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Creating A Connection With Customers

Prioritise the why and the how

What would you prefer to have, price-driven customers that come to you because you’re cheaper or value-driven customers that come because you have won their hearts and minds?

The answer is pretty obvious. 

Value-driven customers are more loyal, willing to spend more on products or services and are vocal advocates of your business. But how do we attract value-driven customers to our businesses?

There are 3 areas that I like to focus on during workshops to help businesses attract value-driven customers and avoid price-driven customers, we will leave them for the competition. 

These are:

  1. Courageous positioning
  2. A purpose driven brand
  3. Innovative delivery

 

First courageous positioning. The first step in creating a brand that attracts value-driven customers is understanding one simple rule. There isn’t a need for more ‘me-too’ products and services! We don’t need more things or more companies that do stuff… There are plenty already. 

Instead we must look to assess the market and find customers that aren’t currently having their problems addressed. The unserved customers, as Marty Neimeier calls them, are the key to building a brand today that attracts loyal customers.

When we build something specific for a specific group of people and ignore everyone else we provide value to the market. It is an important step in building a brand that doesn’t just sell products or services but represents a group of people. 

This is a challenging step to take, too often businesses prioritise their desire to create a product or service, and are careless in their thinking about whether this is something potential customers want. This is a one path approach to building a price-driven business. The product first approach doesn’t stop you from making sales in the immediate future, it will stop you from growing to build a brand that reaches its full potential.

Taking a customer first approach to designing our brand leads us down a path of building value with a group of customers. This targeted and specific development approach results in the building of a brand that attracts customers who identify with your brand.

The second step in attracting value-driven customers is a purpose driven brand. A purpose driven brand creates value through creating meaning in their existence. 

When a business exists just to sell you stuff there is no loyalty. No rapport is ever built in those types of relationships, they are purely transactional. It is for that reason why they attract price-driven customers to them, and why they are usually the first to struggle during difficult economic times. 

Brands with purpose have thought and can clearly articulate their why to the market through the expression of a story, a belief or a cause. A brand that represents this why in the market through their actions builds loyalty with customers. They connect on a deeper level and as a result develop more effective positioning, even against more established businesses in the same market.

A value-driven customer will look at a brand with purpose and identify with them, the connection between brand and customer is built faster and more effectively. Compare this to businesses that speak only of their products and services features or benefits, there is no meaning attached to what they offer and therefore pale into insignificance.

EVOLUTION OF MARKETING from features to benefits to experiences and to identification

A story has the ability to create emotional attachment and change perspective more efficiently than facts ever could. A belief personifies your brand and creates polarising positions that customers relate to. A cause showcases values and provides evidence that you don’t just exist for money. 

A purpose makes what you do more impactful and separates you from the competition, consequently attracting value-driven customers.

The third and final step is innovative delivery of your offering. It’s not about what you do, that can be replicated by others, it is about how you do it that makes you innovate. This means avoiding useless positions like claiming that you are better than the competition and instead thinking about the vehicle (or process) you use for delivery. 

Innovative delivery is about understanding the impact differentiation can have on a brand. Differentiation is a path to exceeding expectations and truly delighting customers. An essential step to creating a brand with longevity.

As Seth Godin says, today, competition is so fierce that you actually have to create something remarkable in order to succeed“something worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional”

Standard approaches to doing business will deliver standard results. Instead of looking at other businesses and saying “well this is how they do it, so we should do the same”, you should instead say “well this is how they do it, how can we do it differently?” 

A business that implements courageous positioning with purpose and methods for innovative delivery can transform themselves into a brand. A brand that is supported by value-driven customers that identify with them and advocate their offerings to others. It transforms and positions them away from the plethora of commodity type businesses that are destined to attract price-driven customers.

Brands that prioritise the why and the how are crushing those that only think about the what.

If you are stuck competing on price for customers that do not appreciate the value you bring then perhaps it is time to transform your business into a brand.