Around Christmas and the New Year, it’s common to hear a million and one different ideas around how to market to your audience, especially if you run an Ecommerce store. And while digital and design improvements to your brand assets can make a great impact, one tactic that can easily get overlooked is the one thing that sits at the centre of it all - communication.
Good communication is crucial to the success of any brand, and one area of communication that can be a stumbling block for even the boldest of brands is gratitude.
Gratitude can have a huge impact upon your life and the way you feel about it, and your life in business is much the same. In the modern market, consumers are king. Potential consumers have so many choices of brands from which to source just about anything they want, so the fact they chose your brand warrants some kind of positive reinforcement. The great news is social media, along with effective content creation, enables you to do so much from behind a computer screen, and the benefits of showing a little appreciation for your audience can be immense.
Putting a human face to your brand
People like that which they can relate to; hence, anything that makes your brand seem more personable is a move in the right direction.
Making things personal – whether it be through hand-written correspondence, creating personalised videos for customers, or even featuring them in your collateral – demonstrates the value and treatment customers receive. Coles’ 2017 advertising campaigns are strong examples, featuring elated customers and employees to make the supermarket experience, a typically dull day-to-day pursuit, seem incredible.
Establishing positive emotional association
A reward, no matter how small, tends to make customers feel great about their decision to interact with or purchase from your brand. There’s a certain afterglow that follows a thoughtful display of gratitude, especially when it’s unexpected, and consumers are not immune to its effect. If, for example, you offer your regular customers discounts in return for their loyal business; you provide them with a personal reason to prefer your brand over another. It’s as simple as offering a discount on your customers’ regular purchases, loyalty card-style.
Emphasising positive brand actions
Consumer culture rewards action, as does social media. You could receive a review from a customer on Facebook and let it fall by the wayside, but highlighting it on your brand channels creates the potential to resonate with your brand followers. Be grateful and proactive with every piece of feedback, but make sure only the best ones stand out. This worked tremendously well for Sainsbury’s, who generated a viral news story with their response to a young customer’s hand-written letter. After three-year-old Lily Robinson suggested the “tiger” bread looked more like a giraffe, the customer service team sent her a gift card with a letter thanking her for her brilliant idea.
Encouraging repeat business
Making consumers feel like an asset to your business is one of the most effective pursuits you can make in establishing long-term customer relationships. When brands go out of their way to show appreciation for its loyal customers, it creates an enduring impression on their customers’ feelings towards them. After a distribution problem, feminine hygiene company o.b. sent a personalised music video to each one of their 65,110 loyal customers to apologise for the unavailability of their product. Together, the personalised videos received 27 million unique views, and successfully regained the business of many past buyers.
Increasing potential for positive word of mouth
It’s no secret that word of mouth is a powerful tool which can work either for or against your brand in the long run. People are more inclined to talk about their negative experiences as customers; however, stories of amazing things brands have done for customers also get shared and even go viral on social media channels. Sometimes all you need to do is create a memorable experience for one customer in order to reach thousands more via social media. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel did just that with their response to Chris Hurn, a customer whose son left a stuffed giraffe toy at the hotel. Staff sent the giraffe to its young owner along with a book full of photos of the toy enjoying the hotel, and the boy’s father was so impressed that he wrote a blog post on the experience which then went viral.
Expressions of gratitude are all the more valuable during the holiday season, so if you’re after some advice on making your content and social media work for you, give us a call or send us an email.