Brands fail, sometimes in pretty big ways and other times drip, by slow drip; but one thing is for sure, it happens more often than we think. Just why do customers lose that lovin’ feelin’ for a brand and why do loyal customers leave and go elsewhere? As the Righteous Brothers croon “It’s ‘Cause baby, something beautiful’s dying.’ How is your brand standing up to its competition? Is something beautiful dying?
Although you can’t control your brand, you can influence the minds of your customers with some easy to follow tips:
- Don’t get lost in the crowd. In growing markets, especially those with lots of competition, it can be hard to stay current and keep ahead of your competitors. Take a fresh look at your brand from a customer’s point of view. Are you just another face in the crowd? If you are, then you need to differentiate yourself so you stand out. When it comes to branding you can do this several ways. It can be as simple as the way you talk about yourself, or visually present yourself in the marketplace.
- Don’t water down your market by leveraging the same brand across different target markets. If you are known for a particular service or product, resist the urge to expand your offerings into additional products or services that have nothing to do with your core set of values. You are almost always better served by narrowing your focus.
- Don’t confuse or overwhelm customers with too many different marketing messages, especially when moving from an old market to a new one.
- Don’t deceive or lie to your customers. Keep your brand honest and truthful and always make sure you have the proof to back up any claims or messages. You’ll never succeed if you try to be something else.
- Have the right amount of confidence. Too little confidence and you’re afraid to take risks that might pay off in big ways and too much confidence and you think you can dictate customer expectations and continue to dominate a market without much innovation.
- Don’t just repeat meaningless marketing chatter. Say what you mean with a simple message that people can grasp. Say what you do and how you are different.
- Stand behind your product or service. Make your employees living brand ambassadors. If they are enthusiastic about your brand, your clients will be, too. Get testimonials from satisfied customers and post them on your website. What’s the word on social media and Yelp about your brand? If there’s negativity, change it. Show you care.
Most times the death of a brand is based on its failure to maintain an emotional connection with customers. What does your brand promise or say about you? Is it trust, quality, good will, tradition, or innovation? No matter what your brand touts, it has to live up to customers’ expectations or it won’t succeed and inspire a loyal following.