Customer Loyalty Definition & How to Build Customer Loyalty

Consumers have a wide variety of brand options these days, and they’ve gotten comfortable with researching brands during the pandemic. That means that brands have to stay on their toes and listen closely to the wants and needs of their target audience.

We’re not out of the woods with the pandemic, and there’s good reason for brands to be concerned with customer loyalty. After all, it costs less to retain an existing customer than to win a new one.

That being so, it pays to keep a watchful eye on your customer loyalty metrics. To that end, we’ll explore customer loyalty in further detail with a look at:

  • What is customer loyalty?
  • Why customer loyalty matters
  • Building customer loyalty

Customer loyalty is a hot topic online. If you haven’t given it much thought lately, here are a few statistics that speak to why you should.

  • Pursuing customer loyalty is essential since the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is between 60 -70%.
  • 49% of consumers say they make purchase decisions based on friends’ views expressed on social media and those of brands themselves.
  • When consumers feel loyal to a brand, 60% of consumers will plug them to their friends and family.

Customer loyalty is no longer a given in today’s markets so let’s look at what it is and see what can be done to retain it. A fresh set of eyes on an ever-changing problem is never a bad thing to keep your customers coming back for more!

What is Customer Loyalty?

Simply put, when we’re talking customer loyalty, we’re talking about the consumers sticking around because you’ve done your job well. You’ve met their wants and needs and give them something the competition can’t offer. Not yet, anyways – that’s why you have to stay on your toes.

As we showed in the statistics above, consumers that love your brand will share this intel with their friends, families, and co-workers. And that’s why this is an essential aspect for brands to get a handle on so you don’t let customer loyalty opportunities slip away.

Customer loyalty is the backbone of your brand – full stop. Consumers know they have options, and brands that treat them as just a sales figure continue to slip out of relevancy.

The buying climate has changed, and brands need to stay in tune. Customer loyalty is maintained with emotional connections, and those ties must be understood and maintained at all costs. That’s because a brand loyal consumer connects with a brand’s identity that reflects their views.

As such, having a keen understanding of the voice of the customer is vital for strategizing around your audience and keeping your consumers coming back for more!

Why Customer Loyalty Matters

As alluded to earlier, customer loyalty matters first and foremost from a cost-effectiveness standpoint. It can cost up to seven times more to gain a new customer than to retain existing ones. Oddly enough, many brands still lean harder into acquisition than retention. Both are important, but retention is the gauge that measures customer loyalty, so it should be a higher priority.

Secondly, customer loyalty helps solidify your reputation. That’s known as brand equity, where returning customers place a high value on your brand. As we showed above, these customers spread the news when you make them happy – like the Roku customer below.


This is huge because you want to drive buzz around innovation. You always want your customers coming back for more, and that takes good social listening to accomplish. Finding pain points, needs, and desires should drive your innovation so your consumers know you as a brand they can trust to continue to level up.

Brand equity and customer retention lead to consistency and growth of sales. 20% of your consumers make up 80% of your sales, so it’s vital to target them and innovate in their direction. That way, they keep coming back for more. And they spread the word about your brand!

Building Customer Loyalty 

1. Share Your Brand Story

Since the pandemic, many customers are researching the brands they choose to stay loyal to. As such, telling your brand story or those of your consumers goes a long way to maintain a loyal following.

Why is that? Because aside from fire, shelter, and food, the human experience is built on stories. It is what makes us human. Connect your brand story with your customers, and you’ll attract your audience like bees to honey. Consumers are drawn to a narrative because it touches them deeply, especially when it’s centered around a cause, innovation, or product that resonates with them.

And don’t neglect to highlight stories that your consumers share about your brand – those work wonders to attract consumers that share the vibe.


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2. Use Social Listening to Target Your Customer Journey

The customer journey maps the lifecycle of consumers interacting with your brand. Customers seek out brands that can potentially meet their needs and choose those that align most closely with their wants.

Customer loyalty is a measurable segment using social listening that your brand should harness to keep an ear to the voice of the customer.

Segmenting your online brand mentions for consumers loyal to your brand allows you to dive in and discover what they love and where their pain points are so you can build messaging tailored to their specifics.

Customer loyalty conversations will almost always be one of the smaller segments within the customer journey. No matter how small the narrative is, it’s vital that sentiment stays high. For instance, here’s a sentiment breakdown for a major CPG brand showing metrics for their customer journey over the past month. Loyalty is looking very good at 90 on a scale of -100 to 100.


Customer journey by sentiment for major CPG brand. 8/20/21 – 9/20/21

Having measurable consumer insights through social listening is critical to developing an effective customer loyalty strategy. Social listening provides deep insights into your target audience and what makes them tick. Dig into these customer loyalty conversations and adjust your innovation and messaging for direct hits.

3. Stay in Touch with Emerging Trends

Trends have an enormous impact on consumer behavior. As such, brands that aren’t paying attention tend to keep on with business as usual. That doesn’t work these days to keep customers coming back.

As such, brands must dial in their analytics tools to find what’s bringing customers back and where they need to step up their game. The world is moving at the speed of social media, and if you’re not up to snuff, your customers will find someone who is.

So, when the news media and social media show signs of emerging trends that influence consumer perception, it’s time to adjust your messaging to line up with changing behavior. The insights are there. It’s just up to you to dig them out and adjust your sails.

With the right social listening tools, you don’t have to miss the boat as new trends and technology come along. That way, you’re prepared to adjust so your customer loyalty doesn’t take a dive.


These are just a few things you can do to inform your strategy, so you’re continually fortifying your customer loyalty.

Be sure to reach out for a demo, and we’ll show you how social listening can get you on the road to customer loyalty success!


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