Harnessing the Power of Online Communities to Create and Reward Consumer Loyalty

Every brand should have a plan to reward loyalty.

Competition is fierce in the marketplace and brands have to go the extra step to find out what their consumers want. Market research definitely helps you to get ahead of the game. Taking the pulse of your consumers will help you to identify the areas you need to focus on.

But building loyalty is about more than simply surveying your customers. We live in a ‘me’ generation. Customers expect VIP service and they want brands to show them that their loyalty is valued. In this day and age, brands need to nurture the relationship with their consumers and provide an added benefit for them to buy their products; other than price and quality.

Consumers are constantly sharing product information through social media, which means that more so than ever, brand relationships are all about transparency. A brand can no longer hide. They need to back up their products with customer service and rewards.

By creating loyalty through a Voice of the Customer program that involves an online community, brands can build stronger ties with consumers and can nurture the dialogue with their customers. Creating a community of engaged consumers who also feel that you care is invaluable. It’s about building trust.

AskingCanadians™ recently announced a partnership with SavvyMom Media to create the SavvyMom Research Community. For SavvyMom, this new online community opens up the door for a two-way conversation with its audience. Often times, when a brand provides services like tips and special deals, the communication is only one way.  But opening a dialogue through an online community allows a brand to get feedback from consumers.

Through our research and profiling services, AskingCanadians™ is able to provide a brand like SavvyMom with the opportunity to get essential feedback on who their consumers are and what they want.  At AskingCanadians™, we also engage community members for our clients and offer panellists the chance to choose their rewards: Hbc Rewards, Aeroplan Miles or entries into draws to win great prizes.

The Random House of Canada Editorial Board in AskingCanadians™ is another example of the many ways that a brand can build and utilize an online community. Since 2007, AskingCanadians™ has been involved in a partnership with Random House of Canada, hosting the company’s BookLounge.ca Editorial Board as a standalone community within the AskingCanadians™ panel. This partnership enabled Random House to conduct monthly surveys to gather feedback from readers about current trends, the latest technologies, advertising and more.

In the spring of 2011, the publishing company embarked on a strategy to grow that panel and called on AskingCanadians™ to help the organization build its research community in a cost-effective manner.  The objective: to recruit new members and create an engaging experience for panellists.

Through the creation on an online community brands have the opportunity to see where their consumers’ minds are at. It gives them an ear to the ground. An online community also gives your consumers a voice. They’ll appreciate that.

When you ask for your customers’ opinions and reward them for it, they feel like you care. By creating a dialogue, you create a relationship. And, a company that cares and listens is a differentiator for consumers.