Written by: Evan Goodfellow
The old way of creating brand loyalty could be compared to marriages in the 1950’s, where as long as the husband took the wife out for dinner on Saturday night, all was good. Just as those days are gone, so too are the days of creating brand loyalty by giving out stickers for a knife set.
Social Values Change
I laugh at how people react to watching the then-socially-acceptable-behaviour found in Mad Men. Did people really live like that? For those who lived through those times, probably still can’t believe companies sold and marketed in that manner. Smoking in the office? Drinks at lunch? Drinks after work? And not limited to casual Fridays.
However, on the other hand, I believe that MBA classes in the next decade will be studying how we currently brand our products and strive for brand loyalty in the first two decades of the new millennium, with the same amazement. Stickers for knife sets at Safeway, are you kidding me? How about flyers delivered to your door that go directly to recycling, without ever entering your home?
The rise of social media has liberated customers from the traditional way of branding and brand loyalty. We want our brands to talk to us, listen to us, and not just give us tickets for steak knives, occasionally. And certainly not flyers!
This new model in communication does not come without growing pains, as some companies are trying to figure out how to talk to their customers, and find it difficult to share. Younger organizations are finding this two-way method exciting, and feel that it becomes second nature to their daily marketing activities. So here are some tips on how a company can make this relationship dynamic.
Listening Goes a Long Way
Listening to your customers shows that you value their patronage and them as a person. The act of gathering data about your customers shows you are listening and taking seriously what they are saying. The successful company goes one step further and starts responding to what is being said.
The liberated company (in this case the empowered husband), says, “Oh sure, I can take out the garbage when it gets full. I will keep an eye on that and it will be my responsibility.” The brand (in this case the empowered husband), who wants to build advocacy goes the extra mile and starts predicting future needs and desires. “Here is breakfast in bed, it’s Saturday, and of course you deserve it!”
Get it Right the First Time
The modern brand says, “Don’t take her to the famous seafood restaurant if she hates seafood!” It sounds ridiculous, but many companies have survived in the past while being oblivious to certain needs. By gathering together a group of consumers to probe them on their thoughts and opinions, allows the company to fail fast and fail painlessly, as well as succeed quickly and succeed effortlessly.
The core group of customers can be asked broad or narrow questions in order to get things right the first time, before spending money taking products to market that aren’t a good fit.
It’s A New Day!
The future of business and technology is centered on communication and making things easier. By focusing on the customer’s needs, wants, and desires, you can drive innovation, see growth, and increase profitability. For those who want a company that survives and prospers on the values of its consumers, contact us at Insightrix Communities as a cost effective way to listen to your customer. If you would like to find out more, please contact us.
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