It’s what every great business wants right? To connect with their consumers. To build a lasting relationship with them. But in this day and age, where attention spans are small, competition is big and the public is savvier than ever before, that can be a big ask.
Companies need to work harder than ever to come out on top. The relationship between consumer and brand is a delicate one. And just like in a personal relationship if it’s neglected, it won’t last. Forging a strong connection is one of the key elements in ensuring yours goes the distance. This can be done by listening to your customer’s needs, communicating with them, and being honest.
I know, I know, it’s easier said than done. Relationships are hard! Luckily you don’t have to go it alone. Enlisting the help of a creative branding agency can be an extremely worthwhile investment. Their experts can come up with innovative and effective branding strategies that will win over your target market in no time.
Before you run out and start throwing all your cash money at ground-breaking marketing strategies, have a look at these tips and ask yourself if there are any areas your brand could improve upon.
Listen to what consumers want
Of course, you’ve heard of the saying ‘the customer is always right’ right? Now, if you’ve ever worked in customer service you probably have solid grounds to dismiss that claim. But before you do, remember what we said about neglecting your relationship responsibilities? Listen to your consumer, find out what their needs and wants are, and fit them.
Even though the media would have us think that we’re a selfish society that cares only about money and personal gain. Turns out that’s not true. Through listening when consumers speak, we know that we actually care about stuff like the environment, equal rights and other totally non-selfish social issues. Crazy huh?
Even more revealing, is that 4 out of 5 people believe that the changes we want begin with businesses. Connect with your public by showing that you care about what they care about. Maybe donate some profit to charity or publicly support a certain cause.
Be reliable and trustworthy
The most effective way to retain customers is to build trust. Like in any relationship if there’s no trust things will fall apart.
Authenticity is key to this. Use marketing materials that are true to your brand and its message. The perceived authenticity of a brand decreases as the use of depersonalised media such as stock photos and meaningless writing increases. Keep this in mind when approaching marketing for your company.
Another great way to gain the trust of consumers is to be accountable. Take your public presence and the responsibility that comes with it seriously. If you make a mistake, admit it, and apologise for it. Avoid being all talk and no action, maybe actively raise money for a good cause rather than just saying you support it.
Move with the times
Just because once upon a time, the public wanted one thing, doesn’t mean they still do. Society is ever evolving, and if you don’t make sure your brand keeps up, then it will be left behind.
It’s your job to keep an eye on social trends, this will tell you the kind of strategies your target market will respond to. Be ready to hone in on new directions quickly to stay in-keeping with your customer’s values. Social media can be a huge help with this as it is very easy to see public opinion on topics and the kind of media they engage with most.
If there’s any doubt in your mind as to how much staying current can alter the ability a brand has to relate to and engage with consumers, just do a quick google search of vintage ads. Presumably, at one point the prospect of becoming a dental receptionist was such a pull that it was sufficient to sell toothpaste to girls far and wide. And men all over were buying vitamins for their wives to make them work harder.
Value your customers
Just like your other half, you need to show existing customers they’re appreciated. Otherwise (just like your other half) they are likely to go somewhere that makes them feel more valued.
So you won the initial battle and gained a new customer. But how do you keep them coming back? All too often brands make the mistake of focussing too much energy on bringing new business in and neglecting the business they already have. Ignore consumers for too long and they might just be seduced by the competitor’s shiny new customer offer.
It can be as simple as sending out a personalised thank you email, and keeping everyone in the loop about big company changes. Treating consumers like they’re people goes a long way towards making them feel valued.
One top tip from a Manchester branding agency is to make sure you keep your company website up to date with information as it shows customers that you care about sharing your progress with them.
This tip is closely linked to the previous 4. Use the uniqueness of your brand to entice consumers. Don’t copy the competition just because they’re doing well.
The market is full of companies nipping at your heels. Blending in with them is a bad move.
Taking steps to stand out from the crowd will help consumers make the decision to pick you over the others. Show them why you’re different (and by ‘different’ I obviously mean ‘better’) than the rest.
Building a lasting relationship is about all of these factors and more. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify exactly what is is you need to add to your branding repertoire or what you could be doing better. This is where the aid of a creative branding agency comes in. They are the experts in generating successful marketing methods to make you relatable in no time.
Make it your resolution for 2017 to make a connection built to last with your consumers.