During the month of love we’ve been considering how successful brands sustain long-term relationships with their customers. Here are some key factors which inspire love for products and keep us returning to them.
“Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability.” Edsger Dijkstra
Simplifying the customer experience in an increasingly complicated marketing environment helps a brand take giant strides towards winning loyalty. While brands such as Google and Netflix (on the HBR Top Ten Simple Brands index) have complex business structures, their customer experience is finely honed to give the consumer what they’re looking for with the least amount of effort.
“Customer experience is the new battleground for loyalty,” writes Margaret Molloy in Why Simple Brands Win, and with many disruptors clamouring to go into battle, companies need to keep innovating and simplifying their brand experience.
“Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.” Thomas Jefferson
Honesty and Transparency
A 2016 Transparency ROI Study on consumer loyalty to brands found 94% of customers were more likely to be committed to a brand that offers complete transparency. Plus, brands who were honest about their product (and on their packaging) could convince nearly three out of four customers to pay more for it.
So what does this mean for marketers? Take it as a given that consumers want to know everything about a product before they buy. If they’re not getting the full picture they’ll move on to find something more aligned to their values. Interestingly, millennial moms are the people demanding the most disclosure from products they use. Brand honesty and transparency is no longer a nice thing to aim for – it’s a marketing imperative.
“For it is in giving that we receive.” St. Francis of Assisi
By giving we mean embracing a higher brand purpose beyond merely selling a product. This is no longer a doing good / feel good factor for businesses, as former President and CEO of Novo Nordisk, Lars Rebien Sørensen, says, “In the long term, social and environmental issues become financial issues.”
In South Africa, global brands such as Unilever are getting it right, as their CEO Paul Polman notes; “Our sustainable living brands are growing 30% faster than the rest of our business.” KFC South Africa’s Add Hope Campaign has raised over R39 million in 2016, feeding 100 000 children every day, which is guaranteed to make your take away taste even better.
Sheila McGillivray, Tribe Leader