How to Attract Customers To Your Brand
Getting potential new customers to recognize and spend money on your brand is an age-old problem that all new businesses and brand owners must face. While there are different ways to address this issue, the majority revolve around one simple idea.
Customers are people too, and people like to be treated the way they would treat other people. So however you go about it, be nice to your customers, be their friends, have conversations with them, and at least try to understand them.
How Do You Build Relationships With Customers
Building relationships that last a long time is in essence the same with customers as it is with friends, family members, and co-workers. It always comes back to being nice.
Understanding your potential new customers is essential to building long-term relationships with them. Their needs yes, but also them as people. Social media is an invaluable tool for this, as it allows for brief peeks into the lives of potential customers.
If you know what type of people you want to buy from your brand, then finding them on social media is easy. Looking for Facebook groups or hashtags that are similar to yours is a good way to start with this.
The tricky part, then, is learning to understand these potential customers beyond their likes and dislikes.
What type of person are they? Why do they like what they do? What do their friends like? These are all good questions, and answering them can in turn lead to a better understanding of why you want this particular person or group to buy from your brand.
A key thing to remember about understanding your customers in this way, however, is that simplified assumptions about a group of customers usually turn out to be wrong.
Potential Customers Are People, Not Data
Customers are people, and people are vast, complex, and always changing. Customers are people, not data. Understanding this is key to understanding why customers will want to go to your brand and not others.
The key word here is “want”.
People like what is familiar, yes, but sometimes, for various reasons, people may want change. This need for change makes new ideas and new brands attractive to new potential customers. The choice to buy your brand, however, must be theirs.
Once their choice has been made, that’s when you as the representative of the brand come in. Engage them. Be their friend. Find out their likes, dislikes, and their story.
It may seem superfluous, but once you have this information, then the real data collection begins.
The Real Data Collection
Remember, the decision to purchase from your brand must be the customer’s not yours. So the thing to remember with new customers is not to make them buy your brand, but to make them want to buy your brand.
As you talk to your customers, pay attention to what they say. Listen for things like how they might use your product. What they like about it. What they dislike about it. What about it makes them want to recommend it to other potential customers?
Customer feedback is incredibly important and should always be listened to. After all, how is one to know what customers like or dislike about your product if they do not tell you?
For this reason, many of the world's most successful businesses pay close attention to customer feedback.
What Customers Say About You
Once you know what your customers are saying about you, or at least people like you, there is a lot that can be done with this information.
One useful thing to do is to create a “customer needs statement” that gives clear, concise, and to-the-point information about who your customers are and what they want from you.
Information such as:
- Who they are
- What they buy
- How much they are spending
- Why do they buy your product specifically
- What do they expect from your product
- What makes them who they are
Such information is invaluable in future operations such as developing future products, creating welcome campaigns, and improving customer service.
This information, most importantly, can also be used to introduce yourself to new customers. Once you know what they like and how to talk to them, it becomes as simple as initiating a conversation. How you go about that is up to you.
Building a relationship, however, is just the start.
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How Do You Communicate Effectively With Customers
Any good relationship is built on trust, something that in any relationship works both ways. Not just one.
Emphasized above was the need to engage with your customers and talk with them. Trust is part of that, as your customer trusts you to sell them a quality product, so too must you trust them and pay attention to what they are saying about you.
Communication is key in any successful relationship, but sometimes, like in a customer and brand relationship, frequent communication with words is not always possible. Thankfully, actions speak louder than words.
If you know your potential customers, then choosing the appropriate actions to take to engage with them should come naturally.
Remember, however, the choice to buy your brand must be theirs, so in being engaged with them it would be wise not to blatantly say that you want their money. It should be more about helping them with something they need, not about you.
Much like people, potential customers more often than not care little for brands that are more obsessed with themselves than others. If someone, or a brand, does only care about themselves then they will naturally get negative feedback in turn.
If you have been paying attention to your customer’s feedback, then you will always know what their needs are and what they expect from you.
The needs of customers, however, are always changing. Fix one issue that your customers have and another will arise in time. Even then exactly what a customer believes they need from any product (much less yours) is always in flux.
If you are unable to pay attention to your current customer’s ever-changing needs, how will you attract new ones when you don’t even know what your current customers want from you?
This is why paying attention matters.
When it comes to paying attention to and tracking your customers throughout their lifecycle as your customers, social media is again an invaluable tool for this. The key here, however, like with any relationship, is not to be too invasive.
As stated above, social media allows one to peek into the lives of others. So no more than peeking should be necessary.
If you are paying attention to your customers and their ever-changing needs, then providing them with relevant communication is that much easier because you will know who they are and what they need.
If a customer is having an issue that other customers have had, then you will be able to tell them exactly what they need to hear and how they can fix that issue, as well as assure them that such an issue will cease to be a problem in the future.
That way when you approach new customers to buy from your brand they will not suffer from this same issue.
If a customer, new or current, needs a product recommendation, you will be able to give them a list of recommended products based not only on their needs and purchase history, but that of others as well.
This information can also be used to create “Welcome Campaigns” to attract new customers to your brand.
After all, what better way to tell potential customers about how great your brand is than by showing them actual customer testimonials?
Welcome campaigns may take time, energy, and planning to pull off, but if you know exactly what to say and what potential customers want to hear then it will be that much easier.
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How To Give Relevant Product Recommendations in a Flash
Sending out relevant product recommendations, especially by email, is always tricky because regular and potential customers alike are quick to disregard such messages as “spam”. That is assuming of course that they do not flat-out ignore them.
People, in general, do not like being told what to do, and by that same logic, they do not like to be told what they should be buying.
There are, however, ways to recommend relevant products to customers without resorting to email or a megaphone.
Tis the Season
One way is to promote whatever products are selling the best for the season. As was stated earlier, the needs of customers are always changing, so what products are being promoted need to reflect that.
The needs of potential new customers are always changing as well. So if you know what your current customers need for the current season, there is a chance that new customers will need it too. Again, social media is a good way to keep track of this.
If you know which products your customers will need at specific times, then take advantage of that knowledge and stay relevant.
Another way is to be mindful of which other products appear in the “related products” section of your website.
While this sort of thing is more for current customers than potential new ones, sometimes related products can catch the eye of a potential new customer whose curiosity led them to your brand in the first place.
This can be addressed in a few different ways, from similar products arranged by price to a “people also buy” pop-up that can appear whenever customers add a product to their cart to even a straight-up list.
All of these ideas have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, and all have the potential to annoy customers, new and regular alike, if utilized poorly. The key here is experimentation.
Find out which way of recommending related products works for you and stick with it.
One last suggestion for how to recommend related, yet relevant products to your customers in your confirmation emails.
While this sounds like something that should only relate to current customers, keep in mind that confirmation emails may be the first time potential new customers interact with your brand beyond the product they are buying from you.
First impressions, after all, leave a lasting impact.
While confirmation emails are standard practice for any business looking to make certain that a customer actually bought what they paid for, they are at the end of the day still emails and therefore have the potential to be ignored by readers.
The key thing to remember here, however, is that a customer bought your product.
If a new or current customer went through the trouble to buy something of yours and your brand, there is a good chance that they may do so again in the future. So simple recommendations for future purchases in their confirmation email cannot hurt.
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What Is The Best Way To Engage Customers
Any relationship or conversation is a two-way street. Trust and trust in turn. Talking and being talked to. Give and take. With two people there are always two ways.
Because of this, staying engaged with your customers is extremely important.
There are many ways to go about this, but the important thing to remember here is that your customers need to feel as if they are being listened to. That the person they are speaking to actually hears what they are saying and isn’t just pretending to.
This applies to new customers especially. Part of engaging is listening, and if you are attempting to attract new customers to your brand then your potential customers need to know that they are being listened to. The same logic applies to making friends.
As was stated above, however, direct conversations are not always possible with customers, but actions speak louder than words.
Giving Customers a Voice
If a customer has something to say, then allow them a place to say it. Give your customers a platform from which they can speak to voice both their praises and grievances.
This can be anything from a social media page on Facebook or Twitter, to a comment section on the product pages of your website, to even a youtube channel.
New and old customers alike may not always have the chance to speak, but when they want to, give them the means to do so. For new customers, it is comforting for them to know that if they need to speak that their voices will be heard.
On any internet platform, however, not just social media, the important thing to remember is to stay engaged with your customers. You gave them a voice, now let them know that their voice is being heard.
Respond to their posts, like them, share them, find some way to turn them into laughs, there is always something that can be said or done. Don’t simply be idle on the pages you have created for yourself and your brand. Be a part of the community.
The Arby’s Example
One brilliant example of this is the restaurant chain Arby’s Twitter profile, which still to this day regularly posts artwork made using their food products and any related materials such as the cardboard used for french fry containers.
It may sound and appear silly, but in this silly way, Arby’s is engaging with its customers on a regular basis, and in doing so attracting potential new customers to their restaurants with their silly antics.
Customer surveys are always helpful as well, but one should never go too overboard with them. After the purchase of a product or after a customer service conversation is fine, but the option to ignore them should always be available.
Many simply do not have the time.
Encouraging your customers to share their recent purchase information is also a way to stay engaged depending on how they choose to share that information. This is, however, a choice that your customer must make on their own.
Remember, people in general do not like being told what to do. Encouragement is fine, but that is where it stops.
Everybody Loves Rewards
One final way to stay engaged with your customers and a surefire way to get them to keep coming back is, quite simply, to reward them. Rewards can make your customers feel as if they are appreciated, and a little appreciation goes a long way.
After all, if word reaches potential new customers about ways that other customers are being rewarded, it may entice them to want to be rewarded as well. Or at least have the chance to be rewarded.
Rewards for your customers can range from anything to a free product, to points that they can use on your website, to even something as simple as a free water bottle with your brand’s logo on it.
This can even be taken a step further by creating events that your customers can participate in. Whether online or in person it should not matter. Events in turn encourage friendly competition and more importantly for you, engagement within the community.
Even something as simple as a competition to win a free product can make a customer feel special, like they are valued enough to want to spend more of their hard-earned money on your brand rather than others.
As was said, a little appreciation goes a long way.
Don’t Worry, Be Nice
In the end it really all does boil down to being nice. If you are nice to your customers they will in turn not only want to buy from your brand, but will keep coming back because they know that your brand will take care of them.