Marketing 3 min read

New Study Reveals How to Strengthen Customer-Brand Relationships

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

In a publication in the Journal of Marketing, a team of researchers from Germany examined how purchasing gifts can promote future brand royalties and ultimately strengthen customer-brand relationships.

As a brand, there are different ways to build a long-lasting relationship with your customers. It ranges from knowing your audience, staying relatable, to delivering a unique solution. Another method of forming an interpersonal relationship is the purchase of a gift.

Aside from making the customer engage deeply with the gifted brand, this method could also promote future brand loyalty. And unlike other relationship-building instruments in marketing, encouraging customers to purchase gifts won’t cost you much.

Instead, it’ll generate an instant return.

Gifting Beauty Products: The Study

For their field study, the researchers entered a partnership with an international retailer of beauty products.

They hypothesized that customers purchasing gifts display higher future purchase behaviors towards the brand. However, as the purchase experience of the customer increases, the researcher expected the positive effect of gifting to drop.

They were not wrong.

Compared with customers that buy for their personal use, gift buyers spend 63 percent more in the year following purchase. Aside from increasing their purchase frequency by 25 percent, gift buyers spend 41 percent more per shopping trip and engage in 40 percent more cross-buying.

The researchers noted that the effect is even stronger when the customer has little prior purchase experience. Also, it increases when the buyer receives assistance during the gift buying and wrapping process.

So, why does gifting behavior strengthen a customer-brand relationship?

According to the researchers, gift buying is laden with symbolic meaning. It creates a situation that’s not only important to customers’ identity but their journey as a buyer too.

In a statement, author of the study, Andreas Eggert, said:

“With so much at stake, gift purchases can deepen the customer relationship with the brand, with positive impacts on key customer metrics like attitude strength and future purchase behaviors. Our research suggests that gift purchases are an opportunity for retailers to engage customers with their brand.”

5 Ways to Leverage Gift Purchases In Strengthening Customer-Brand Relationships

1. Promote Products as Gifts

First, identify the products that you would like to position as gifts. Then, promote them as such. You could even throw in an incentive to encourage consumers looking for a gift.

2. Target New Customers

As said earlier, the positive effect that comes with gift purchase is not as effective on experienced customers. That means you must tailor your promotions to target new gift buyers.

3. Help With the Gift Selection Process

Retail store managers should encourage their employees to assist customers in the gift selection process actively. For eCommerce sites, you could include an advanced online filter to help customers find specific items that are appropriate for a gift-giving occasion.

4. Make Your Brand More Prominent on Gift Packaging

Consider providing a high-quality, branded gift packaging. Aside from strengthening customers’ public commitment to your brand, it also triggers a long-lasting behavioral performance outcome.

5. Ask for Recommendations

A simple recommendation could go a long way in boosting customer-brand relationships. So, always encourage existing customers to recommend your brand to their family and friends for any upcoming gift-giving occasions.

Read More: 3 Examples of Diverse Content That Improved Brand Recognition

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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