Brand Affinity: A Starter Guide to Its Role in Your Brand Strategy

Brand Affinity: A Starter Guide to Its Role in Your Brand Strategy
Article by DesignRush DesignRush
Last Updated: September 25, 2022

80% of customers share that their experience with a brand is just as important as the products and services they get. This experience shapes what customers think of your brand and their brand affinity.

What makes your brand stand out among the rest? How do customers decide that you’re the brand they want to do business with? Why should you pay attention to brand affinity and its best practices?

In this starter guide, we introduce brand affinity, how it affects your customers’ perception of your organization, and what steps to take in applying it to your brand strategy.

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What is Brand Affinity?

Brand affinity is how your customers think and feel about your brand. Beyond the collective impressions from brand awareness and brand perception, brand affinity is about your business’s relationship with your customers.

Think of your favorite brand, whether you frequently purchase their products or not. What aspects do you enjoy about it the most?

It can be as simple as the brand’s appearance or more sentimental like being the place your loved ones always visit. It could have been a moment when you were stressed, and customer service assisted you to your satisfaction, which built your trust in the company.

How To Increase Your Brand Affinity

Much like any emotional connection, establishing customer relationship is not a one-way street. That said, you can build the right foundations and take steps to support your customers. We break them down below:

Step #1: Start With Your Brand Values

Make the most of the steps you’ve taken to build your brand. The values you’ve set for your business are your north star, and they should be your guide for any action you take.

Your brand identity determines how you aim to serve your customers. For example, a brand catering to professional women may want to position itself as empowering and compassionate.

Another brand serving athletes can build an assertive and competitive character. These characteristics can help you resonate with your audience.

Along with informing your brand voice, this can guide your customer-facing staff as they greet clients, approach prospects, and answer queries.

Step #2: Know Your Brand Strategy Inside and Out

Your brand strategy guides your actions to meet your short-term and long-term goals. After establishing the attributes of your brand identity, integrate these into your content and your interactions with customers.

Take inspiration from the best brands, but learn to stand on your own. Follow in the footsteps of successful businesses to discover your brand’s identity while also learning from previous companies’ work. Take your time to discover and explore the different facets until you find the right one for your own brand.

Train your team to know and represent your brand identity. This step sets a standard for how they converse with your customers.

Prepare a content strategy that builds on your objectives for the brand. How do you want to grow your audience? What value do you have to offer that keeps them watching?

Step #3: Build Genuine Connections With Your Customers

88% of consumers value authenticity in the brands they like and support, with 50% of them saying it’s very important. But how do you establish authenticity in the first place?

Your brand is most authentic to the audience you resonate with the most. Once you've set your values and messaging, you can train your staff to embody these qualities in their service and integrate them into the content you create.

How do you support their personal goals?

  • Develop products and services that push forward your vision and support your customers’ needs.
  • Treat every query with the same care and quality you want to be associated with your brand.
  • Get to know your audience, learn what they value most and how you can best serve them.

Step #4: Ensure Your Products and Services Function Well

Last, but certainly not least is making sure your business is functioning as well.

Any business is in the business of providing a service. Continuously improving your process and building products that address core interests can make a world of difference in ensuring their satisfaction.

Affinity and attachment come after your customers are happy with the service they’ve received, a positive experience they’re eager to share with their peers and continue being loyal to your brand.

How To Build Brand Affinity

68% of businesses report that brand consistency has positively affected their revenue growth from 10% to more than 20%.

  1. Use your brand guide accordingly. It comprises the details about your brand identity, your values, and how you should represent your brand from inside and out.
  2. Follow through on your brand values and promises. With this, your audience can experience how dependable you are.
  3. Serve your customers with the brand’s attributes in mind. Don't worry about going “above and beyond,” it’s more important to be genuine in your customer service and help to the best of your ability.
  4. Listen to and understand customers' concerns. There are times when we simply need a friendly face or someone to hear us out. Know your customers’ needs and wants, but also empathize with issues they may be encountering.
  5. Craft content that embodies your brand values. Feature the qualities you hope to put out into the world through your business to effectively share it with your audience.

How to Measure Brand Affinity

What is the best method to measure brand affinity? The short answer is “just ask.”

Get in the habit of asking about how your customers are enjoying your service, and consult them on what points can be improved.

It can be as simple as a quick check-in upon your customer’s purchase or as comprehensive as conducting surveys. The latter is also a great way to measure brand awareness and customer perception.

You can also practice being an online observer and see what your customers are sharing about your brand. This includes receiving feedback through your social media channels, which you can also feature as marketing content.

Brand Affinity’s Role in Your Brand Strategy

Brand affinity has a subtle presence in your brand strategy. As a refresher, your strategy involves the following:

  • Developing your brand identity and crafting your brand visuals and voice.
  • Establishing your vision for the brand and aligning it with your short-term and long-term objectives.
  • Setting up your brand touchpoints and creating the content for each platform.
  • Measuring their performance, how they can be improved, and how they’re helping you achieve your milestones.
  • Closely intertwined within these points is your brand affinity.

It can be your initial intention to provide excellent service to your customers, which earns their trust and loyalty. It can be receiving positive feedback from a customer you’ve assisted. Or it can be a user-generated comment online that has incited interest and investment from a potential buyer.

These all determine your brand affinity and the effectiveness and influence your brand has.

Brand Affinity vs. Brand Loyalty

One study showed that 56% of respondents were glad to see brands making an effort to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Often compared and interchanged, brand affinity and brand loyalty has some key differences. Brand loyalty is built on trust after multiple satisfactory results. Picture this: After testing a product, you're pleased decide to buy it again. This happens over and over, with positive results each time. With this, you come to appreciate the quality of their service.

There needs to be loyalty prior to brand affinity.

Think of the latter as a strong emotional attachment. More than knowing how good their products and services are, you can feel connected to a brand. It may be due to shared values and vision, a belief system that resonates and reinforces your own, or goals that you support.

The primary benefit of branding is to humanize your company to better connect with your audience. Establishing brand affinity is a good way to measure how well your audience is receiving your content and service.

Knowing brand affinity’s role and how it affects your brand, how do you use it to your advantage? Below is a starter guide to its best practices:

Key Takeaways on Brand Affinity

Brand affinity is a sentimental experience that follows after a significant first-hand interaction. It grows from brand loyalty, when your customers are familiar with the benefits of catering to your business.

The best branding agencies can help you find that "secret sauce" that will grow your brand affinity over time.

Below are the key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • Establish the appropriate foundations for your brand strategy so your team is guided by a standard from the start.
  • Keeping a consistent quality encourages people to trust your organization, which leads to brand recognition — especially when potential customers can encounter your business from different platforms and media channels.
  • Interact with each customer and recognize their concerns, exercise empathy, and address their needs diligently.
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