It’s tough work being an entrepreneur these days. You don’t only have to go up against your competitor’s goods or services, you also have to be sure you’re staying relevant so your audience doesn’t lose interest. And since reputation is more important than ever and can legitimately make or break your brand, you want to be certain you follow a strict ethics protocol.
New technology has empowered the people and made sure everyone gets a voice, so only one tweet or video capturing an unpleasant experience can be enough of a blow that even a large company can be facing boycotts.
With all these aspects in mind, it’s clear that the main point of your focus should be what your clients want and how you can keep them returning to you.
If you’re successful in staying relevant, you may even see your competitors’ clientele ditching them and choosing to patron your brand. There are truly no limitations for what good publicity can bring you, so let’s have a closer look at what you should do.
1. Brand-customer relationship
All successful brands have something in common: they prioritize their customers’ opinions and maintain an honest relationship with them. This is very important to keep in mind even if you become a master and leader in your business niche. No matter how well you know the business environment, and how attuned you are to the latest trends, never assume that you know better than your clients what they want. This philosophy is applicable in any situation concerning marketing.
For instance, if you’re launching a new product, you don’t want to rush and put forward a product before you’ve asked for the public’s opinion. By doing so, you save yourself a lot of potential headaches, because should the new product not raise up to expectations and perform well in sales, you’ll have wasted significant amounts of resources including money, time and materials. To avoid this, organize surveys and ask as many customers as possible to participate. Showcase a range of products and ask them to choose which one they’d like to see on the shelves.
Similarly, you should encourage continuous and honest feedback of your existing merchandise. If something’s wrong, or they’re facing any challenges regarding the items they purchased from you, you should listen to their complaints and vow to solve the situation. You can offer refunds, product replacements, or, in extreme cases, withdraw the products entirely from shops and only return them when the signaled problem has been solved. While this can be uncomfortable to do, it’s actually better for your brand and shows that you take product quality and customer satisfaction seriously.
2. Get specialized help
It’s not unlikely that you’ll struggle to stay afloat at times, given the highly competitive marketing world. Every brand is putting up fierce opposition, because they’re all aware that they could be replaced. Since there’s such a large number of companies appearing all the time and they’re all willing to fight tooth and nail to guarantee they secure the most buyers.
If it feels overwhelming keeping up with the demands of a flourishing marketing strategy. If you’re from New York, then hiring a creative agency might help you out in your pursuits. The list of services they provide is expansive and includes brand strategy, architecture, performance marketing, brand tone of voice and content strategy.
Some of them may sound like a mouthful but they’re actually vital for your overall success. For instance, brand tone of voice has a big impact on your brand’s perception among the general public. In the age of social accountability, you must be sure to say the right things, avoid being insensitive and make sure everything you say aligns with your enterprise’s values.
3. Promote transparency
In business, transparency is a general term that stands for accountability, clarity and honesty. When you maintain good communication with both your team and your clients, you’re going to see positive results in all areas. Making transparency a key part of your company’s ethics culture, you’re going to strengthen relationships and connections in your team, therefore ensuring that everybody is more likely to work together as a team towards a common goal.
Transparency has also been positively connected to increased engagement rates among employees. When people get a better idea of what they’re working towards, they’re more likely to want to become more involved with the work and envision company success as a personal victory. In this sense, they also become more willing to work with the rest of the team, sharing their knowledge and insights, and receiving other information in return. These exchanges are what help keep innovation alive in a company and ensure that everybody solves problems not only quickly, but efficiently and creatively.
4. Stakeholder communication
When you keep stakeholders engaged in your brand, you ensure its continuous relevance. This can sometimes be challenging to achieve, as changing markets make investors want to gravitate towards the best prospects at all times. One of the best ways to ensure they stay on your site and don’t leave your company is to maintain a steady flow of communication with them. Keep discussions socially responsible and refrain from any comments that can be interpreted as tone-deafness even if they’re not meant as such. You want to remain relevant in a positive way and maintain a good reputation, since anything less than that can have seriously detrimental effects on your image, and, by extension, your company’s development. You want to take the necessary steps to ensure your initiatives are presented in an understandable and natural way that makes people want to stick around.
5. Center people
The backbone of any business is the team working to keep it working perfectly. Many brands fall into the trap of trying to follow trends blindly in the hope that this will help them boost their sales. While this does indeed work for a time, employing this approach on the long-run is going to drain your resources and actually cause you to stagnate or even regress. There’s also the risk that you’re trying to appeal to a market that’s already oversaturated because your competitors are likely doing the same things as well.
The best way to avoid this pitfall is to center people in your company. This way growth becomes more than a simply financial or competitive pursuit, and it actually becomes more of a case of working together with a dedicated team towards achieving a common goal. Humanizing your business is going to take you places.
6. Don’t bypass innovation
It’s comfortable staying in your lane and doing the same things over and over. It provides certainty and security, but it’s also a surefire way to hamper progress. When you try new things you evolve and are sure to stay relevant. After all, times change and you should change with them if you want to maintain your position and not be ousted by a competitor that has more of a knack for it.
In order to make sure what works for you, it’s important to do your research. You can even take a page out of the competition’s book. If they’re adopted a strategy that seems to be doing wonders, you should try and emulate it. You should make sure you don’t neglect the soul of your brand however, as adopting trends just because they’re fashionable at the moment will feel empty and like an intentional attention grab.
You should also take your buyers into consideration. Which demographic is more likely to be devoted to your brand? What are their ages, political beliefs and average income? When you’re considering trends, you must also take into account how well they’d resonate with your clientele, otherwise you’re likely to miss your mark and may even alienate some of your customers, who simply won’t resonate with your new image.
Nevertheless, after you’ve taken all these aspects into account, you must be sure you develop a growth plan. Going out on a limb and reinventing your brand from scratch isn’t something you should do too often, as you still need consistency to draw people in. But never changing and keeping up would be just as harmful, as it will cause you to fall behind and your clientele to leave you.
The bottom line
Brand relevance ultimately comes down to the trust your customers place in you. Once your audience trusts you, they’re bound to be committed customers and to keep returning to you sometimes for life. Some brands manage to create a legitimate fan following by preserving a clean image. Dedication to sustainability, workplace ethics and delivering high-quality products that last a long while and do the job well are just some of the chief characteristics that today’s customer is searching for in a brand before they decide to spend their money.
When you establish, then maintain a group of dedicated brand loyalists, you don’t only make sure your sales are going to increase, you also ensure your brand will grow exponentially. Because people who love your business are going to recommend it to others, and they’ll be quite vocal about it when they do. Once you’ve created a solid relationship with your clients, the only way is upwards.