Emotional loyalty and its power to drive business
The North Face is one of the most successful outdoor product companies of its time. However, the majority of their customers buy from their stores less than twice a year. So, how do they make money? Ian Dewer shares with his audience at Europe’s Customer Festival the secrets to their success: customer loyalty.
The North Face markets its products to anyone who is defined by their activity. Its promotional material reflects their customers’ passions, which helps boost sales in a number of different ways. Firstly, it means that their customers are less aware that they are being sold a product, and more interested in purchasing items that will enable them to pursue their interests. In effect, The North Face becomes a facilitator of their customers’ interests. Their customers do not feel as though they are being forced to buy anything. The retail giant are genuinely interested in promoting outdoor activities and encouraging their customers to do more. So, unsurprisingly, their customers then come back because they trust the brand, the quality and the passion behind the company, and they associate the realisation of their passion with the brand.
Therefore, if everyone with a passion for outdoor sports bought their kit from The North Face each year, they are not only achieving revenue, but they are guaranteeing a high customer retention rate and return sales. If they are highly satisfied with their product, then the consumer will become loyal, and the company will maintain a stable income and inspire steady growth. Not bad, right?
The relevance of The North Face’s business to its customers is reflected on an emotional level, not buying X to get Y. The North Face don’t lower its prices, or give out vouchers and discounts; instead they take the focus away from the price and put it towards the value of experience. Their customers don’t mind paying good money, because if it is in pursuit of their interests, they are willing to pay for a product that will last.
The moral of the story is, when you talk to people about stuff they’re interested in – they’ll talk back. And, they’ll come back. Emotional loyalty is vital for steady and solid growth in a business, especially when prices are constantly being beaten by competitors. If you can connect with your customers on an emotional level, you’re no longer dragging them into your shop – they’ll come looking for you.