HEY NOW: Forget everything you learned in school about marketing because with the continuing pandemic and political climate everything is out the window. The current environment is leading to the biggest change in consumer shopping since mass media.
According to McKinsey 76% of consumers are switching brands. That number should scare the shit out of you because it signals a major shift in consumer behavior and the way we market products.
First, it’s important to understand that the current political climate, and division within our country, is leading to changes in consumers as well as retailers. Costco recently dropped one of their cheese products because the company owner made a negative remark about Black Lives Matter and Goya foods is still reeling from their CEO’s endorsement of Trump’s economic plan.
The goal of a brand today is not necessarily to make money anymore.
The truth is that the ultimate goal of a corporation isn’t necessarily to make money. True, this is the goal of traditional management, and of many organizations in the Fortune 500. But it’s a choice made by those organizations, not a necessary fact.
A growing number of companies have chosen a different goal. They see their bottom line as something radically different. Delighting their customers through continuous innovation has become their bottom line. Making money is the result, not the goal, of their activities.
But delighting customers goes deeper than the product experience. Companies today need to take a social stand on issues that consumers care about and if they chose the wrong side like the My Pillow guy they’re in trouble.
When e-commerce was new brands used to say thank you to customers by sending them gifts. Expedia sent me a travel wallet and luggage tags, Amazon sent me some address labels and samples. It was their way to say “thank you” and it worked. Brands today are not too good at saying thank you.
If an influencer is in an administrator for a Facebook group around your brand you need to reach out and reward her/him. If someone praises your brand on social media you need to say more than thank you. Sending out free samples of your product as a way to show appreciation is just one tactic but you can’t take good customer endorsements without saying anything.
If you market a product that requires customer service like a mesh router or smart TV your customer service people had better be trained not only to solve a customer problem but delight that customer while doing so. One angry customer can do a lot of damage to your brand.
Finally, PLEASE, stop with the follow-up surveys. They’re a pain in the ass and consumers are bombarded with them. If you really want to know how they feel offer them something in exchange for their time to give you feedback.
1ne: Brands need to take sides in issues that are important to consumers. If, however, you chose the wrong side you’re in trouble.
2wo: Show your appreciation for customers who praise your brand online beyond a thank you. If you go above just a “thank you” it can lead to more benefits than millions of dollars in marketing.
3hree: Customer service people have to be trained to help customers while exceeding expectations. Don’t just solve their problem go above and beyond.
4our: Consumers are getting sick and tired of follow-up surveys that ask them to rate the brand experience. If you want their time offer them something in return.
Marketing is changing and customers are ready to flush your brand if a competitor shows more appreciation for their hard-earned dollar.