral dissertation. It can truly be only 3 pages if that’s all you need;) Think of it as a deeper dive into a blog post. Perhaps it’s a mastermind you create for complementary industries. Or presentations you give to help complementary industries thrive. The possibilities are endless.
Use email marketing. Victoria’s Secret sends me notifications of their sales pretty consistently. Or when they introduce a new product. Insurance folks can use a similar strategy. No, you can’t necessarily advertise like a retail store (and you may not want to), but you can certainly send out occasional emails talking about features of your website and how each helps the customer. You can also send out emails advertising special events or open houses or other celebrations you’re having. Emails about agents in the news, community/charity involvement, or even a monthly safety tip are great topics. Email marketing, when done correctly, can be the “carrot” that really draws people in and makes them feel connected- like they’re members of a special club. And speaking of that…….
Start a loyalty club. And what I’m talking about here is a referral rewards program. We started ours last fall and it has been wildly successful. You can read all the details on my agency website, but the idea is to reward people who refer with various prizes. Of course, you need to check with your state department of insurance to determine an acceptable dollar amount so as not to get into trouble for rebating.
Yes, you can create fierce brand loyalty like Victoria’s Secret. And yes, even in a *boring* industry 😉