Ace Hardware shows it knows how to keep customers satisfied with another win in the Brand Keys Loyalty Index. Here are a few of the things Ace is doing to keep their customers happy, loyal and coming back for more.
1. Know thyself, know customer loyalty. Knowing and successfully promoting what makes your company stand out from the rest may seem like a basic marketing principle, but doing it right is never easy. In the do-it-yourself industry, Lowe’s and Home Depot are giants compared to a much smaller Ace Hardware. Contrasting their message with the bigger companies meant going after home repair and maintenance customers as opposed to home improvement customers.
2. Follow up with a message that reflects your differentiation strategy. Ace told their customers why and when to come to Ace with an advertising campaign that reflected their home maintenance and repair message with branding that speaks to suburbanites looking for simple ways to keep their houses in working order.
3. Loyalty and rewards programs work. Using an in-depth analytics team and lots of targeted follow-up like thank-you emails, direct mail, etc. is effective in keeping their customers happy and taken care of. They prefer this type of customer interaction to “blasts.”
4. Try a co-branded credit card. Ace’s rewards credit card, in conjunction with Visa has been a huge success, only after one year.
Source: MediaPost, February 2011