Tuesday 9 February 2016

Why Customers Don't Think Brands Are Doing Their Job Well?

The interface layer, that is the Web, has brought brands closer to their customers not literally but by cancelling out limiting factors like distance and awareness. But, at the same time, it has impartially done so which means competing brands stand side by side before a customer when he or she is making the purchase decision. which leads us to the critical question as to how one brand can gain an edge over the neighbor in attracting the customer?

There is no single point mantra to brand success leading to higher purchases and so higher revenues. But, in today’s era, it is a widely accepted belief that understanding customers and providing them what they need guarantees success. And marketers too believe they know their customers. At least, that’s what an IBM study found. According to the IBM and Econsultancy study, “80% marketers believed that they had a holistic view of individual customers.” Despite this, the study could quote only 27% customers saying the average brand understands them as an individual and so could convince them to buy their products. It’s shockingly large gap that exists between brands’ and customers’ perceptions which clearly tells us that though most businesses think they are doing everything right, they are actually unable to match customers’ expectations.

The Web has turned the world upside down and it has done that for businesses too. Earlier, businesses were not just sellers but leaders and the products they created were admired by people. It is true to a certain extent now but the reversal has come about from customers’ expectations. Today, customers expect brands to create products they want and not what the former think customers need and should have. Not just market research but individualized opinion matters greatly. Brands today need to have conversations with existing and potential customers in a bid to understand them and what they need. Another company has found that it achieved growth rates of 52% by placing customers at the core of operations and having conversations with them.

Brands can begin by understanding what customers are doing on a regular basis and send them contextual information and notifications. Businesses can start by managing their customer identities. On the web, digital identities are the ends of the medium and understanding customers begins with getting a Customer Identity Management platform.

The IBM and Econsultancy study, quoted earlier, found that only 21% customers actually thought communications from the average brands are “usually relevant” while only 35% of them thought communications from their preferred brands are “usually relevant.” IBM thinks that that marketers fail at convincing their customers because they fail at technology integration. The first of the key things brands need to do is to not let their existing customers move away from them. Customer retention is critical to a brand’s success and growth because customers can be the best ambassadors and in fact market for the brand through word of mouth. Companies can do this by managing their customer identities and having conversations with them at regular intervals. The second key is to project themselves as the better brand by improving the customer’s perception and understanding of the brand. Companies need to understand that customers prefer brands which convey their core values and products in the right way and at the right time.
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