Regular readers of my blog and listeners of the Integrate & Ignite podcast know that I often talk about finding your “why.” I have been in this business for a long time, and while it changes and advances at a sometimes dizzying pace, the one thing that does NOT change and that has always been true is something I learned long ago: People don’t buy from companies, they buy from PEOPLE. Customers don’t make purchasing decisions based on the colors of a logo and they don’t give loyalty to a brand based on the “lowest prices,” or a “super simple shipping process.”
How to Earn and Build Customer Loyalty
Brands who connect and engage with their customers in a real and personal way are the ones that succeed. And, by personal, I mean PERSONAL. Customers, put simply, choose to purchase from a company because it helps them, because it offers a SOLUTION that makes their life easier. They don’t care about the details of what a product or service can do or even the features. They care about the BENEFITS, the outcome of that product or service. That could be that your product solves a problem, makes them more productive, saves them time, or offers convenience.
Contrary to what some businesses think, the “why” is NOT because you’re trustworthy (EVERYONE says that), and it’s NOT because you have the most features or that you’re the cheapest. It’s not even that you are the “market leader” or have the best customer service (again, everyone will say that, whether it’s true or not!).
What are your customers’ motivators? What do they NEED; what are their pain points and how can you solve their problems? Here are a few customer motivators that are true across industries:
Connection: People buy from companies they relate to, companies that seem to “be like them” or who they aspire to be.
Experience: Customers expect an experience. If using (experiencing) a particular product (think of the ease and slickness of Apple products) is helpful (e.g. provides a solution) AND it’s easy, convenient, etc. then you have a customer for life!
Quality: While there are certainly cost and financial realities, don’t assume that price means everything. Many customers will actually pay more if the quality of the product/service truly benefits their lives. And, don’t cut corners on quality just to make a sale; in the end, this will backfire and ultimately harm a company when customers become (vocally) disappointed.
As chief marketing officer and chief operating officer at Steiner Sports, Kelvin Joseph is a keen strategist in creating events (especially in the sports marketing industry) that get to his clients’ “why.” With every event he conceives and manages, he asks some key questions: “How are you making people feel? How are you advancing relationships once you get in front of (your audience)?”
Take a listen to our conversation on the Integrate & Ignite podcast here.