How to Take Emotional Loyalty from Concept to Practice in Your Business

Emotional loyalty is a hot topic. Discover the tactics every brand needs to build the emotional connections that drive long-term relationships.

Loyalty is no longer a simple matter of offering points and discounts. It’s about saying, “We understand you. We’re here to support you, no matter what you need or when you need it.”

Most loyalty initiatives have focused on transactional rewards — earning enough points for a free coffee is a classic example. But there’s an emotional element at play in order to build long-term relationships. The brands that forge emotional connections with customers are able to create experiences that demonstrate they understand their priorities and preferences. In fact, more than half of customers (53%) today say they feel an emotional connection with the brands they buy from the most.


53% of customers say they feel an emotional connection with the brands they buy from the most.

Meanwhile, brands that only offer transactional benefits run the risk of customers switching to competitors with similar rewards. Excitement over initial perks wears off over time and the experience is not differentiated enough to keep the customer loyal. Think about it this way: If a restaurant’s rewards program includes a free beverage with every meal, what happens when a competitor starts offering the same — or a better — deal? What makes the customer continue to choose the first restaurant?

If a brand builds an emotional connection, the customer has more of a reason to continue choosing them time and again – even if there aren’t bonus points and rewards tied to every transaction. While transactional rewards are a way to acquire customers – and even act as a tool to compensate customers for a poor experience – it’s the overarching brand experience that keeps customers coming back. That means loyalty is a matter of striking the right balance of rational and emotional benefits to build a long-term relationship.

Sounds easy enough, right? Most brands tend to get the rational part right, but they miss the mark on the emotional aspect — and they don’t even realize it. Consider that executives believe they understand consumers’ emotions, but only 15% of consumers agree.

While loyalty is earned over time, you can start the journey and build emotional connections now to ensure that you’re the customer’s No. 1 choice every time. It may feel abstract, but with the right tactics, you can turn emotional loyalty from a concept to a practice for your business. Here are the specific ways to build emotional connections with your customers.


Ready to uncover the seven tactics that build emotional loyalty?

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  • Embed loyalty across the entire customer experience
  • Strike the right balance of rational and emotional rewards
  • Keep members engaged with your brand long-term

Discover how to:

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