Key to customer loyalty

There are some brands that I find so successful. I call them magnetic. One of those brands is Maui Jim, the sunglass company. The brand is best known for its high quality, reasonably priced and fashionable polarized sunglasses. I bought my first Maui Jim sunglass in 2008. Since then, I bought two more. As rational consumers, we often think we are loyal to a particular brand because it offers the best value for money, often quality being the key pillar of value. Well, quality is necessary, but not sufficient to create loyalty… According to Dr. Clotaire Rapaille, the key to loyalty is not quality. It is the quality of “relationship”.

A brand is not a logo. It is a promise. Maui Jim’s promise is to enable me to see the world at its best, to bring the brilliant colours to my life. Its polarized sunglasses literally do that. They are engineered to overcome intense glare and harmful UV. But the brand does more than offering top-quality sunglasses to enable me to see the world at its best. To begin with, Maui Jim is not a pretentious brand, it is not for prestige-seeking ruler types. Actually, it is quite the opposite: Maui Jim embodies the easy-going, Hawaiian spirit. They name their products after places in Hawaii. On their website, they use Hawaiian words such as “Send a Lei” instead of saying “Like us on Facebook”, which puts a smile on your face in a world full of negativity. They share the Hawaiian optimism and peacefulness with the world. That is exactly the raison d’être of the brand and they do it very well. Recently, Maui Jim managed to improve the quality of our relationship by making me smile again. Let me explain how.

One of the temples of my sunglass was broken. I sent my sunglass –with a brief explanation of the problem- to the Maui Jim. I basically asked them to replace of the temples. A couple of weeks later, my sunglass came back. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that BOTH of the temples were replaced. The brand exceeded my expectation, which is usually enough to create goodwill. But, Maui Jim took one more step and sent me the above invoice. The otherwise boring invoice had stickers and a handwritten note on it. Clearly, Maui Jim achieved its goal of enabling me to see the good things in life. The quality of our relationship and my loyalty to the brand went up. Maui Jim’s products, promise, purpose and touchpoints are perfectly aligned. This is branding at its best. If you want to be like Maui Jim, then you can start by reading the presentation below:

Today’s actionable tip: Ask yourself why your brand exists. This is your purpose. Then ask yourself what you enable people to do. This is your promise. And finally, try to instill your purpose and promise into all touchpoint, even to the boring ones like an invoice!

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