Authenticity and success are synonymous when building brand reputation and loyalty. While creating an authentic brand is paradoxical—in that as soon as you mention how authentic you are, you immediately lose authenticity—it’s nevertheless a quality that can elevate a brand from popular to pervasive.
Everyone knows the brands—Apple, Google, Coca-Cola— that dominate everyday life and have achieved cult-like followings. These brands have fans in every country, would seemingly rather die than use a competitor’s product and, in some cases, have become the second most-recognized English word after “hello.”
How’s it done? Brand loyalty begins with your first external communication. People are constantly flooded with advertisements, promotions and choices, so if you want to be an industry leader, you have to be sure you’re talking to the right people.
What are some qualities brands with loyal followings share?
They are synonymous with a piece of a person’s life that would otherwise be different without the brand: A person with an iPhone can’t imagine life with an Android. Avid runners won’t even consider wearing Adidas instead of Nike.
They’re largely organic. They didn’t buy followers, they earned them.
Their employees are their biggest advocates: Keeping your employees engaged and excited is a way to grow and retain brand loyalty. Offering your employees stock options, facetime with C-suite executives and regular access to inside-only perks will reduce any internal negativity surrounding your brand.