November 6, 2017
After the inevitable intensity of the pre-launch period, newly minted businesses run into a new set of challenges once they put themselves out there for all the world to see. Before going public, most businesses have likely generated a fair amount of awareness through promotions, product tests, and have set up a functional website. Now it’s time to wait for the customers to start rolling in. But what if they don’t? Or even worse, what if they do, but don’t return. After putting in all that hard work to get your name out there, many businesses would understandably wonder what they were doing wrong.
If you are struggling to build a loyal consumer base, it may mean that you need to focus your efforts on building brand awareness and more engaging customer services.
1. You are lacking brand awareness
Today, heavy emphasis is placed on brand awareness. Digitally savvy consumers are more tuned in than ever before, and they can see when a company hasn’t fully grown into themselves yet. There are several factors that can instill confidence in your brand. It’s not just about creating an eye-catching logo and user-friendly website, brands must never underestimate the power of consistency. Even the biggest brands slip up from time to time, becoming too focused on flowery content and glitzy campaigns, failing to tell the customer exactly why they should buy their product.
Whether it’s on your website, social media channels, or advertising campaigns, brands that clearly illustrate why they are valuable and worth investing in ultimately build trust and encourage potential customers to become loyal ones.
2. Your story isn’t engaging
The oldest form of human communication, storytelling, has become one of the most effective ways for companies to humanize their voice. It’s vital that you understand that your story is much more than just your “about page,” but a primary tool for building relationships with your audience. Many companies invest large amounts of time and money into creating sleek, user-friendly websites to showcase their products, without backing them up with inspiring content.
If your consumers aren’t coming back, don’t just look for ways to improve your product, but take time to reevaluate the way that you present your company to the public. Storytelling is a chance for companies to reveal their human side, so move away from any impulse to take a promotional tone and get personal. Your consumers will thank you for it in the long run.
3. You don’t understand your consumer
Failing to do your consumer research before you launch is like building a computer without software. Your product may look amazing, but if you don’t understand your customer, it’s like working with a useless computer. Firstly, you have to identify your target market. Are they younger, more mature? Answering these questions will allow you to prioritize certain products features that are meaningful to your ideal consumer. Understanding target demographics allows businesses to establish the appropriate language needed to communicate and at what frequency. Even if your ideal consumer is constantly online, that doesn’t mean they want e-mails from you every other day.
Investing in market research before you launch can also help you to optimize your marketing campaigns to be more competitive and engaging.
4. You haven’t invested in your customer
Not investing in your customer is one of the primary reasons that people don’t come back. Today’s consumers demand businesses go the extra mile if they are going to return. This doesn’t just mean offering basic customer services, it means actively reaching out and giving them the feeling that you are invested in their personal happiness which, to some degree, you are! Of course, big companies can’t always take time to answer every single question, but they can find ways to keep in touch. Utilizing newsletters, targeted promotions and e-mail campaigns are effective ways to keep your customers in the loop, while also encouraging communication through increased engagement.
Before you take 50 percent off everything in your shop and invest in aggressive advertising campaigns to attract more dedicated consumers, take the time to focus on improving your marketing and research efforts. Reevaluating your customer relationships is an affordable and effective way start building a loyal customer base.
Melanie Hudson is financial valuation analyst. She has directly executed and advised on more than $45 million in transactions across real estate, private equity, public equity, and venture capital. You may connect with her on Twitter.