On Fostering the Long Tail Effect of True Brand Loyalty

On Fostering the Long Tail Effect of True Brand Loyalty

One of the things I’ve always been a huge proponent of is fostering true brand loyalty for the long tail – strategic and continuous and  growth – versus getting quick buzz hits then using the rinse and repeat formula.

This stems from various reasons but the core overall one is simple – create a loyal army of consumers-turned-customers-turned-advocates, by providing solutions that meet their needs, and much of your marketing will be done organically.

This creates three benefits:

  • You have a true two-way relationship with your customer;
  • You have word-of-mouth from trusted resources that no amount of money could buy;
  • Your brand has an immediate advantage for new innovations, feedback and growth through shared ideas.

Loyalty also has another added benefit – more often than not, the cost of new customer acquisition versus existing customers satisfaction is much higher. Not always, but mostly.

If you can reduce the spend on acquisition, you can re-allocate that to reducing churn of existing customers, enhancing the loyalty and appreciation factor immensely.

Two brands that understand the implementation of long tail loyalty are BlogOnCloud9 and Livefyre.

Brand Loyalty: BlogOnCloud9

BlogOnCloud9 WordPress

When I switched over to WordPress hosting experts BlogOnCloud9 back in 2010, I wrote a post then on how happy I was with the move and service. Almost three years later, nothing’s changed – except the service and approach of Dana and Karen, the founders of and partners in the service, is even better.

Last weekend, on a Saturday evening, I was tinkering with my blog to add some CSS code in order to change the email sign-up box I have at the end of every post.

Because I’m not a CSS guy, I messed up the copy/paste and completely borked my blog. Since I’d changed some code in the functions.php file, it messed up the rest of the site and all I had was a scary blank white screen of death.

I resigned myself to the fact I did something stupid on a Saturday night, and pinged Dana and Karen an email saying what had happened, and if they could help resolve. This was done not expecting anything until Monday at the earliest.

Not one hour later, Dana emailed to say he had found the bad code, fixed it, and that the site was now fully operational again. This was at 8.00pm on a Saturday night!

I was floored. BlogOnCloud9 isn’t a massive hosting company employee-wise, but that service and response at the weekend outdid competitors far “larger” than Dana and Karen’s baby.

Brand Loyalty: Livefyre

Livefyre comments system

Ah, Livefyre. Regular readers and subscribers here will know I’m a huge fan of the Livefyre comments system. There’s just something about the platform that behaves like a true comment system should.Social integration; real-time chat functionality; community fostering, and more. It’s just an awesome platform.

Recently, I moved away from Livefyre and reactivated Disqus following a crowdsource survey of my subscribers, who preferred Disqus over Livefyre (although Livefyre had a huge amount of fans in the responses too).

But I began to have issues with Disqus. Mobile load time could be slow; Reactions (how your post has been shared on Twitter) were unreliable; and valid comments were getting caught in the spam filter.

I knew Livefyre were working on a major update to their platform, Livefyre 3. The beta version is on this blog, with the public release due imminently. And I knew that I still loved the platform, even though I’d made the move away from them recently.

So I emailed Livefyre support, and the awesome Dhara Mhistry was immediately on the case. No reprimanding (even in jest) for being “disloyal”, simply happy to help get Livefyre back on the blog.

Not only did Dhara and the Livefyre technical team ensure none of my Disqus comments were lost, she also answered all my questions regarding styling the comments to be more in line with the colour scheme here.

And, just like BlogOnCloud9, Livefyre was there testing the comments on the weekend to make sure the change back over had been a smooth one.

The really impressive thing? I’m not even a paying customer – Livefyre Comments is free, although it does offer premium features for businesses and media properties.

Building Loyalty Really Isn’t That Hard

What’s key in both these examples are two things that both BlogOnCloud9 and Livefyre clearly understand:

  • Customers (and/or users) mess up, and being able to clear a way through that mess together fosters trust and loyalty;
  • Losing patronage for a while doesn’t mean the brand has lost an advocate or loyal user – you have to find out for yourself why you loved that brand in the first place when compared to someone else.

A lot of brand struggle to understand loyalty – true loyalty. Offering discount vouchers and early usage of a new product may win you favours – but what you do after that to build on that quick-hit loyalty is what will define your long tail success.

BlogOnCloud9 and Livefyre already know this. Now it’s up to your brand.

Note: BlogOnCloud9 recently launched BlogDroid (affiliate link), for a seamless WordPress experience no matter what level of knowledge you have. 

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Danny Brown
Co-author Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. #1 marketing blog in world as per HubSpot. Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Never says no to a good single malt. You can find me on Twitter - Google+ - LinkedIn.
106 comments
wmwebdes
wmwebdes

Danny I was pretty upset when you went over to Disqus - I really missed he interaction that Livefyre gives.

So good to see you back with Livefyre.

Tell me... have you noticed an increase in comment interaction?

50 comments on this post looks pretty good to me.

wmwebdes
wmwebdes

Danny I was pretty upset when you went over to Disqus - I really missed he interaction that Livefyre gives. So good to see you back with Livefyre.

wmwebdes
wmwebdes

Danny I was pretty upset when you went over to Disqus - I really missed he interaction that Livefyre gives.

So good to see you back with Livefyre.

abdallahalhakim
abdallahalhakim

So you are switching back to livefyre :) As long as you keep it between disqus and livefyre, then I think you will have many happy commenters. Your points about consumers-turned-customers-turned-advocates and absolutely spot on. This blog is an example of you advocating for two of your favourite products. The question is how many customers out there for Cloud9 and Livefyre are equally satisfied with their service but not as vocal. This is why companies need to take a proactive approach when it comes to mobilizing their advocates. When they do - the results are astounding  You might be interested in two recent case studies prepared by Influitive about how two of its customers, Ekton and SMART, (http://www.slideshare.net/Influitive/smart-final-16703239 and http://www.slideshare.net/Influitive/influitive-case-study-ektron), used Influitive's advocatehub to  mobilize their advocates. Feel free to contact me if you want more information about Influitive or if you would like get in touch with VP of marketing or CEO of Influitive.

abdallahalhakim
abdallahalhakim

So you are switching back to livefyre :) As long as you keep it between disqus and livefyre, then I think you will have many happy commenters. Your points about consumers-turned-customers-turned-advocates and absolutely spot on. This blog is an example of you advocating for two of your favourite products. The question is how many customers out there for Cloud9 and Livefyre are equally satisfied with their service but not as vocal. This is why companies need to take a proactive approach when it comes to mobilizing their advocates. When they do - the results are astounding  You might be interested in two recent case studies prepared by Influitive about how two of its customers, Ekton and SMART, (http://www.slideshare.net/Influitive/smart-final-16703239 and http://www.slideshare.net/Influitive/influitive-case-study-ektron), used Influitive's advocatehub to  mobilize their advocates. Feel free to contact me if you want more information about Influitive or if you would like get in touch with VP of marketing or CEO of Influitive. 

Nishant Gupta
Nishant Gupta

Just goes to show the importance of making a customer feel good

Nishant Gupta
Nishant Gupta

Just goes to show the importance of making a customer feel good

Libby Cortez
Libby Cortez

I'm especially loving your take on the benefits of loyalty, particularly that it fosters innovation, feedback, and growth through shared ideas. This isn't something we hear about as often - perhaps because it's not as easy to quantify - but it couldn't be more true. Thanks for the good insight!

Libby Cortez
Libby Cortez

I'm especially loving your take on the benefits of loyalty, particularly that it fosters innovation, feedback, and growth through shared ideas. This isn't something we hear about as often - perhaps because it's not as easy to quantify - but it couldn't be more true. Thanks for the good insight!

meghankrane
meghankrane

Thanks for the kind words @DannyBrown, and thank you for continuing to help us to improve Livefyre. dharait and I are both really excited to have you back on Livefyre, but we will always consider you part of the Livefyre Community Danny.

meghankrane
meghankrane moderator

Thanks for the kind words @DannyBrown, and thank you for continuing to help us to improve Livefyre. @dharait and I are both really excited to have you back on Livefyre, but we will always consider you part of the Livefyre Community Danny. 

ContentRobot
ContentRobot

Hi, Danny ... We are so pleased you wrote about our hosting service, BlogOnCloud9. We are always happy to help you and any of our clients that we work with. Have a fabulous weekend, Karen & Dana

ContentRobot
ContentRobot

Hi, Danny ...

We are so pleased you wrote about our hosting service, BlogOnCloud9. We are always happy to help you and any of our clients that we work with.

Have a fabulous weekend, Karen & Dana

nickcicero
nickcicero

@hessiejones @DannyBrown thanks for passing this along Hessie! Happy Friday :)

nickcicero
nickcicero

@hessiejones @DannyBrown thanks for passing this along Hessie! Happy Friday :)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@jgoldsborough Yet it seems such a basic Business 101 to get right... sigh.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

wmwebdes You know I just changed it back to you, right? Now that's influence marketing! ;-)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

abdallahalhakim There are actually quite a few examples across the web of praise for both brands. It's a fine line to tread - how much can you ask your advocates to promote organically without appearing a spammer. Thanks for the slides, I'll check them out.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Libby Cortez One of my favourite examples is that of Nintendo, when they brought the Wii out, and Super Mario was deemed too easy, compared to the classic Nintendo 64 version. Nintendo had made it to attract new fans, but the loyal customers felt the franchise had been dumbed down too much. The head of development listened, and promised the next game in the series would return to its hardcore gamer roots, as well as bring new innovations to the way games were played. You can't pay enough for that kind of feedback from the customers who stick with you through thick and thin. And listening to them the way Nintendo did? Just made them even more loyal. Cheers, Libby, have a great weekend!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@Libby Cortez One of my favourite examples is that of Nintendo, when they brought the Wii out, and Super Mario was deemed too easy, compared to the classic Nintendo 64 version. Nintendo had made it to attract new fans, but the loyal customers felt the franchise had been dumbed down too much.

The head of development listened, and promised the next game in the series would return to its hardcore gamer roots, as well as bring new innovations to the way games were played.

You can't pay enough for that kind of feedback from the customers who stick with you through thick and thin. And listening to them the way Nintendo did? Just made them even more loyal.

Cheers, Libby, have a great weekend!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

meghankrane dharait Thanks, Meghan, you guys always make people feel at home, and I wish more companies had your passion in simply building something and welcoming those who wish to use it.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@meghankrane @dharait Thanks, Meghan, you guys always make people feel at home, and I wish more companies had your passion in simply building something and welcoming those who wish to use it.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

ContentRobot And that's exactly what makes you who you are, guys - thank you!

hessiejones
hessiejones

@nickcicero @DannyBrown Danny's great that way! He's always calling out great examples of companies doing it right!

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@nickcicero @hessiejones Cheers, Nick, great job (as usual) by you guys, have a great weekend yourself!

hessiejones
hessiejones

@nickcicero @DannyBrown Danny's great that way! He's always calling out great examples of companies doing it right!

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@nickcicero @hessiejones Cheers, Nick, great job (as usual) by you guys, have a great weekend yourself!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

@Susie Erjavec Parker Well, now that you mention it...

JGoldsborough
JGoldsborough

@dannybrown Totally does. Talked content marketing with a client yesterday and emphasized having a short-term AND long-term approach.

wmwebdes
wmwebdes

Danny Brown Just for little old me? I can dream. Cheers Danny - good to be back and interactiiiiig.

abdallahalhakim
abdallahalhakim

Danny Brown abdallahalhakim We are in agreement. I am not surprised that both livefyre and cloud9 receive a lot of praise given their apparent great customer service. A good advocacy program will not work if all you do is ask things from your advocates. The process involves nurturing a relationship and also providing benefits and value to your best customers. I hope you find the case studies useful.

abdallahalhakim
abdallahalhakim

@Danny Brown @abdallahalhakim We are in agreement. I am not surprised that both livefyre and cloud9 receive a lot of praise given their apparent great customer service. A good advocacy program will not work if all you do is ask things from your advocates. The process involves nurturing a relationship and also providing benefits and value to your best customers. I hope you find the case studies useful. 

nickcicero
nickcicero

@DannyBrown @hessiejones hope you're enjoying your weekend!

nickcicero
nickcicero

@DannyBrown @hessiejones hope you're enjoying your weekend!

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@jgoldsborough It's funny - do they just have a short term goal to be in business? Then why take one with customers and loyalty? ;-)

hessiejones
hessiejones

@nickcicero @DannyBrown Cheers! It's Sunday! Tomorrow Back to work:(

hessiejones
hessiejones

@nickcicero @DannyBrown Cheers! It's Sunday! Tomorrow Back to work:(

JGoldsborough
JGoldsborough

@dannybrown Really good point about having a long-term goal to stay in business. Love that!

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@mattlacasse @JGoldsborough I guess it depends on what country you wanted to retire to.

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@mattlacasse @JGoldsborough Sure. Go for Uist.

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse

@DannyBrown @JGoldsborough I was thinking Scotland. That'd be enough, right? ;)

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse

@DannyBrown @JGoldsborough Are you trying to tell me that the $10 I could make from a short term sale won't allow me to retire?

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