‘The race to own customer experience is on! Companies are recognizing the importance of delivering an experience that makes them stand out from their competition. Some are learning the hard way. Here, BARE International shares an article by Shep Hyken for Forbes on Customer Experience Is The New Brand.
Thanks to technology (define ‘Instagram-worthy’?), we see an exponential change in what defines an ‘experience’ when your customers shop. Here, BARE International shares an article by Harley Finkelstein for Forbes on 5 Trends That Change The Way Your Customer Shop
Do you know how customers view your company? Brand reputation is essential to the success of any business. Stand out from the competition; invest in these core, or ‘Golden’, branding strategies.
Thanks to the competitive market, customers have many options of products and services to select from, and they often rely on the brands that convey greater credibility via brand reputation. Optimize your brand reputation and win the customer’s trust before they even walk into your store!
1. DEFINE YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION
Every company needs to look for elements that differentiate it from the competition. Looking for innovations is essential to adapt to the needs of the customer. The value proposition is just that: a set of products and services that highlights the company before its opponents.
However, do not confuse price with value. The price is the amount that the buyer needs to shell out to buy something. Value is determined by the public; that is, it is the way the products and services are seen by the consumer. It is worth remembering that the perception of employees, suppliers, and partnerships also count.
Therefore, the first step in designing a successful business is to define a unique and extraordinary value proposition. Additionally, be sure to define your company’s mission, vision and values to create a solid foundation for growth.
2. INVEST IN A UNIQUE & MEANINGFUL VISUAL IDENTITY
One of the first contacts that the customer has with the brand is through the visual identity, either by the front of the establishment or by the packaging of products, business cards, advertisements on television, or scattered throughout their location.Have you ever walked into a store just because you were attracted how the storefront looked? The aspect of an intriguing visual identity, or branding, is essential to convey trust and facilitate the company’s identification. Here are some examples: When you open a bank card, you soon recognize the sender just for the colors used, right? It’s that kind of identification you need to create for your brand.To develop an efficient visual identity, hire skilled professionals. They have in-depth knowledge about concepts, colors, shapes, fonts and even studies that support findings on how the brain works with recognition and likeability.
3. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER
Knowing who you are dealing with is critical to devising effective strategies. Only then will it be possible to understand what the customer expects when they purchase the product or service. Gather as much information as you can, such as name, age, sex, marital status, profession and even hobbies. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools can help you collect this data.
With all this knowledge, it will be possible to build your consumer database, customize service, create strategies for loyalty, generate trust, and optimize brand awareness. When you are able to build a customized experience journey for your customer, they remember and prioritize you for future business.
4. USE CONTENT MARKETING
Investing in online strategies is essential to gaining and retaining customers, expanding the company’s exposure and gaining credibility. Leverage the virtual environment to implement content marketing actions. This method serves to generate authority for the brand by producing useful information for its target audience.So, how do you do that? A popular strategy is to create a corporate blog to inform and educate your reader! For example: Do you run a cosmetics store? Provide posts about which shampoo is ideal for each type of hair, or showcase a tutorial on how to apply eye shadow. You produce materials of interest to your audience and, at the time of making the buying decision, they will help keep you and your products in mind. After all, you are a thought leader in that industry!
Additionally, content marketing helps to understand the needs of customers and offer products that will actually meet their expectations. Extend strategies for social networks and share posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Pro tip: Be sure to remember that it is important to adapt the materials to each type of network. Instagram, for example, is a highly visual channel. Therefore, ensure the post has an image as the focal point for Instagram, versus an attractive tagline and interesting hashtags which are prevalent in Twitter.
5. STRENGTHEN CONSUMER RELATIONSHIPS
Imagine: your company receives a critique on a popular social media channel, and your loyal customers resolve to defend the brand. This is the ultimate goal of relationship marketing: to win over loyal consumers who can act as brand ambassadors for your company at certain times. The strategy consists of defining actions to generate and maintain a positive connection between the company and the public. In addition to loyal customers, relationship marketing aims to build trust and authority for the brand.
One of the key tools to strengthen consumer bonds is through targeted email marketing. Personalized email marketing makes it possible to send congratulations on special dates, provide promotions, gifts or benefits for the next purchase, and even offer after-sales service. Email marketing can be a strong ally of content marketing, as well. Be sure that the content of your emails are valuable, and think “quality over quantity” when it comes to emails: there’s no sense in creating a nice opportunity for your clients if they’re just going to hit ‘delete’ as soon as it comes to their email box! Another option to improve consumer relationships are through loyalty programs. You can offer unique advantages so that consumers choose your company instead of looking elsewhere.
6. BE VIGILANT OF CUSTOMER FEEDBACK, ESPECIALLY CRITICISMS!
Provide communication channels so that consumers have a way to provide feedback. In this process, criticism is even more important than praise because it shows the points of dissatisfaction and encourages the improvement of products and services. What’s more, this openness influences how the customer perceives the brand. By realizing that the company is interested in the buyer’s experience, not just the money, the customer knows they matter to the company and the brand, and the result is a strengthened relationship.
Brand awareness ultimately affects business results, so investing in branding strategies is crucial. A brand that positions itself as a thought leader in its industry attracts more consumers, and build a loyal fan base faster. Follow all these Golden Rules, and watch your company’s positive reputation grow!
Let BARE International showcase your brand reputation by aggregating all of your customers’ experiences into one platform. Contact us today for more information, we look forward to speaking with you.