In our last blog, we talked about two of the three questions you should be able to answer about your customers.
As you know, it is important to know your customers so you know to whom you are marketing.
However, it is moreover important that your customers know your brand, as well.
In the current environment, marketing is leaning more toward creating an emotional connection with customers, however, in order to do this, it’s important that brands establish a relationship with their customers.
In case you missed them, the first two questions in part 1 are:
“Can you name 5 things your customers like about you”
“What do your customers think of when they think of you?”
Check out that article to learn the reasons these are important.
The third and final question you should be able to answer about your customers is:
3) In their own words, why do they prefer you to your competitors?
This concept gets its own post because it’s huge. We seriously mean this is an involved topic.
Let’s start by using a parallel with people. What are the reasons you think your 2 best friends like you? We bet you could sit down and make a list and come up with things that you think make you kind and a good person. You probably expect that because you think these are your best traits that other people see you the same way.
Chances are, you are wrong.
For example, maybe you think your social group likes you because you are:
3) have an amazing trivia of cars.
But it’s possible they actually like you because you are:
3) the kind of person who can hold a group together.
Now that you understand how this works with people, we are going to discuss how it applies to your company.
If you ask your friends why they like you, you may get replies that are so outside of what you expected it would blow your mind. The importance of this is that people don’t always know why other people like them. If we extrapolate this to business, there are situations where a brand doesn’t know why its customers like it. Think about this. People could be buying your product and you think it’s for one reason. Except you’re wrong.
We want to make sure we are crystal clear with this reasoning. To restate our example with an individual above, the reason people assume their friends like them may not actually be the reason their friends like them.
This is a significant point that accurately reveals not only blind spots in social dynamics but causes bewilderment in the realm of business. Now let’s discuss what this means for your business. Sorry to get all algebraic on you for a second here but it’s required. If a company believes that people buy for xyz reason, it might try to further that trait about its product. But, if people are actually buying it for abc reason, the modifications to xyx might be in the wrong direction and even though you think you’re forming a better product, it may actually alienate your customers.
Clearly, this (hypothetical) company didn’t understand why its customers preferred its products.
Since people cannot usually determine why others like them, it is even more difficult for companies to do so. That is why we ask, again, why do your customers prefer you over your competitors?
Here are some common answers, and why they are wrong.
Generally, businesses will say things like:
“because we have the best product.”
“Because we are the cheapest.”
Wrong. You lose. Thanks for playing.
Let’s look at these answers. What does “best” mean? What is “best?” Have customers compared numbers and facts and figures to see that your product actually is the best? Ok, if you are making computers, maybe; if you are making anything else in the world, no. And what is the best for one person might not be the best for a different person.
Businesses will say “because we are the cheapest.” Clearly, that is a reason people buy things, but it’s probably not what you want your customers saying because if your only desirable trait is the price it’s unlikely you will keep your customers for long. Someone else will come around and buy in more bulk and get bigger discounts and you will disappear.
So what kind of answer do you want?
If someone asks:
“why do your customers prefer you to your competitors?”
…Is there even a correct answer?
In most cases, emotion trumps logic when it comes to purchasing decisions. You want your customers to have a connection to your brand that expands beyond just features or price. People who want to be part of your image are going to be the most dedicated customers you will find.
Remember back to part 1 of this article. Customers who buy Apple products do so because they love Apple. They don’t care if they have a higher price. They don’t care if they aren’t the nicest computers out there.
These people have such a fantastic connection with the brand that they don’t care about those other things.
They want Apple’s operating system.
They want Apple’s ease of use.
They want to be seen using Apple computers.
To give one last example (we love examples, can you tell?), think of fashion brands. Is there really a big difference between one manufacturer’s pants and another? Some people might go on about how varying types of denim are different qualities, and they’re probably right, but they’re basically all the same. So why do people pay $300 for a pair of jeans instead of $50 for a quite similar pair?
And to get even more detailed, how does image matter?
Because image produces an emotion.
Each time they put on that pair of pants they get a certain feeling. A feeling that no other brand of pants in the world can produce. That is what they expect to feel. That is what they want to belong to.
It’s not just pants, it’s what they are displaying to the world.
Each time an Apple consumer uses his or her product, s/he gets a certain feeling.
That is how you want your customers to feel about you.
Click here to contact us and learn what we can do for your brand.