When you’re running a business, you need to make sure your customers, ultimately, like you. They need to feel positively when they look at your brand, to make sure they’re encouraged to purchase when you need them to! The positives you try to project and the negatives you avoid need to be specific and tuned to the precise market you are trying to tap into. If your customers are value conscious, you need to emphasise the value for money your products represent, as well as making a big noise about any deals.
If your brand is built around the idea of luxury and status, then emphasising value of your products isn’t the right angle to take. This will alienate anyone who’s bought into your previous marketing. Consistency is very important: if the values your brand promotes vary wildly over a short time, it makes it hard for your customers to latch on to your brand. They can’t be loyal to you if its not clear just they’d be giving their loyalty to.
But what does it for a customer to like your brand, and why is it important that they do? Businesses tend to overvalue the first sale from a customer – anyone who’s enjoyed a ‘new customer’ offer from a utility provider or broadband service, but then had a struggle to deal with problems down the line knows. failing to give sufficient weighting to the long term benefits that happy customers bring you over time is a perennial curse of businesses. The best form of advertising for your business is a happy customer – not only do they bring you repeat custom themselves, but it’s their recommendations that bring you even more new customers. Get the process right and it becomes a happily virtuous circle.
How can you tell whether you’re getting it right? Well market research companies can help. Brand tracker surveys can tell you what customers think of your brand, and rank it against your rivals. This is really helpful, especially when you do the surveys over time, so you can track the effect your marketing has had on customer’s recognition of your brand.
If you want to measure the extent to which customers actually like you, though, you’ll need to start some surveys to measure your net promoter score – the chances that your customers will recommend your services to friends. Understanding just what motivates your customers to do this allows you to refine your processes to encourage it as much as possible and drive your business towards success.