Brand loyalty refers to the way customers think about your restaurant. It’s all about perception.
Meanwhile, customer loyalty depends on more tangible things, like quality food and service that’s consistent visit after visit.
So what’s the difference between brand loyalty and customer loyalty, and what does it mean for you?
Diners who focus more on brand loyalty are willing to try anything on the menu, whereas diners who focus more on customer loyalty will come back time and again for the dishes they know and love. Both kinds of customers are worth having, but for the purposes of a customer loyalty program, focusing on what keeps visitors coming back is key.
With this in mind, how do you approach a customer loyalty program? The five key stages of customer loyalty are often touted by digital marketers as benchmarks to track the consumer journey, from how a customer hears about a restaurant or product all the way to the point of sale. The stages include:
- Awareness - How did the customer find out about your restaurant or product?
- Exploration - Where and how is the customer searching online for your restaurant?
- Benefits - What is your restaurant offering that the competition isn’t? What aren’t you offering that customers can get elsewhere?
- Familiarity - What did customers think of your restaurant? Will they come back?
- Commitment - How often will they come to your restaurant? Weekly? Monthly?
It’s fair to say that if you’ve made it to the Commitment stage, you’ve found a loyal customer.
At this point you can focus on getting the customer to your restaurant on a monthly basis or even more frequently. One of the best ways to do this is by implementing a customer loyalty reward program.