How Brands Can Build Loyalty Through Mobile Engagement

By: Kahuna | July 14, 2015 | Campaign Strategy
Brand loyalty through mobile engagement

Kahuna Field Notes is a series offering observations, strategies, and practical tips from the Kahuna Customer Success team. Each installment will be authored by a different Customer Success team member, with the goal of providing insights for mobile marketing professionals.

You can learn a lot from a man wielding a machete.

When I think of some of the best modern brand messaging, I think of that Dollar Shave Club commercial where the CEO tosses funny one-liners at the camera, while wielding a machete. It was an awesome first impression for their target audience, and I would say it definitely made an impact on Dollar Shave Club’s brand identity—the video has more than 19 million views on YouTube.

Likewise, Chubbies is a company that has effectively defined its brand voice through mobile engagement. When I think of Chubbies, I think of preppy young guys, potentially in blazers, living their dreams in bright-colored shorts.

Chubbies and Dollar Shave Club both target the Millennial demographic, and both understand this demographic doesn’t respond to the old marketing playbooks of the past. Millennials — and the so-called Generation Z after them—want brand messages to consistently deliver value first, before trying to sell. That value can be a good belly laugh at a video or an aspirational sense of joy watching some shorts-clad bros partying.

While Chubbies and Dollar Shave Club definitely utilize conversion campaigns, they understand the value of campaigns designed purely to connect the user with the brand voice. Even though these communications often don’t have a direct connection to revenue, it can build up a rapport with users that can develop into loyalty. Even if you don’t need a razor or a pair of shorts when you receive a message, you can bet it will have an impact down the line.

What you show customers and how you show it tells them who you are as a brand and what motivates you.This is especially true when it comes to users who are mobile-first or mobile-only.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure your mobile engagement is helping to increase brand loyalty:

Know Who Your Target Audience Is 

While this may sound like Marketing 101, I can’t stress how important it is to know who your target audience is. In a desktop-only world, this was actually pretty easy: assume that each device represented an individual user, combine that with your internal research, and you’re good to go. Nowadays, your users can interact with your brand on their phones in the morning, on a laptop during the day, and then on an iPad in the evening.

Chubbies does a great job of knowing exactly who loves their products, and what they want from the brand. It would be easy for them to constantly hawk their new shorts (or whatever new product), but Chubbies deliberately uses channels like push notifications to make customers laugh.

Once you’ve defined your brand voice and discovered who your target audience is, stick to it. Dropping in a plethora of calls-to-action or direct conversion goals just because will likely backfire. People engaged with you for a reason, so keep with it.

Speak to People in the Channel They Want To Be Spoken to

Your mobile engagement strategy has to be on the user’s terms. A holistic, omnichannel marketing approach is the only way to have your brand messaging really resonate. If your users spend most of their time on the web and interact with you via email, send them an email. If they live in your app, send them a push notification or in-app message.

Most importantly: Don’t be annoying. Think about it like a friendship; if you had a friend who only asks you for money every time you speak, they likely won’t be your friend for very long. There’s a time and place for conversion campaigns, but be sure to throttle messages, and keep your touch frequency to each customer’s optimal amount.

Remember, not every customer needs to receive every message you send out. Lean on your data; if some customers are converting with your high-touch frequency, but others have waned in their engagement, these customer groups should be treated differently.

Personalize Your Communications

In a world filled with more and more digital distractions, it’s becoming increasingly crucial to personalize messages you’re sending. In an ideal world, every marketing message would be hand-crafted specifically for each individual user, but that just doesn’t scale. Luckily, modern marketers can lean on tools that can provide personalized messages, at scale.

Customize name, products they’re interested in, pages they’ve viewed, articles they’ve read, and more. Speak to your customer as if you know them. Your customers want this, particularly Millennials, because it shows that brands aren’t taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

It’s essential to know your target audience and how to speak to them on a one-to-one basis, at scale. Understandably, this requires some legwork. You need the right tools to analyze this data and then implement your strategy. As long as you have a vision for brand persona and voice, know that your target audience will identify with it. And if you execute with your customer’s best interests in mind, you should be able to gain a loyal following. No machetes required.

This installment of Kahuna Field Notes is authored by Mila Lazarevsky. Mila has extensive experience in results-driven email marketing, SEM, campaign analysis and optimization, analytics, customer lifecycle management, and social media marketing.  


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