Building Everlasting Love for Your Brand

May 29, 2020 - Reading Time: 3 minutes

Customers want to feel seen, heard and understood. If you want to win their hearts, you need to put them at the heart of your business. That includes all aspects of your business – from product development to marketing.

Brands pay a lot of lip service to putting their customers first, but how many actually show it? This philosophy needs to be displayed, be it in customer service or your brand’s social media page. Here’s how to put customers first and inspire brand love.

1. Exemplary customer service

An obvious point but too important to leave out. Having great customer support is absolutely essential to earning loyal customers. Mistakes happen and it is the company’s response to these mistakes that make or break a brand, not the mistakes themselves. If you’re quick to rectify and sincere in making amends, you can impress an unhappy customer and turn him into a loyal fan (that is, if the mistake isn’t anything major). So, don’t forget to spend time and resources improving and maintaining your customer support department. They are the key to brand love.

2. A customer-centric value proposition

Focus on how your products can solve specific problems experienced by your target market. Show that you understand the problems they face and that your brand is here to help. This positioning should extend beyond your sales messaging. Providing value should form the bedrock of all your brand’s communication efforts.

It goes without saying that you can’t always give potential customers the hard sell. In fact, aggressive “sales-y” messaging can repel rather than attract customers. Balance out more overt sales messages with “softer” content that conveys the same thing. You can see both types of content on IKEA Singapore’s Instagram page.

Direct messaging:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

It’s time to spring clean for a fresh start. From wardrobes to beds with storage, organise your home with IKEA storage solutions.

A post shared by IKEA SG (@ikeasingapore) on

 

Indirect messaging:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Tackle problematic zones in your kitchen by turning them into brilliant storage with these simple steps: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 💡 Start by keeping frequently-used items in sight and within easy reach with the help of storage rails on kitchen walls. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 💡 Combine functionality with a clean, uncluttered look by making use of little corners in your kitchen and trolleys as portable storage. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 💡 Maximise cabinet space by stacking shelf inserts on top of each other. This way, you won’t have to worry about your cups toppling over. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #IKEAGuides #MakeHomeCountIKEA #IKEASingapore

A post shared by IKEA SG (@ikeasingapore) on

Notice that both posts are communicating the same thing: IKEA helps you keep your home clutter-free. Even though the second post doesn’t overtly sell you any IKEA products (there’s no call-to-action asking viewers to buy their products), it still does a good job of positioning IKEA as the go-to brand for storage solutions. So, find creative ways to communicate your value proposition but always do so from the perspective of the consumer.

3. Innovating

Change is the only constant. No product can stay the same forever without becoming obsolete. Keep your ear to the ground. Listen to what your customers want and work on improving your product to meet their needs. It is only by staying updated on customer sentiments that you can adapt and improve your product to provide real value.

On the marketing side, don’t stop connecting with your customers. Ensure you stay updated on the latest trends and developments. Find new ways to reach out to existing and potential customers. Communicate product improvements through interesting and relatable content. This is how brands stand the test of time and stay relevant.

Brands cannot thrive without customers, and loyal customers are earned through a combination of sincerity and clever marketing. As long as your customers are at the heart of your business, you are bound to get their attention, and their affection.

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A Marketing Strategy for an Economic Crisis

May 15, 2020 - Reading Time: 3 minutes

The next big challenge for businesses after the coronavirus pandemic is the economic crisis. In fact, many businesses are already feeling the heat. To adapt, marketers have to reassess their business and marketing strategies, and find new ways to retain customers and bring in new ones. A good communication strategy is one that can help your business tide over these tough times, as well as set you up for a speedy recovery when things improve. Here are some tips.

1. Focus on top-of-funnel content

Top-of-funnel content doesn’t explicitly sell products but instead focuses on increasing brand awareness and cultivating interest. As consumers tighten their purse strings, an aggressive sales-led strategy may not be the best course of action. Seeing too many sales-driven posts can get frustrating under normal circumstances, let along during a recession. Focus the bulk of your marketing content on building your brand, as well as your relationship with your audience. Social media is a great tool for that. Building solid relationships gets you loyal customers, and loyal customers will stick with you even in a crisis.

2. Stay visible

You know what they say: out of sight, out of mind. The important thing is to stay visible to your target consumers, even if they’re not buying from you right now. It will be a real shame when the economy recovers but consumers are still not buying your products because they don’t know or remember you.

How do you stay visible?

Even though some cities are slowly lifting lockdown measures, nobody can say for sure when the coronavirus pandemic will be truly over. It is already proving to be trickier than expected, with some countries reporting new Covid-19 cases since lifting measures. The most reliable way of reaching consumers in the current state of things is via social media. If you have yet to jump on the social media marketing bandwagon, there is truly no better time than now.

3. Emphasise your value proposition

A business can only thrive when it provides something of value to its customers. Your value proposition is what keeps you relevant and keeps you in business. Just take a look at how food businesses have been staying afloat, perhaps even thriving, despite the lockdown because they had quickly introduced delivery services to get food to consumers staying home. In the same thread, businesses can survive the recession if they are quick at identifying how they can add value to the lives of consumers, and are adept at communicating this value proposition.

4. Listen to consumers

In order to add value, you need to know what your target consumers value. You can find that out through social listening. Social listening is especially important during periods of uncertainty. The only way to ensure that your brand reacts well to a crisis, is to keep an ear out for what consumers are saying about you, the products you offer and even your competitors. Use this to build a strategy that helps you stay relevant.

5. Be prepared to bounce back

Apart from staying afloat during the crisis, all this strategising and planning has to lead up to another major goal: reaping the rewards when the economy recovers. You want to make sure that you’ve done everything to set yourself up for success when spending goes up. The key is to never lose sight of your customers. Once you start seeing them as real people you are trying to help, instead of sales figures, you’re on the right track to working out an effective strategy.

Every challenge is also an opportunity. If anything, these challenges have forced brands to innovate, improve themselves, and to re-evaluate the fundamental qualities of their business. With smart and careful planning, the business community can and will emerge out of this stronger than ever before.

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