In today’s market all the business entities are fighting to engage customers by all possible means. However, what they do not realize is what actually attracts consumers? Is it the over promising act during any campaign? Or is it the over customization? Or is it the aspect for which you are known (uniqueness)?
Even after all the possible actions to attract customers, brands fail to recognize that -”whether the customer is only a one time customer or can become a loyal one?”
Why is this happening?
Well I think most brands are trying very hard without a proper direction. Look at the marketing research team of most of the brands, they are repeatedly approaching customers and asking questions like- what you like, how should our promotions be, what modification you need and many more. I think all these are the ways to find a one time customer but not the loyal one.
I believe that, to be the most admired, one should look for the originality within him/her self. Human mind is a collection of varieties of thoughts, number of ideas, set of values and bunch of feelings and so is the organization.
As an organization, you need not to do anything extra, but just to convey the message or thought you are meant for. The people who actually relate to your thoughts, values, idea, ethics will automatically connect to you. Human brain is a pie chart with some percentage of area occupied by values; some percentage is occupied by feelings and many more. Imagine that these are all different colours, and human brain is divided in to several colours within a pie chart. As a brand, one needs to connect with that colour to the other(customer). Only and only then, one can be a loyalist to you. People make friends of similar thoughts, similar values, and similar ideas. In the modern world people are searching for the similarities, that is why the organizations like Facebook or Twitter and many more exists. What are they actually doing? They are only providing a platform where one can share his/her thoughts and by that means, find the friends who are similar to you. And why today people need this kind of platform? Because people need recognition, people need respect, people need attention.
So the questions like- What you like, How should our promotions be, What modification you need, etc., are really not going to work. Instead brands should ask only some questions related to what it stands for. I think first of all they should identify the customer who actually fits one or the other attributes of the company.
For example- “Harley Davidson” should ask the questions like:
What you feel in which word you fit in the most?
a) Faithful b) outrageous c) Caring d) Freedom e) innocent f) other
Now suppose somebody answered outrageous or freedom, he can become a loyalist, because “Harley Davidson” is known for it. And if somebody answered “Faithful or caring or innocent”, you are still asking some more questions and suggestions then you are wasting your time and effort. Change is the only constant, but the hunger to change should not lead to any conflicts with the past images. Changes should be liked by the existing loyalist first, than to create more loyalists.
Similarly if “Apple” wants to add some features to its gadgets, then it should look for the people who are imaginative and creative, and then ask for the suggestions from those consumers. Likewise “Nike” should search for competitive and courageous people for suggestions. I think this will improve the efficiency and reliability of the research work.
So it is very important to reject all those you don’t want instead of selecting what you want. As a brand you can’t cater to each and every one, but you have to find a list of loyalist. So today identifying those who don’t fit your system is more important than identifying who fits in. That is why I mentioned that brands need not to do anything extraordinary, but should only focus on the core values for which they are known and then formulate the strategies, whether it is research or advertising or any other activity.
Author: Abhijit Sarkar
He is pursuing PGDM in Marketing from IFIM B-School, Bangalore and currently working as an Marketing Intern at United Spirits Limited. Also worked at Bhushan Steel Limited, Angul for almost 3 years as an Assistant Engineer.