How do I create brand loyalty?


When a Consumer says they like your brand it is because they like the way it makes them feel.

Maybe your branding is inspired, your brand purpose demonstrates empathy with your consumer, maybe even your product does exactly what it is supposed to but, in the end, it is how all this makes your consumer feel that counts.

If they feel good about using your brand they will come back again and again. If it does not make them feel good, they will have no loyalty to your brand and are unlikely to return.

This feeling that the consumer has, and that is so vital to your brands success, is an emotional reaction to their experience of your brand.

The journey that your brand takes your consumer on evokes a series of emotional responses in the consumer. If at the end of that journey they feel good, they will like your brand.

So interestingly, it is not the journey itself that is important, but the way that the journey makes your consumer feel.

It is all about the Emotions

What makes the journey enjoyable (or otherwise) are the emotions that it provokes.

As any travel writer will tell you, the route itself is not the important part of the journey. It simply connects points on a map. It is data, it informs us, tells us what is happening.

What makes a journey memorable, worth repeating are the traveller’s emotional reactions to the journey, to its twists and turns, to the waypoints, to the scenery observed as they pass by.

So, when we focus upon improving our customer service, our messaging, the performance of our product, we are focusing upon the route.

When we focus upon the emotional responses of our consumer it becomes much clearer which parts of the route need to be improved and how we need to improve them.

Understanding the Emotional Journey – Not just the End Point.

When you focus upon the emotional journey of your consumers you can identify which parts of the journey are making them feel good about your brand. You may be surprised about which parts of the brand journey require changing and some of the parts that do not.

In order to see Machu Picchu, you have to climb 1600 steps, to view the Sistine Chapel you need to endure the queues…

Sometimes the very best experiences are in fact enhanced by the discomfort required to achieve them.

When you remove all the anxiety or the discomfort before you reveal the beauty or simplicity of your product perhaps you diminish the consumer’s feeling of wonder or pleasure in the end result. When you create too much excitement or anticipation in your communication maybe your product feels flat or even a little disappointing.

When you focus upon the consumers’ emotional journey you can identify which parts of your brand journey need to be improved and how you can improve them to enhance the consumers’ overall feeling towards your brand.

You can also identify what is a good emotional journey. How does the journey build up? The journey will have its highs and its lows, how should these interact to produce the best journey. Are there elements of the journey that are, by definition, negative or positive or, with the right juxtaposition, do certain “negative” emotions emphasise the positive and improve the consumer’s overall reaction?

Often brand owners have an over focus and oversimplification on the positive elements, and ignore the sequencing, intensity and nature of the consumers’ entire emotional journey that delivers an overarching positive effect that is emphasised, even improved, by the occasional ‘negative’ aspect.


Chris Lukehurst is a Consumer Psychologist and a Director at The Marketing Clinic:

Providing Clarity on the Psychological relationships between consumers and brands