Brand loyalty – Bridging the Gap between Customer and Brand!


A brand is a unique identity and resembles a person that you wish to know or closely resonate with. As a consumer, you buy into the long-term charm and promise of brand values. Kotler, David Aker, Drucker have all spoken of this in detail.

Corporate India has built many iconic brands like the AI Maharajah, Tata 501 soap, Maruti 800, Lakme, Liril etc. Each one is sculpted with specific identities and has remained undiluted over the decades coupled with an unrelenting base of consumers and fans.  Sin goods such as Old Monk, Gold Flake, Willis, are also shining with their dedicated pool of consumers for the past 5-6 decades. Many of them don’t even advertise much. Yet, they command loyalty..

Wait! What’s the loyalty thing now?

88% of consumers say it takes three or more purchases to build brand loyalty. Well, brand loyalty doesn’t build overnight, and needs a whole lot of marketing strategy, planning, and understanding the pulse of the customer. All this and so much more makes a brand stand out from the rest. However, Customer experience (CX) is not the same as the much-touted “brand loyalty”. The experience could be transactional or limited in one shining moment. If the relationship is built with consumers over many channels, and products and yet leave behind a rich image in their minds, perhaps this is the road to loyalty. Customers become product advocates when all touch points with their chosen brand leave a positive imprint on their minds.

Here’s an excerpt from an article in Businessworld, June 2014 about loyalty programs. How easy or difficult is it to launch a loyalty program? Here’s how easy or difficult it is to launch a brand loyalty program. The six aspects must be in your checklist to do so –

  1. A vanilla card or membership number with easy-to-understand terms
  2. Allow points accumulation and rewards on this
  3. Recognize on entry into physical premises of the service/retail/outlets
  4. Be greeted by name at POS/check out and maybe a deal sweetener is offered
  5. Smaller add-ons, for frequent visitors/buyers like free parking/cloth bag
  6. A monthly/weekly transaction statement that captures the essence of the brand

The key here is to create and believe in your own loyalty program. It is not a marketing or shopfloor program but an organization-wide, cultural adaptation while driving the organization to use unique insights into customer behavior.

Why incorporate interactive tools as part of your brand loyalty campaign?

Two-way interactions are probably what you expected in the introduction. This includes any elements that require active user participation. Mutual interaction includes, for example, chats, comment columns, interactive billing, and other feedback options. Content no longer is consumed passively but requires active participation that provides a positive experience. This sense of belonging creates particularly strong customer retention and loyalty. Additionally, through interactive tools, you create a level of engagement and loyalty among your customers, which can be considered a significant competitive advantage.

Intense Technologies has been assisting service brands such as HDFC Life, HDFC Bank, IDFC Bank, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, Vodafone, Airtel, BSNL, etc to build this customer happiness and loyalty programs. Recognized by leading analysts such as Gartner and Aspire Leaderboard, Intense’s value proposition helps you

  • Align your brand values in each shining moment on print/mail/SMS/portals/apps
  • Cross-sell, and up-sell very effectively with video statements, and interactive statements
  • Enhance user experience while presenting relevant data in a unique manner with Interactive communication
  • Deliver engaging communication that drives higher user activity

Intense’s approach with UniServe Reach, a marketing automation platform is a data-informed strategy that keeps the consumer at the center throughout the journey. It’s always about leveraging the data and once we have good data everything else becomes a lot easier.

Looking Ahead

Loyalty programs work best when the data, technology, and strategy go hand-in-hand. The loyalty management tool looks at creating a data analytics tool, rewards management program, and ability to work with your alliances [e.g. airline code share program] through on-the-fly unique code generation. Loyalty is not a set-it-and-forget-it area of business. It is an “everyday task” that is part of your company’s DNA and ecosystem.


Avinash Kulkarni

Avinash is a successful Senior Executive leading business transformation, scaling teams to meet hyper-growth with an extremely successful track record of over 27 years of experience in Sales, Training, Alliances, and Operations as a P&L owner.He has in the past worked with large organizations such as Xerox, Reliance Communications, IL&FS, Hitachi Group, Head Held High Foundation (NGO), and most recently with Rapyder Cloud Solutions. Drawing on his rich and varied Senior Management, operating, and strategic experience, Avinash has worked on creating enterprise business traction at Rapyder, a partner to AWS and Azure. He was instrumental in utilizing institutions like CII, and IMT Ghaziabad for field research and Adoption of cloud in migration, modernization, and analytics being the key solution areas.

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