Every day customers interact with brands and choose where to spend their money. The decision to shop at one store over another often comes down not to price or location, but to how satisfied they feel with the brand and customer service.
Despite the level of competition across most markets, consumers are still likely to stay loyal to a particular brand or company if they feel appreciated and well looked after. Whether they are spending money on food for the week or looking to upgrade their mobile phone, they will probably choose to shop at a place they believe matches their personal values.
Success as a brand, therefore, often comes down to effective marketing and intensive research. Companies need to know both what their customers want and how to convey that they can offer what is wanted.
Excellent marketing is half the reason why people identify as either Apple or Android users, or boycott certain brands in favour of others. Yes, competitive pricing comes into it, but largely people want to feel part of a community.
Often the product doesn't change, but the feeling associated with a particular brand does. For example, the supermarket and a local butcher may stock exactly the same meat. However, some people will feel loyal to the butcher and always buy direct, while others will feel loyal to the supermarket chain.
So how can brands encourage loyalty and form meaningful connections with their consumers?
One piece of the puzzle is to understand the difference between telling and selling. Some businesses tell their customers about a product, merely describing its purpose and providing a bland overview of its design and origin. Other businesses, however, sell the product by highlighting how it will add value to the customer's life. And the only way they can truly sell a product in this way is if they understand their customer's preferences.
As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. The better you understand your customers and target market, the better you can create powerful sales campaigns and brand awareness. Fortunately, researching your customer's needs is the easy part. By conducting a simple customer feedback survey, you can find out more about your buyers and quickly identify opportunities for improvement.