Michael Buble sang this famous song, rather romantic, but touches the heart of branding and brand loyalty:
“Maybe I didn’t treat you,
Quite as good I should have,
Maybe I didn’t love you,
Quite as often as I could have,
Little things I should have said and done,
I just never took the time
But you were always on my mind."
Back to reality. We want to build a brand, in a way, that is captured in the lyrics of the singer:
“I didn’t treat you well”: You bought another brand
“Quite as good as I should have”: Even during supply shortage, I could have tried to find your product.
“I didn’t love you, quite as often as I should have”: You left me for another brand.
“Little things I should have said and done”: You could have been my brand ambassador.
“I never took the time”: I didn’t understand your pain enough.
“But you were always on my mind”: I remembered you, but I couldn’t make you buy again from me.
Are you all ears when your customers talk?
That may not sound very much like a stiff-collared management consultant. But here is the lesson: You need to build a lasting and valued relationship with your customer. The first purchase needs to be a perfect sale. Then you need to make sure the user experience is memorable. Thereafter, you need to keep in touch and show them what else you have that can add value to their life. Share a few tips. Send them new product information. Coax them to try it. Take their feedback. Tell them you value their suggestions. And go back to them with a better product.
I would like to share a simple example of how an organizational culture can come in the way of building love with their customers. While visiting the home of a friend, I saw that the family had 3 different brands of air-conditioners in each of the 3 rooms. Questioning revealed that the choices were different because of brand experience. The first brand experience was not good - the company did not “really listen” to the customer. Having a 24x7 helpline is great, but are you truly “listening” to your customers? Do you spend 30 minutes every day listening in on the helpline phone to understand what your customers are really saying? Or you are looking at the KPI metrics of “complaint closed”?.
Learning: In other words, listening to your customer and building brand loyalty is not very different from a lifelong romance.Are you prepared to invest in this marriage and give it your all? Then you will “always be on their mind”.