Have you heard of the conscious consumer? Nowadays current and future customers are constantly searching for deeper connections in everything they do - including the products they purchase and services they use.
Long gone are the days of the one shop town and blind brand loyalty; the modern, conscious consumer can easily research your brand, find out what makes you tick, research your competition, and review you online - potentially boosting your credibility or trashing it in less time than it takes to order a pizza.
With so many choices in the market today, consumers are looking to connect with brands embracing values they can identify with and a vision they can get behind. Creating dynamic relationships, built on exemplary customer service, and a holistic approach to staff relations is just the tip of the iceberg.
Building your brand versus having a business allows consumers to instantly see what you’re all about while generating momentum for you long after the sale is done.
By utilizing the brand building principles below, rooted in the most up-to-date marketing psychology from multiple disciplines, you will begin to think outside of single-minded sales goals, empower your business, steer your brand, and delight customers in an ethical way without gimmicks or tricks
Sound like a miracle? It’s actually only 5 simple, repeatable steps to forge long-lasting connections with your existing and prospective customers to rock proven results with big impact.
Let’s build your brand.
This is a tried and true rule from powerhouse public speakers around the world. Do you think exceptional public speaker (and billionaire!) Tony Robbins relies solely on a cold room for sales or just puts his stuff out there hoping someone will bite?
Heck no! He knows exactly who he is talking to and what their pain points are.
Understanding your target audience will help you reach consumers interested in what you have to offer, meaning they will be more eager to buy.
A little research into your market or existing customer base will uncover amazing insights into what your ideal customers really want and where prospective customers hang out.
Build-A-Bear in a Harley Shop? Actually, marketers who do their research know the fanatical following Toys for Tots has in the Harley-Davidson community. What an amazing partnership for an up and coming toy maker!
But send an anti-cruiser call for bikers to wear more Yamaha style gear and you’ve just alienated your customer base.
By meeting your customer’s expectations your brand will have a better chance of speaking their language which brings us to the next point…
To position your brand as a major player, one golden rule should always be top of mind:
People don’t buy things, they buy their idealized version of themselves.
By keeping a vision of your ideal customer in mind it’s easier to build a crystal clear message based on exactly what you have to offer them to ease their pains, build their self-esteem, or make their life all around better.
Think about the times you purchased a product. Was it out of necessity, maybe a present for a special birthday? Was it for a fun reward? Hey now Caribbean Cruise for hitting sales goals!
Maybe it was for the time you needed that thing because you woke up and had the thought divinely implanted in your brain...
Not likely. And your customers don’t buy that way either.
The goal is to get your customers to see your brand and know exactly how your product or service can bring them from their current state - let’s say frumpy dresser in desperate need of change but broke - to the future state they want to be in - snazzy, top of the line dresser on a budget that no one has to know about. Ever.
That’s the business model of Le Tote, a top performing clothing rental company offering top of the line brands for modest pricing.
When you visit their site, there is no mistake about what they do and why you need them.
Simply put, clarity will help your brand connect with the right customer and form a long-lasting relationship to nurture for years to come. Built entirely on trust.
There’s no better way to build trust in your brand than to provide value.
Value comes in many forms — sometimes it’s free and sometimes it’s not.
Sometimes it’s as simple as helping a customer resolve an immediate need by finding the right tool. “Excel is so over, pivot table? Nope, here’s a link to GSuite.”
Other times it may be a bit more complex such as helping a customer resolve a less obvious internal pain point like finding the perfect outfit to interview in, how to handle their body language when presenting their new idea to executives in a board meeting, or even recommending of another brand’s product due to a better fit.
The easiest way to figure out their current issue is by asking the right questions and listening to their responses with the intent of helping them solve their problem.
Asking for feedback is pretty common these days but what you do with that feedback will separate you from your competition.
Build feedback loops into your brand culture by leveraging surveys at every point in your sales cycle, talking to your sales reps about the most common questions they field, and talking directly to your customers during the initial stages of their interest in your product.
It’s kind of wild to think how easy this is yet so many brands don’t do this. It’s called Social Proof (used to be word of mouth, but, internet…) and you definitely need to get you some.
Asking for feedback or a recommendation can feel as though you are asking someone for their first born but there are ways to work around everyone’s “super busy crazy hectic” schedule.
Do it for them.
Seriously. Writing doesn't come naturally to most people so help them out, and always lead in with a nice email explaining your need for the recommendation.
A simple template such as the one below goes a long way on Google Reviews, Yelp, Trip Advisor, LinkedIn, or even Facebook. Add in a picture and it increases returns 10x.
Email Sample From The Masters of Marketing at Google
(with Discount aka ethical bribe!):
Thank you for your recent business. If you were satisfied with your service, we invite you to add a comment to our listing on Google.com. Simply go to our Google+ Local Page and click ‘Write a Review’ and post your comments.
As a thank you for your time, we are happy to offer you 10% off your next service with us (OR choose another deal to offer but be sure to include an expiration date!)
Add your own flair by adding in that you have provided a brief template mad-libs style just in case they had trouble finding out where to begin when writing a review.
Name of the service/restaurant/store
Pros: Specific, simple, one or two-word highlights you experienced, separated by commas
Cons: Same as above - don't leave these out if there are any - it helps us get better! Please keep it classy and helpful, not vindictive, please.
Tell us about your experience!
"On [insert date], I stopped by [name of business and location]. Overall, my experience was [fantastic/mind-blowing/frustrating because it was so busy]!
[Describe your experience using some of your pros and cons from above. Did your product/service/experience make your life easier, make all of your friends green with envy, or give you the undisputed title of parent of the year???? Tell us about it.]
I definitely recommend [insert business name] and would use them again!"
[insert picture of product, you with product, or you smiling in front of our establishment!]
Don’t forget your social media channels too, it’s a perfect way to keep the convo going long after your first sale, which brings us to our last step in brand building like a pro!
After a customer has purchased a product or service from you, do you stay in contact with them? If your answer was “No” then you’re missing out on crucial opportunities to keep your brand top of mind the next time they’re interested in making a purchase.
And you’re leaving money on the table.
Email marketing is one of the easiest ways to stay in front of customers. And it’s also the most underrated form of Direct Marketing.
Put it this way, if it didn’t work Amazon, Google, Nike, and other major players wouldn’t bother with it. They have your attention already but will they forever? In order to stay top of mind, the marketing mavericks at Fortune 500 Companies worldwide know exactly how to work your inbox to stay relevant.
The benefits and financial gains of email marketing are numerous; however, a few key benefits stand out when talking about email marketing for brand building, such as:
According to various sources, customers are 27% more likely to purchase from you after their first experience, 45% to 54% more likely to purchase again after their second and third experience.
Wow, such powerful statistics!
And how are you following up to ensure you have repeat customers, totally obsessed with your brand? Email can help with that.
The more times you can get a customer to come back and purchase, the greater their potential lifetime value becomes thanks to how willing they are to make larger purchases in the future.
Because of the trust you’ve built with them, your customers will not only be loyal to you, but they will bring along their family and friends as well.
You are now armed with 5 dynamic brand-building steps based on powerful marketing psychology principles and best practices for proven results. By taking action on these simple steps you have the power to change the future of your business through customer loyalty.