It’s fair to say we have had quite a turbulent year of late, and this has left quite a big dent, with a lot of people in a state of disbelief, worry but more substantially, wariness. With the results of numerous political affairs, which you are all probably well aware of, a lot of people are feeling distrustful of government bodies. This has unfortunately lumped business and general society in with the group, as untrustworthy figures in consumer’s eyes.
The only way forward is to reshape the dynamics of a brand and consumer relationships. Be prepared to stay in the loop, especially alongside your competitors, or run the risk of being left behind. This will be a year of re-inventing the brand and customer relationship to new heights, but you will surely be rewarded for making these changes.
Time For Change
This ever-declining trust is calling for new social relationships to be forged. If your marketing strategy relies on past successes, or your brand heritage, to prove your credibility, this will simply not be as effective in this new era. Instead look to sharing your brand’s journey ahead and how you will contribute to society.
With the current feelings of being let down by bigger organisations, the best way your brand can gain consumer trust, as well as maintain it, is by doing exactly what you say you will do. Don’t promise results you can’t live up to. Be honest and reach out to customers when they need you. (Be sure to check out our recent blog post about maintaining customers with subscription boxes -this could be one way your brand can establish trust with both potential and loyal customers!).
Being transparent with your customers as a brand will earn you several brownie points! You need to be able to show your customers that you don’t have any other ulterior motives; whilst many people are fully aware your main objective is to turn a profit they want to feel that you care about your customers. This doesn’t mean you need to incorporate social responsibility approaches into your business model, although this wouldn’t hurt!
Look out for the forward-thinking brands who will write new rules on how the future of consumer-brand relationships will work. Mark their success with consumer interaction, analyse how they gain consumer respect and trust, and take note.
What Customer Will Value
As technology has advanced our reliance on machines has become increasingly more. We rely heavily on algorithms and robotic means to make decisions. Even our work has become somewhat robotic, with emphasis on productivity and efficiency, and whilst these are desirable traits to have, they can seem somewhat stagnant. The belief is that 2017, machines will inhabit more human-like qualities and understanding, like being able to comprehend customer desires and emotions, to ensure high levels of customer trust and better service. Perhaps this advancement will allow data collection to advance, to gain more insight into customer drives.
Recent studies conducted around the UK and US have found that the value in time over the accumulation of more possessions will be more valuable to consumers. Many marketing experts believe the “fast” route will no longer work for consumers. Whilst for many years, people have strived to be quick decision makers, have craved quick consumption of information and wanted products here and now, this way of life will be about to change. 2017 is likely to see consumers throw the instant gratification (known as YOLO) out the window, in the knowledge that it may lead to some sort of regret or irreparable harm in the future. This will truly be the time of people taking their time to make purchase decisions, to truly understand the brand before placing a commitment.
It is therefore essential that brands become a whole lot more than simply providing a product or service, and this will more than likely take the form of being educators. People will desire continuous education in 2017, to learn from a multitude of avenues. This is where your brand can truly step in as a helping guide for self-improvement, and thereby establishing a valuable connection with your consumers. Content marketing will be a valuable tool for your brand, not only in terms of SEO but in offering customers the high-quality information they will be craving.
According to Federico Marchetti, chief executive of Yoox Net-A-Porter Group: “Schooling is an act of social responsibility, which has given us a great competitive advantage to become the leader in luxury eCommerce.” It, therefore, goes to show that the best eCommerce sites will be ones that offer their customers more, understand their wants and desires and offer them the brand experience they so desperately need in this time of uncertainty.
So, if you’re looking to thrive in this upcoming year, be sure to take note of these valuable lessons in terms of strategy. It could be the big boost you have been looking for!