Our on-going Shelter Tech Accelerator program, currently in its fifth week, has Dora as one of the participants. She is an entrepreneur and her team runs a startup called Fundichapchap. They hope to accelerate the startup in two areas: customer acquisition and developing a marketing strategy. Like many businesses, marketing is a key component in the business life cycle. It translates to leads, resulting in sales and also ensures the business stays afloat. Marketing however, is an exhaustive and continuous process and unfortunately, for most businesses, it is the first budget to be cut during low season. Smart marketers therefore, look for long term strategies i.e. the gift that will keep on giving. What are these long term strategies that Dora and her team can employ at Fundichapchap?
We’ll start with a quick question, have you ever thought about the products you currently own? Why do you have a “favorite” brand of soap or perfume? Why are you drawn to them? This unconscious shopping decision is what many industry experts call brand loyalty. It is the ability to CONSISTENTLY meet customer needs. Customers will always come back to buy from you if your brand becomes a TRUSTED resource for the service or product they need. As one of the best long term marketing strategies, brand loyalty demands strategy, precision and consistence.
Why does it matter?
Psychologists have observed that human beings are creatures of habit; we gravitate towards positive reinforcement and avoid negative experiences. So, a good experience would positively reinforce us to identify and desire more of that experience. What makes brand loyalty fascinating and easy to apply is that, it is anchored around understanding the customer’s persona. An entrepreneur would ask; who are they? What do they do? What do they think? What do they NEED? These questions matter because not everyone needs your product and identifying your niche market and connecting with them is more strategic than sowing wild oats and hoping for the best. Putting that into context, imagine selling heavy winter coats in the hot sunny, Middle Eastern deserts, good luck finding someone, right?
There is a lot of data to back this point, a recent study by Infosys says, 96 percent of consumers surveyed, said that; personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions. Additionally, 73 percent of consumers said they preferred to do business with brands that use personal information to make their shopping experience more relevant.
In addition to this, brand loyalty is multi layered and can be turned into actual financial value. (This information is quite useful for skeptical CEOs)
James Carnrite, a marketing, communications, and supply chain professional, in his lecture stated that;
“Brand equity in the positive form can help a company in many ways. A common benefit that typically results is the financial benefit, which allows for a company to demand a premium price for its product.”
For example, Coca-Cola has an estimated brand value of $72 billion and is considered among the top best soda brands in the world. Beyond the products, Coca Cola’s brand has been associated with happy, joyful experiences, history and out-of-the-box marketing campaigns. This has directly translated to real value. Apple Inc. has used the same model in pricing of its products, that’s why the iPhone and MacBook are far more expensive and the reason why AirPods are a status symbol.
So, here is our two cents for Dora and other entrepreneurs, the only way to get brand loyalty is to consistently go beyond what your customers ask for. So, before sending out that first delivery or responding to that bad customer review on Facebook, think critically on how you can leverage that to a positive customer experience and bring value to your business. Who knows, you might end up with a cult following.
“Setting a pace of who you are and staying true to it, is key in building the best possible business. With time, people will notice and opportunities will be countless.”
- Jonas Tesfu, CEO, Pangea Accelerator.
If you are an entrepreneur and found this article helpful, you can take this simple test to find out more about your customer persona.