In many cases what we do to market our brand will be received differently in the mind of different customers. Even if our audience is segmented, within that segment individuals will have their own perspectives and each customer will have their own idea of value associated with our brand.
Finding value in a brand refers to the perception that customers have of the benefits and worth they derive from the brand’s products, services, or overall experience. It goes beyond simply how much they spend with us, and includes the satisfaction, utility, and emotional connection customers associate with our brand. Identifying how customers perceive value is a fairly simple calculation, but being aware of the the variables in the equation and how to make those variables work to meet customer needs is crucial for marketers as it helps align business goals with customer preferences.
The value that a customer takes from their experience with your product or service is what’s left when they weigh their benefits against what they have spent. In other words:
Benefit (MINUS) Cost (EQUALS) Value
Be it time, money or energy, if a customer has to “give away” something (what they spend) it must outweigh what they get (their benefit). As marketers, brand managers and SME owners we cannot control the customer value, but we can work to make sure that value is as high as it can be by managing their benefits and their costs. Here are a few simple steps to do just that.
The customer experience must be the top priority. Engage with them in ways that make customers feel valued and understood. Gain a deep understanding of your audience through market research and customer feedback so that you can tailor your products, services, and experiences accordingly. Personalise interactions, recommendations, and offers, from your brand to your customer, based on individual preferences and past behaviours.
Focus on delivering products or services that consistently meet or exceed customer expectations in terms of quality, performance, and reliability. Strive for continuous improvement and innovation to stay ahead of competitors and don’t forget about your customers after they have purchased. Offer prompt, friendly, and efficient customer service across all touchpoints. Train and empower your customer service team to address customer inquiries, resolve issues, and go the extra mile to provide a positive experience.
Establish trust by being transparent and honest in your communications and business practices. Use creative ways to inform your audience about new, improved or changing product features, pricing, and policies to set realistic expectations and build long-term trust with customers. Actively seek feedback from customers through surveys, reviews, and social media. Use this feedback to identify areas for improvement and implement changes to enhance the customer experience.
Implement loyalty programs that reward customers for their continued engagement and purchases. Offer incentives such as discounts, exclusive access, or personalised perks to incentivise repeat business and build loyalty. Encourage customer engagement and create a sense of community around your brand. Facilitate discussions, user-generated content, and social sharing to foster a sense of belonging and connection with your brand and other customers.
Building long-term relationships with customers rather than solely focusing on short-term transactions will increase customer value perception of your brand. This is an ongoing process that requires a deep understanding of your customers, consistent efforts to deliver exceptional experiences, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By focusing on enhancing the value you provide to customers, you can foster loyalty, drive repeat purchases, and create brand advocates who contribute to the long-term success of your business.