To propel your company above the competition, you need to have a solid understanding of what makes prospective customers decide to use your business instead of the competition. For most businesses, no matter what the size, the reason they are successful has to do with their brand.
Branding is an important aspect of any business, which not only plays a vital role in encouraging loyalty with your existing client base, but also generates recognition which attracts new customers. A strong and recognisable brand will often provide your business enough of a competitive advantage, how can you ensure your brand gets a decent foothold in a highly competitive industry?
Consistency is key
The most crucial aspect of brand consistency is to avoid anything that doesn’t relate to your business or enhance it in any way. When it comes to earning consumer trust, consistency provides recognition and visibility that your target audience will notice. So, to provide your brand with the most effective platform possible, it’s vital that all your brand messaging is cohesive and consistent.
Varun Ashok, founder of Mobile Experts, Australia’s largest mobile repair chain with over 30 stores nationwide, has this to say on the importance of consistency throughout his business – “Something that we realised early on was how important it was to offer the best service possible every time a customer visits our store. If we wanted our brand to stand out in a competitive field (phone repairs), then we needed to ensure that all our stores offered a seamless customer experience.”
Overlook Every Customer Touch Point
Good customer experiences are vital to the success of all businesses. These days, most customers expect brands to have a sound understanding of their needs and expectations, so businesses simply cannot afford to provide anything less than exceptional levels of customer service. Customer touch points allow you to ensure your customers are completely satisfied, so that they are far more likely to become a repeat customer and also recommend your brand to other people.
Tony Hsieh, founder and former CEO of Zappos, an online shoe and clothing company, gives this example of the importance of customer service in the company he built, “When people call our call center, our reps don’t have scripts, and they don’t try to up-sell. They are just judged on whether they go above and beyond for the customer and really deliver a kind of personal service and emotional connection with our customers.”
Understanding the customer touch points of your business is one of the most effective ways to provide a better quality of customer service as well as more informed business decisions overall. By paying attention to your customer touch points, you’ll have a much higher level of understanding when it comes to your customer service as a whole. And once you’ve identified what aspects of your business are most responsible for your repeat business, you’ll be able to recreate them to drive more brand loyalty.
Never Under Promise & Over-deliver
Marketing gurus have long been telling companies to under-promise and over-deliver in order to create memorable experiences for customers they say will keep them coming back. But it turns out that while the short-term results of over-delivering ahead of time, under budget, or with extra free product or service may seem like a great idea, your customers will most likely then expect you to over-deliver every time they use you.
Delivering what you promise impacts your credibility, which means that not only is under-promising not good for your business, but it’s even worse for your brand. Most people will have much more respect for you as a business if you consistently provide the same service or product at the same price. In fact, your business should always be accurately anticipating and consciously managing your customers’ expectations, so that you can run everything as effectively and as efficiently as possible.
Have Your Customers Talking About You
Everybody talks. While you can’t stop people talking about your brand, you can often have some control over whether the talk is positive or negative. Getting on the right side of the conversation about your business is always extremely important, as the more people who hear positive things about your brand, the more likely they will be to find out what the talk is all about. And allowing your branding to become more about your audience than your business is one approach that will see you stand out from your competitors.
To help get the positive word out about your company, you should find ways to reward customers you know are already passionate so that they go even further out their way and become your brand ambassadors. Nurturing the loyalty of your more enthusiastic customers as early as possible will not only see them come back again next time, but they will also generate interest from other potential customers, which ultimately means more profit for you.
Utilise The Right Marketing Channels
For any type of marketing to be truly effective, you’ll need to create a solid plan which will guide you. Rather than focusing on every possible marketing channel, you should be focused on which channels will maximise your overall business growth. Utilising the right marketing channels, your business will be more likely to market the right message to the right consumers at the right time. That’s why devising a strategy is so important.
Gary Vayernerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia has this to say on the importance of putting yourself in your customer’s shoes – “So when you are trying to make a sale, consider what they actually need. Consider how they actually think.”
He goes on to say “Are they a 70 year old conglomerate that has never done social? Are they more comfortable spending on banner ads? How can you have the best of both worlds? How can you become empathetic and understanding of their POV?”
But not all marketing channels are going to be the right fit for your business, you’ll need to be frequently adapting your strategies. With a combination of deliberate actions and time for review, you’ll be able to determine the most appropriate marketing channels to develop a high-impact strategy for your business.
No matter what type of industry you’re in, businesses are always going to be faced with some degree of competition. Convincing prospective clients that your business offers something the others don’t is always intimidating. The only way to ensure your company stays competitive ultimately comes down to how well you set your brand apart within your industry.