The brand-consumer relationship does not end at the checkout. Now is the time for brands to consider this as the starting point and focus on forming strategies that cater to connectivity with consumers.
- The advertising industry has experienced rapid growth throughout 2019 and it can be said with a high level of confidence, that 2020 shows no sign of this slowing down.
- While connectivity between brands and consumers is crucial, it does not come without its difficulties. Brands are attempting to take on the mammoth task of building a relationship with thousands of people who all have different passions, hobbies and personalities.
- It is so easy for businesses to focus solely on increasing conversion rates and hitting sales goals but to survive in 2020, the most important goal should be creating and maintaining a great brand-consumer relationship.
“70% of users who feel a connection to a brand will spend twice as much compared to those who do not.”
The capability people, brands and businesses have to build lasting connections is a crucial element to succeed whether you are an influencer or business trying to build brand experience and relationship with consumers.
However, genuine connections do not come easy. For brands looking to succeed in an era where consumer’s expectations are soaring and there is a continual competitive disruption, innovation is key in creating connections. Brands must always be looking to find new and exciting ways to connect with their consumers so they can continue to grow.
Brands that can do this will challenge conventions, build lasting relationships and in time, lay down new rules for brand-consumer relationships. Nevertheless, this cannot be achieved without the brand remaining authentic and standing by their values.
“When consumers feel an emotional connection to a brand, the lifetime value of that consumer can increase by 300%.”
What do brands need to do?
Brands need to focus more on creating emotion through their advertising. Emotions are inherent to human behaviour, they drive our thoughts, actions, decisions and most importantly, for brands, our purchases.
This era sees consumers relying increasingly on how they feel about a brand and the product on offer more than simply the information they are provided. With online retailers like Amazon and eBay providing their consumers with a large range of similar products at comparable prices, emotion will be their key differentiator in attracting consumers at the check-out.
Consistently share and ask for UGC:
User-generated content (UGC) is necessary to strengthen a brand’s relationship with their consumers as it shows they care and value their opinions. Other consumers who are considering choosing one brand over another will view UGC as a highly reputable method of marketing content. Consumers will trust fellow consumers’ opinions above all.
“Consumers state that UGC is 9.8 times more impactful than influencer content when making a purchasing decision.”
The first step in gathering positive UGC is by forming a strong brand community and visual content is a good place to start. The more a brand shares UGC in the form of pictures and videos, this will encourage other users to want to get more involved.
A great example of a well-connected brand that makes the most of UGC is AirBnB.
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The narrow 14th-century streets of Bukchon Hanok Village can make you lose track of where—or when—you are. This renovated hanok in the heart of the neighborhood can have the same effect (at least until you use the distinctly 21st-century toiletries). Check out the two palaces that flank the neighborhood or ask your Superhost, Han, for local tips while savoring the traditional breakfast he provides each day. Photo: @analog_hanok_in_bukchon
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They are known for beautiful imagery taken by their users and UGC forms most of their social media content, apart from ad campaigns when they post branded AirBnB content. Their strategy is successful because they share worldwide UGC while asking questions and offering suggestions to their followers - they focus on forming a community through discussions that their users will share and have an active interest in.
Although posting other people’s content may appear like an easy way out, this strategy is responsible for driving AirBnB’s culture on social media.
“61% of marketers said authenticity is what makes content marketing most effective.”
For consumers, what is more authentic than opinions from like-minded people?
Consider a retention-focused consumer relationship strategy:
All brands aspire to develop and grow their customer base however, brands often fall into the trap of trying to gain more customers instead of focus on nurturing their current customers.
Brands cannot hope to retain a customer who has just made their first purchase, long-term connections are the aim and these take time to build. Therefore, brands should prioritise developing this relationship over gaining new ones. Additionally, retaining existing customers is cheaper, easier and will provide great value further down the line, for example when they begin to contribute UGC to the brand’s marketing strategy.
“Repeat customers spend three times as much as new customers and cost five times less to acquire.”
Simply put, by prioritising repeat customers and earning their loyalty, brands will see a better return on marketing investments.
Focusing solely on gaining sales is not the only goal businesses need to consider. A true mark of a successful business is a strong community of loyal customers. By focusing on eliciting emotion, distributing UGC and creating a retention-focused consumer strategy, a brand will be on track to build a valuable network of connections with their consumers.
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