Every CEO, marketer and entrepreneur wants their business to “stand out,” to rise up out of the noise of the competition and grab the hearts and minds of consumers and clients. They want raving fans lining up for their products and services. They want repeat business and loyalty. Who wouldn’t?
When you have raving fans, you get the two most coveted things in 21st century marketing — word of mouth and “social proof,” in the form of positive reviews and spontaneous, unequivocal social promotion. As someone who runs a social media agency, I have seen companies attempt every trick in the book to try to achieve this result. But you know what I rarely see? A company, CEO or CMO that actually achieves the desired effect.
Do you know why? Two reasons:
1.As Teradata published in January: “Loyalty just isn’t what it used to be. Switching brands in the blink of an eye is commonplace, and many businesses have no idea how to fix the problem. They struggle to keep current customers happy and also bring new ones onboard. According to Accenture’s latest Global Consumer Pulse Research study, “Customer 2020: Are You Future-Ready or Reliving the Past?” (PDF) today’s buyers are constantly evaluating—and changing—brands. For example, 46% of consumers believe they are more likely to switch compared to 10 years ago. Moreover, 53% of U.S. consumers switched brands because of poor service in at least one industry, and yet 80% of those switches could have been avoided through better resolution.”
2. Because no matter how much our industry preaches the principles of “authenticity” and “leading with values” — almost everyone chooses to deem these fundamental practices unimportant and “fluffy” in order to skip to tacked-on tactics and poorly-planned publicity stunts.
Today, I witnessed my own process of becoming a loyal fan in action.