6. You make it easy for me to share your products with friends.
If a customer loves your products and services, it’s highly likely they’ll want to share them. Word of mouth (WOM) marketing is a powerful and cost-effective business tool. In fact, according to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) people can’t stop talking about brands they love. Studies indicate that “9 out of 10 people mention brand names at least 60 times a week in day to day conversation, no matter if it’s online or in person, and 66% of that conversation is positive feedback … Additionally, 59% of people say that a driving force in their purchase decision is based on… word of mouth.”
Make it easy for others to champion your brand by encouraging social sharing online at every touchpoint (i.e. website, sales collateral, social media, email newsletters, etc.). Also, develop loyalty and referral programs to reward your best customers and enable them to spread the word.
7. You make it easy for me to buy from you.
No customer wants to jump through hoops to make a purchase. The simpler you make your terms — the easier it is for customers to understand, trust and exchange their hard earned dollars for your products and services.
If you run an e-commerce store, make it easy for customers to checkout. Add trust marks (logos that retailers can place on their websites to indicate they have passed security and privacy tests), accept major forms of payment, ensure that contact information is readily available and respond to customer inquiries in a timely manner. Make in-store buying simple by ensuring a knowledgable sales staff is readily available (and friendly) to answer questions.
Remember, “Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple (Richard Branson).”
8. You’re nice — and I feel like I can trust you.
When you deal with companies that possibly offer similar services, there is always a differentiating factor — something that makes one company stand out from the rest. More often than not, it’s due to a “gut feeling” that indicates you would like to do business with them and most importantly, that a company can be trusted.
Trust can be built directly and indirectly. According to Nielsen, “Ninety percent (90%) of consumers trust peer recommendation,” while “86.9% of independent survey respondents said they would trust a friend’s recommendation over a review by a critic, while 83.8% said they would trust user reviews over a critic.”
9. Your products and services live up to their claims.
If you marketing suggests that customers can “jump higher, look better and increase their bank accounts” by simply buying your product — it’s best that you deliver just that … and more. There is a tremendous difference in advocating a brand lifestyle and marketing unrealistic claims to garner sales.
Think critically about your marketing messages, imagery and communication style. Build trust by delivering on the basics and wooing customers with added value that they didn’t expect. For example, if you ship products with a longer than normal lead time – automatically upgrade customers to Priority Mail shipments. Also, frequently display customer testimonials to showcase your biggest fans and build trust with prospective customers.
10. You don’t have an identity crisis.
It’s a well-known fact that most startups don’t end up being what they were initially created to be. And that’s perfectly okay — it’s a part of the process. The most important thing to remember is that customers will look to your company to play a specific role and satisfy a unique need.
If you don’t know who you are as a brand, you’ll inadvertently send mixed messages, confuse customers and dilute your communications. All of this can indirectly translate into a loss of sales and customer loyalty. Instead of trying to be all things to all people, give thoughtful consideration to the customers you actually serve. At the end of the day, “Whatever you are, be a good one (Abraham Lincoln).”
Photo Credit: Essentiel Antwerp
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