Ecosystem Brands: The Key to Customer Loyalty

Ecosystem brands, those which connect with customers in a number of connected areas, now dominate the list of most valuable brands. The top four companies in the BrandZ ranking (Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon) are all classic examples of this sort of brand. With a combined value of over $760 billion, the approach could be worth following.

Peter Walshe, BrandZ Global Strategy Director, praised the ability of ecosystem brands to “make our lives easier by offering us all sorts of things that are connected,” developing loyalty by offering a consistent customer experience.

Walshe was particularly impressed by Amazon, whose Prime subscription service offers customers benefits across each area in which the company operates. For instance, Prime members get access to Prime TV, free next-day deliveries and Amazon’s own fashion label. As well as making Amazon one of the world’s best-known brands, the ecosystem concept is clearly good for business, as first quarter profits for the company are up 40%.

This loyalty model also works successfully for Virgin. According to Gaelle Comte, head of marketing for loyalty rewards app Virgin Red, loyal customers are “more likely to favour Virgin over another brand when they’re choosing a product in a new category.”

It may seem as though an ecosystem approach is only possible for huge companies operating in multiple industries, but even small businesses can make use of the model. Businesses should identify the participants in their brand ecosystem. This includes employees, vendors and people discussing the brand on social media. It is then important to work out how these participants can help the brand, and what they can receive in return.

Maintaining a consistent experience across differing services offered by your company, plus working to get full value from each participant in the brand, can help businesses of any size to succeed.  

July 11, 2017 - This article was written by April Manning

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