Some could say that a brand is nothing more than “feelings” and customer perception about a company’s values. However, it’s the single most important factor that can help a company experience increased profit and loyal returning customers year after year. Branding is bigger than that.
Branding isn’t just creating catchy slogans or attractive logos; it’s much deeper than that. Rooted in marketing psychology, a brand represents an aggregate of people’s perception of a company’s reputation, values, aesthetics, mission statement, and also products and services. As we’ve written before about how to build a personal brand that stands out, building a personal brand is all about sending a positive message and what your brand or company is capable of. It represents a bridge that allows a company to connect to its consumers in a multitude of ways – visually, emotionally, and physically, while also being a highly successful and strategic way to sell products or services.
Let’s take a minute and think about this with a brand you know and love. Why do people choose Nike over the dozens of other alternative athletic shoes? The other brands are more affordable and easier to find. How is it that people are attached to Nike over other brands that are selling the very same thing cheaper? The answer: the company has built a vivid, strong brand image that resonates with its customers. When you wear Nike, you’re on THEIR team. They don’t just sell products they sell dreams, ambitions, and courage that inspires you to “just do it” both in a fitness aspect and an everyday aspect. Their success rests on 20+ years of a branding strategy that has been executed to perfection.Branding paves the way for a company to form a high level of trust and credibility with target customers, which ultimately leads to success. Click To Tweet
Successful branding is about creating memorable experiences. When executed properly, branding helps in yielding the best results from advertisements, marketing campaigns, promotions, and product offers. People remain attached to a brand because what the brand represents resonates with them. In short, branding is all about painting a clear, beautiful, and genuine image of your company values so that your customers feel proud of supporting your vision.
Let’s take a look at three effective ways a company can create positive experiences and stay memorable with consumers.
1. Connect on Social Media
Consider for a moment the following facts about social media revealed by digital marketing research company Brandwatch.
- Nearly 3.0 billion people or 43 percent of the total population are active on social media sites
- Facebook has a commanding 2.1 billion users
- 60 billion messages are shared every day on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp
- Snapchat videos have nearly 8 billion daily views
- There are nearly 4.2 billion Instagram likes per day
All these facts clearly show that social media is a goldmine for companies to interact with their target customers. A company can create a memorable digital experience to raise brand awareness and create a deep connection with customers.
A company can run contests on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler, and Twitter. This is a fantastic way to stand out from the competition and create a connection with customers by asking for their input and getting them involved. These contests are highly popular online generating dozens of likes and shares.
There are many creative ways you can stay memorable with customers by creating online contests. Consider giving free gifts to social media fans with the most shares and tags. This is a powerful way to make your company stand out and achieve marketing success without spending a dime.
We all love meme culture, so why not create your own memes by having a photo contest asking fans to share hilarious and ridiculous photos that are relevant to your brand, product, or services? This could also stem into a “caption this” contest, requesting people to display their creative and funny side. This is a simple and fun way to turn your customers into a community.
2. Show Appreciation to Customers
An effective way to create pleasant customer experience is to show appreciation – otherwise known as #fanlove! Consider making appreciating customers an important part of the branding strategy. Customers who feel appreciated are more likely to stick with a company despite other competing brands and will likely recommend your products or services to others.
A handwritten note is a perfect, personal token of gratitude that tastefully shows how much you care about your customers. In the highly digital age we live in, crafting a memorable thank you note will set you apart from your competition in a meaningful way.
Another way you can show appreciation to customers is by offering a loyalty program that offers real value to customers. As customers make a purchase, let them earn points towards a desirable service or product.
In addition, you can treat customers to an upgrade for being loyal to a company. If you offer a product, consider giving them discounts or a complementary product as a gesture of appreciation. In case you offer a service, you can bump it up a notch and offer a complimentary service to delight your loyal customers.
Lastly, every once in a while you should consider giving free gifts to your loyal customers. While this may seem like you’re taking a loss, the impact on brand and ultimately the profit from customer loyalty can be huge.
3. Personalize the Experience
Imagine for a moment that you are entering your favorite restaurant. The waiter greets you by name and takes you to your usual table (yes, window with a view and hot bread on the way). Even before you ask for a bottle of water, the waiter brings it out. Although Olive Garden coined “when you’re here, you’re family!” for Italian food, this sentiment should be applied to brands and companies when dealing with their clientele. These are small touches of personalization that can have a profound impact on a customer, making them return to you from the value they felt.
Companies should always go the extra mile in personalizing the customer experience. Adding a personal touch to the service will be the foundation for creating a memorable customer experience.
Consider leveraging from historical data mined through digital channels to create a unique experience for each customer. For example, if you sell goods on an e-commerce website and a customer repeatedly buys the same product, you could send them an email starting with “Hello there! We know you love Product X, so here are 3 more products that pair perfectly with Product X!” This is an effective measure to improve brand image and build customer trust.
The three main strategies highlighted above are fantastic methods to create a memorable customer experience. You don’t have to invest millions of dollars to create this synergy with your customers. In order to make a memorable customer experience, a company must commit to the notion of not just meeting customer expectations – but exceeding them.
The implicit rule of reciprocity applies to every company-customer interaction. When customers feel that they are treated with respect and courtesy, they will repay by making repeat purchases. Simple measures like connecting with users on social media, showing appreciation to customers, and personalizing the customer experience can effectively retain customers and build a strong, trustworthy brand image.
Is one of your business goals for 2020 to become recognizable?