Loyalty is much harder to pull off. It’s one-hundred percent built on having a connection with your customers: being involved in the community, giving back, being unique, funny, human, and so on – things that generally cost time and money.
For example, a lot of pet stores will do things like free nail trimmings, and nail trimming classes. How wonderful, and genuine is that? There’s a cost to that in their time, and having staff there to do it. But there’s no doubt that it builds connection, and makes customers want to support those businesses.
On the other hand, it’s a lot harder for a giant corporation to build loyalty. A company like PetSmart is up against built in corporate bias (warranted or not). For obvious reasons, big faceless companies marketing their “connection to the community” will always carry less weight than a local shop doing the same.
In either scenario, building loyalty relies on marketing people to get out and make sure people know about the good things the company is doing. We do this through storytelling: in blogs, on social media, and using video. In my experience, the companies that have earned a lot of customer loyalty also seem to be the most reserved when it comes to talking about it.