Steve Jobs said, “people with passion can change the world for the better”. And this is true within organizations, as well as our personal lives. Passion is contagious! Want to ignite passion in your customers? Here are 5 ways you can get started:
- Make the Customer Feel like Part of Your Success
How better to create passionate customers, than to make them part of your team? Customers play a crucial role in your success, after all! No organization does this better than the NFL—particularly, the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have made their fans a part of the team, even through the language used to describe them. Seahawks fans are called The 12s; as in, the 12th teammate. The 12s are an integral part of Seahawks identity. The #12 jersey was even retired in 1984 and today, a #12 flag is raised before each home game. Your customers want to be part of your team! A simple, yet-effective way to get started is to let your customers’ voice be heard. Ask for—and act on—their feedback! Share reviews of their experiences, or respond to and retweet their social content related to your brand.
- Reward Your Loyal Customers
Starbucks has set the bar for B2C customer loyalty programs with Starbucks Rewards. The Starbucks Rewards program is simple, yet includes all the key ingredients for loyalty program success: convenience, high-perceived value, and exclusivity. Customers get free drink or food rewards based on the number of stars earned by purchasing Starbucks products. There are three levels to the program—welcome, green and gold—and customers can access increasingly more valuable rewards as they rise to the coveted gold level. The levels add an element of competition to the program as customers strive to amass stars, and protect their gold-status. With Starbucks’ mobile app, customers can pay for their purchases, view their stars, and reveal their rewards on-the-go. In addition to creating an army of brand-passionate Starbucks customers, the program has had a big impact on Starbucks’ bottom line; when initially introduced in 2009, the program helped increased revenue to $2.65 billion—a record-setting quarter.
- Make Products with Your Best Customers in Mind
Every consumer knows the Apple brand, and every business-leader wants their brand to be Apple. Apple operates in a highly-competitive marketplace, where it is unusual to see high rates of customer loyalty and retention—but it is certainly worth learning from. Apple’s approach to brand marketing is simple and unapologetic: don’t try to be everything to everybody. Apple has a captured a group of incredibly loyal consumers, and they know it. This is why Apple products often cost double what their competitors charge. They build robust and aesthetically-pleasing products for an audience that loves them; and the price is justified with un-rivalled features and benefits. One could argue that Apple caters to an elite audience, and they would be right—they are its best customers, and Apple makes products with their best customers in mind. It’s that simple.
- Care About the Same Things They Do
Aveda is a brand on a mission to create holistic beauty through wellness. Aveda products include all-natural ingredients, and Aveda salons operate in an exclusively ecologically-minded way. Consumers face a multitude of choice when it comes to beauty products—too many, in fact. But the Aveda differentiator lies in this simple mission to make healthier choices, in the name of our planet. All Aveda products are vegan and cruelty-free; they opt to ”people-test” products instead of testing on animals. Products are primarily plant-based, and nothing is manufactured using harmful petro-chemicals, parabens or sulfates. Aveda is transparent and will provide a complete ingredients list for any of their products, on-demand. Customers gravitate to Aveda because they know the brand shares their values, and trust that they walk-the-talk in all facets of their operation.
- Be Exclusive
American Express wins the exclusivity award with the Centurion travel credit card. The Centurion card is so exclusive, it’s invitation only! To receive an invitation, consumers must own an American Express card for at least one year, spend at least $100,000-$450,000 on their card each year, and earn at least $1 million per annum. In addition, invitees need to spend $10,000 initially to actually receive their Centurion card. Clearly, the coveted black card is for a niche group of high-earners—and high-spenders—but those that do qualify reap massive rewards. And AMEX plays on that desire for exclusivity, by making some of those same benefits available to Platinum Card holders, who may not be there yet, but aspire to be. Cardholders from both can access any of Amex’ Global Lounge Collection locations at airports around the world, get reimbursed for Global Entry or TSA pre-check applications, and receive elevated membership status at various Delta airlines, Hilton hotels, and Hertz rental cars. In addition, cardholders get priority seating at restaurants, and first-access to ticket sales and exclusive meet-and-greets. The Centurion card (and by default, the Platinum Card) is sought-after not only because it is offered to an exclusive group of consumers, but because it enables further exclusive experiences for these members.
A well-crafted brand voice communicates each of these best practices, differentiates your brand and creates an emotional connection with both current and prospective customers. Notice the difference in tone and feeling conveyed in this ad for iPhone X from Apple, Superbowl 2018 from the NFL, and hair products from Aveda—all different, yet all distinctly on-brand. In this era of ever-increasing customer touch-points—particularly, with the emergence of Voice First technology—your ability to communicate authentically will either make your customers passionate brand-advocates, or break your connection with them entirely.
For more tips on how to increase engagement and create brand advocates out of your customer, contact SPLICE at 1-855-777-5423.