The marketing folks at Purch spend most of their time focused on creating a brand experience that keeps consumers coming back for more. We’re lucky enough to be an extension of great brand and retail partners in many industries. As more brands are looking at the long term value of a customer, we thought we’d share a few of our thoughts and observations on what makes a brand that consumers can truly be loyal to.
Tell Your Story
So many brands are learning quickly the benefits or detriments from the power of a brand story. Even if your product is an amazing jacket uniquely designed to fit a climber’s needs or the best-written review hosted on a flawless site, that is just part of the story. Think about how many brands have been impacted by their story even without changing their product or service. Customers are attracted to stories that interest them and align with their lives – not only should your service or product matter to them, but also why you do what you do and are who you are and why that should matter to them.Interacting with customers is good; captivating them is better.Click To Tweet
Listen to Your Customers
At Active Junky, our audience has experienced rapid growth and change over the last couple of years. With it added complexity to delivering a product that is relevant, intuitive, and appealing to all our customers. We’ve had some good ideas and bad ideas as we’ve adjusted for growth. Most of the good ideas came from listening to our customers on social media and forums, as well as through our customer service interactions. Read customer feedback with an open mind and find ways to improve. Invest in customer input through site analytics, surveys, focus groups, and anything else you can get your hands on. As your business expands, your ability to understand your customers must expand as well.
Have A Customer Advocate
When it’s time for planning, make sure someone in the room has the customer’s back. Your tech or product team will want to build something fast and simple, your marketing team will want to say something fascinating, finance will want to cut costs, and sales will want to auction to the highest bidder, but some of those objectives are not the right thing for your customers. Have someone responsible for representing the customer in key decision making. Put every decision through some sort of reasonability test: Would I change the execution of this if it were my friend, sister, or dad on the other end of this transaction? This seems elementary, but you’d be amazed how often you’ve made a decision you’d be ashamed to have impact someone you knew.
Loyalty isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. Loyalty is an unspoken understanding built with a customer over a series of experiences with your brand or product that prove you’re a good fit for each other. Think of your favorite airline or hotel (setting the bar low here). Each time you make a booking, you are indicating that you value the consistency of the experience and benefits you receive relative to the cost and risk of disappointment. You’ve likely had a delayed flight or an imperfect hotel room, but your overall loyalty to that brand is based on a much broader experience. Focus on the lifetime value of a customer and do everything you can to make sure that lifetime is more than one purchase or action. Don’t let short-term considerations hinder the long-term relationship you hope to gain.Don’t let short-term considerations hinder the long-term relationship you hope to gain.Click To Tweet
If your market is well established, you have close competitors. If it’s young, you probably will soon. Competitive analysis is crucial to establishing baselines and defining your competitive advantage; however, choosing to settle on business models that match or marginally improve on competitors’ models isn’t a recipe for loyalty. Rethink the way you handle customer service, onboarding, and retention. Find unique ways to reward and incentivize the right behavior. Sometimes we focus so much on the competition and the current environment that we forget we have the power to change the game.