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The Next Generation of Brand Loyalty Won’t Be Called “Loyalty”

It will just be a part of doing business

Business has taken on a new meaning.

For as long as any of us can remember, “business” was people creating physical products for other people. And for most of history, this was an intimate relationship between customer and creator — you knew the person who made your product, they knew you, and you knew the other customers who shopped at the store.

As the internet and globalization have proliferated, this relationship between buyer and seller has become more transactional and far less intimate.

The tension between digital and physical commerce.

For consumer products, eCommerce has become the standard — a requirement for a brand to better serve their customers. Everyone knows this, but physical stores will forever remain powerful. Customers continue to value (and as of late, may value even more) real life experiences.

For food & restaurants, delivery apps have become a requirement for restaurants who want to stay competitive. Every restaurant knows this, but people still like like to eat out.

For entertainment, streaming has become king. Producers & creators know this, yet people still go to movie theaters, comedy shows, amusement parks, and live sporting events.

Online commerce is growing everywhere, but the physical world continues to be the place we experience our human reality.

And yet, thousands of brands struggle to balance the more controlled channel of their own physical stores with the growing need to become competitive online.

Shopping, dining, entertainment — the future of business is not online, and it is not in-store. It’s one where brands connect every touchpoint of their relationships with their customers — digital (their own eCommerce stores, partner websites, retailers, social media) and physical (their own stores, partner stores, retailers, live events, social events)– into a single experience that meets customers where they want to be.

Hang is the connecting fabric between the online and offline worlds that will enable businesses to pioneer an omnichannel future — through fun & engaging customer experiences, more personalized experiences, and more meaningful buyer-seller, seller-seller, and buyer-buyer relationships.

Hang can be the rails for brands to control their own relationship with their customers, reach new customers, get far richer data to better understand customers, and find the best & most relevant other brands to partner with — creating win-win relationships for all involved.

How brands reach their customers is changing.

In the past, brands reached new and returning customers through advertising. From billboards & TV ads to Facebook and Google ads. While these ads were somewhat effective, they’ve become expensive, hard to measure, and not how customers wanted to be met.

The future of advertising will be:

  • Much closer to the point of purchase (which is more convenient, as brands will meet customers in digital or physical places they most prefer).

  • Personalized (which reduces waste & inefficiencies from targeting the wrong people) — essentially connecting people with things they actually like.

  • Authentic (to the customer, it won’t even feel like an ad).

Hang is powering the next generation of brands.

Imagine a world where each brand has their own digital hub. But this hub is really a place for community members to interact, play games, and find the products & services they want or need, in the way that they most prefer.

AI and personalization will recommend products that they may like from that specific brand, enable them to find those products digitally or physically (and know what they most prefer), and connect them with others in the community who are like them.

Additionally, this digital hub will have a place for discovery, to bring the element of mystery, adventure, and the feeling of “finding a deal” to this hybrid layer between digital and physical. New and emerging brands can advertise here as a way to better target and find customers than they ever could through traditional ads or through in-store product placement, and for far cheaper.

Brands can also let partners connect with their communities on their own storefronts, and easily be paid through these new ad spots or revenue share deals with the brands with whom they partner. These partnerships will be far more effective at driving sales, as the customer will already be in a shopping mindset and with a brand they trust (as opposed to, say, an Instagram ad, which feels much less authentic).

The communication channels will go both ways. Customers can easily recommend their favorite products, they can propose ideas for new products or variants, and they can have their voices heard on what types of rewards and experiences they would find most valuable (and enjoyable).

Hang is building what Instacart did for grocers, what Doordash did for restaurants, what Amazon did for third-party sellers, what Facebook did for advertising, the community market/town square for brands and their customer bases — for brands of shapes and sizes, and in a way that is far more individualized, authentic, and fun than anything before.

Whereas in the past we may have thought of loyalty as an input (something brands used to create better customer retention) — it’s really an output of what happens when you create meaningful and amazing customer experiences.

Loyalty is not just a part of a modern business. It should form the foundation of all pieces of the business.

It’s not loyalty, it’s just a far better way of doing business.

If you’re interested in learning more about Hang, start here!

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