Brand loyalty is the hallmark of a sticky brand. Anyone can sell a product or service once, but to have your customers come back again-and-again is a different story. Loyalty is earned.
The measuring stick of brand loyalty is your customers asking for you by name. Not just choosing your category, but purposefully choosing your brand first.
Fruitland Manufacturing has that positioning for pumps used in the fracking industry. Their customers ask for the “Fruitland blue pumps.” (Say that with a southern drawl for added effect.)
Focus on a niche
Fruitland has been manufacturing pumps since the mid-70’s, and has a reputation for building reliable, easy to operate pumps. Their pumps are work horses.
In the early 2000’s the fracking industry took off in the United States, and Fruitland saw an opportunity to focus on the sector.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a rapidly expanding method for extracting fossil fuels. According to Wikipedia, 60% of all new oil and gas wells worldwide are being hydraulically fractured.
Fracking requires a great deal of water that must be shipped to the well sites. Fruitland’s pumps are used to pump water on and off tanker trucks. This is a well defined niche with clear technical requirements that Fruitland can focus on.
Focusing on a defined niche has several benefits for positioning your brand as the industry standard:
- Tailored solution: Perfect the product for a targeted group of users
- Word of mouth marketing: Customers know each other, and recommend products to each other
- Concentration: Concentrate sales and service resources to deliver outstanding service
Listen, Refine, Perfect
Becoming the industry standard doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It relies on regular customer feedback to adapt and perfect your products for their needs.
Dealers and drivers choose Fruitland’s pumps first, because they are reliable, rarely break down, easy to operate, and efficient.
A Fruitland pump can fill a 130 barrel tank in 7.5 minutes. And it does that several times a day. Dealers and drivers have come to know the product, and appreciate its stability.
Reliability, ease of use and efficiency have come from years of refinement. Fruitland listens to their customers, and uses the feedback to refine and perfect their pumps.
Take the long view
It takes time to be considered the industry standard. It requires investing in your products and services so your customers can count on you. In good times and bad, you’ve got to be there and prepared to support your customers.
Many companies lose sight of their responsibilities as their business grows. They may shift manufacturing to China to cut costs, or lose sight of the importance of delivering over-the-top customer service. Lapses in delivery and support are deadly.
Brand loyalty is precious. It takes time to develop, but can be lost in the blink of an eye. It’s the few companies that continually invest in innovation and support that become their market’s first choice.