It used to be that people went to the drugstore and there were five different brands of toothpaste and they purchased the one that they had been using for years. There was no thought, no comparing ingredients or price, they just picked the box off the shelf and went on about their shopping.
Nowadays, you go to a big box store and there is an entire aisle dedicated to toothpaste and you spend 20 minutes trying to decide, not only which brand you should choose, but which flavor of which brand to choose. With so many options available to us, it is no surprise business owners wonder if brand loyalty exists anymore.
Here are five ways you can make sure your brand is leading the pack:
You are relevant. While some move faster than others, every industry experiences changing trends and, with the internet available to your customers at the touch of a button, you can’t afford to be uninformed. In fact, if you know about or anticipate a change coming in your industry, write a blog about it informing your customers. If you can give them heads-up information and appear to be “in the know” that goes a long way to fortifying your credibility.
You are honest. This is applicable to all aspects of your business. The way that you sell or deliver your product should be done with honesty and integrity. While it is never advised to turn customers away, if it becomes apparent in the buying process that your product or service is not going to be the best fit for that customer – tell them. While they may not make a purchase from you they will respect your honesty and recommend your business to others. Word of mouth is always going to be the most effective form of marketing. If you experience a malfunction or product recall send out a press release and post on social media platforms with an apology and explanation. Treat every customer service concern with care and make it right. The way that you treat people is crucial to not only their repeat business but everyone they know becoming a customer.
You provide solutions. There are some companies that people do business with specifically because they know if a problem arises it will be fixed without hassle. This is especially true if your business sells a product that is at a higher price point or, requires a long-term relationship. If a customer knows they are going to be interacting with your company because of a long-term contract, they are going to be much more criticall about their choice. Make sure that your customers know that if they have an issue with your product or service you will do what is necessary to make things right and they will not be inconvenienced or charged.
You are available. When you are designing your website keep in mind that more than 70% of your customers will access it via their phone, tablet, or other mobile device. Making sure that your customers’ experience is exceptional regardless of which device they are using is essential to your company success. You could lose potential sales if a lead clicks a link that takes them to a page on your website that is not responsive and they become frustrated and leave.
You provide quality. When a customer purchases your product or service they know they will are spending money on a quality product that they can trust to work the way it should when it should. This is especially true in relationship to your price point, if a customer feels they didn’t ‘get what they paid for’ – they will tell their friends and your sales will steadily decline.
Doing just a couple of these some of the time is not going to cut it. All five of these points are essential to setting your brand apart from the hundreds of others like you. The modern consumer is no longer obligated to purchase from the grocer with a bad attitude and expired food because he is the only game in town. With the online shopping option consumers can easily find 20+ sources for the same product and can take their time choosing who they should buy from. Make that decision easy for them by being the only one who rates five stars on all of the points outlined above.