Building Profitable Relationships: The Role of Branding in Customer Lifetime Value

Creating Loyal Customers

Key Points

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a metric representing a customer’s worth over their relationship with a business. It’s pivotal for business growth and ROI.
  • Retaining customers is cost-effective and boosts profitability. Balancing acquisition and retention costs is crucial for long-term success.
  • Strong branding enhances CLV by influencing customer perceptions and fostering emotional connections, thus impacting long-term relationships and revenues.
  • Branding strategies fostering emotional connections drive customer loyalty and growth. Tactics like customer service and upselling increase retention and CLV. BrandDNA workshops help in developing clear brand identities.

Customer Lifetime Value: What is it? A Quick Review

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a crucial business metric that determines the net worth of a customer over the entire relationship with a company. It helps businesses understand the monetary value of a customer and how much revenue they can earn from them in the long run.

CLV considers factors like the customer’s purchase frequency rate, average revenue per purchase, and average customer lifespan.Mathematically, the lifetime value formula is as follows:

Customer Lifetime Value = (Customer Value* x Average Lifetime of Customer)

*Customer Value = (Average Purchase Value x Average Number of Purchases)

Graphic showing how to calculate customer lifetime value

In this article, we’ll discuss the implications of this lifetime value calculation, how branding influences things like customer retention rates, and why it’s beneficial for business growth and ROI.

The Cost of Acquiring a New Customer vs. Retaining an Existing One

Acquiring a new customer can be expensive for a business; often more costly than retaining existing customers. According to research by UPenn,it can cost six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than to retain a current one.

It’s important for businesses to compare the cost of acquiring a new customer with the cost of retaining an existing one, as this can help determine the profitability of their marketing strategies.Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) are two crucial metrics used to evaluate this relationship.

If CAC is higher than CLV, then the cost of acquiring new customers is too high, and the business is not sustainable in the long run. To maximize CLV and ensure profitability, businesses must also consider the cost to serve across the customer relationship. This includes factors such as:

  • Customer service
  • Product development
  • Marketing campaigns to retain lifetime customers

Focusing on retaining current customers not only saves on costs, but can also have a positive impact on customer loyalty and lifetime value. In essence, businesses must balance their marketing strategies, weighing the costs of customer acquisition with those of customer retention for long-term business success.

What is the Role of Branding in Customer Lifetime Value?

Branding plays a crucial role in enhancing CLV. And a strong brand can also help businesses to differentiate themselves from competitors and charge premium prices.

Here are some other specific ways that branding can impact CLV and the individual customer:

  1. Influence Customer Perceptions: A well-crafted brand image and messaging can communicate reliability, quality, and value to customers. These positive perceptions can influence customer decisions and encourage them to continue doing business with the brand.
  2. Encourage Repeat Transactions: A strong brand identity can encourage customers to return to a business and complete another transaction. Customers feel familiar and connected with a consistent brand image and message, which can lead to positive interactions and repeat purchases.
  3. Create Emotional Connections: Customers who feel an emotional connection to a brand are more likely to remain loyal and become high-value customers. By creating a compelling brand story and engaging customers on an emotional level, a business can foster strong relationships with customers that result in increased CLV.
  4. Shape Customer Behavior: By using branding and messaging to influence customer behavior, a business can encourage customers to take actions that will lead to repeat purchases and increased CLV. By highlighting the value of loyalty programs or encouraging customers to make larger purchases, for example, a business can increase the likelihood that customers will make additional purchases in the future.

Overall, crafting a strong brand identity and messaging strategy can have a significant impact on a company’s CLV. By leveraging branding to create positive perceptions, drive purchase frequency, and foster strong emotional connections, businesses can enhance their CLV and establish long-term customer relationships.

What are the Benefits of Strong Branding on CLV?

There is perhaps no stronger argument against the idea that a brand is just a logo or tagline than its impact on CLV. Strong branding goes beyond basic visual identifiers to create an emotional connection with customers. Customers who are emotionally connected to a brand are more likely to remain loyal and continue doing business with the company over time.

This highlights the importance of branding as a strategic tool to enhance CLV and establish long-term customer relationships. Here are the top three ways that strong branding benefits CLV:

#1 Increased Customer Retention

Increasing customer retention is essential for boosting CLV, which can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line. Retaining current customers is far easier than acquiring new ones, and businesses that prioritize growing their customer base often miss the opportunity to increase their CLV.

According to an analysis from Forbes, customer retention is crucial for long-term business growth since80% of future revenues come from 20% of existing customers. Moreover, A 5% increase in retention can lead to improved profitability of 25% or more.

To maximize customer retention, businesses can implement the following strategies:

  • Exceptional customer service
  • Segmenting their customer base
  • Creating loyalty programs
  • Focusing on customer feedback

All of the above can be achieved through involved branding elements such as key messaging points, understanding your unique value proposition, identifying your mission and vision, and knowing your target audience.

However, it’s also important to recognize that customer retention varies widely across industries. For instance, technology and SaaS companies tend to have higher CLV due to longer product lifecycles, while restaurants have lower CLV due to shorter customer lifespans.

#2 Increased Profit Margins & Brand Equity

Increased revenue and strong brand equity go hand-in-hand. When a business has established a trusted and well-known brand, it can attract more customers willing to pay a premium for its products or services, ultimately leading to increased revenue.

Additionally, having a strong brand can help businesses retain customers and create loyal advocates who not only make repeat purchases but also recommend the brand to others. By maintaining a positive brand reputation and delivering excellent customer experiences, businesses can maximize their customer lifetime value.

Graphic with four circles showing the relationship between customer purchase behavior and brand equity.

To achieve revenue and equity expansion, businesses can utilize tactics such as upselling, cross-selling, and add-ons.

Upselling refers to encouraging customers to upgrade or purchase more expensive versions of products or services.

Cross-selling involves suggesting complementary or related products or services that may enhance the customer’s experience.

Add-ons are additional products or services that can be added to the customer’s existing purchase. Implementing these tactics can help businesses increase revenue from their existing customers and maximize their CLV.

3# The Ability to Charge a Premium for Products & Services

On average, existing customers spend 67% more than new customers and many are willing to pay a premium for their loyalty.

By demonstrating the value of their offerings, companies can establish a high perception of quality and a willingness to pay a higher price. Effective branding strategies and customer segmentation can help identify valuable customers who are the types to pay for personalized experiences.

To successfully charge a premium, companies must focus on the value of their products or services and communicate why they are worth a higher price.

For example, a coffee chain may offer organic, fair-trade coffee that is sustainably sourced, showcasing the value of its coffee and justifying a higher price. Branding is at the heart of making these differentiators clear and is therefore important to attracting high-value customers with consistent loyalty.

How Do Branding Strategies Drive & Foster Emotional Connections?

Branding strategies are crucial in creating emotional connections between customers and the brand. Emotional connections help to build customer loyalty, increase customer satisfaction, and boost brand awareness. Some branding strategies that can help create emotional connections include storytelling, personalization, sense of community, and social responsibility.

For instance, Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign effectively used storytelling to connect with its audience emotionally, resulting in a boost in sales and brand loyalty. Similarly, Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign personalized its packaging by adding customer names, creating a personal connection with the customers, and encouraging social sharing.

Additionally, brands that demonstrate social responsibility, like Patagonia, have also successfully created emotional connections with customers by aligning with customer values. Being environmentally and socially conscious has helped Patagonia establish a loyal customer base.

Mountaineer hiking on a snow-covered mountain with Patagonia logo explainer

Overall, the successful implementation of branding strategies that create emotional connections can lead to increased customer retention, advocacy, and business growth.

BrandDNA to Accelerate Customer Lifetime Value

Customers increasingly buy from brands they trust, and, once loyal, these long-time customers pay a premium to stay with that brand. In fact, according to a study by Motista, the lifetime value for this customer is 306% higher. They are also more likely to recommend your brand to people they know.

That’s why branding cannot be overstated as a strong pillar for business success.

With our BrandDNA workshops you can uncover:

  • Your detailed target audiences
  • Various buyer personas & customer segments
  • Understanding your customer’s journey
  • Ways to increase retention through clear messaging
  • Setting a unique value proposition
  • and more.

If you need to establish consistent branding to drive customer lifetime value, our BrandDNA workshops can help. BrandDNA is the ultimate guide to help companies develop a clear and cohesive brand identity, aligning your brand with your business objectives, crafting consistent messaging, and increasing brand awareness and loyalty. It will help your business streamline its operations and drive consistent growth. Contact us today to learn more about how our BrandDNA exercises can help you achieve your business goals or schedule a sample gap assessment.