In the last 12 months, consumer behaviour has changed, a lot. Just as us business owners have had to adapt to survive, so have your customers, and it would be disadvantageous for any business, big or small, to ignore that fact.
Confidence and trust in the marketplace have been shaken (and stirred). To regain that trust and rebuild confidence, it’s all about helping your customers build emotional connections with your brand. But how? Stop selling and start connecting with them. No one likes being sold to, so to truly capture attention and ignite connection, you need to show your audience you really know them.
Knowing your customer is key
Before you begin any marketing, you need to know who your customers are and what they need in this moment. Showing empathy towards how life has changed for your customers is key. In your communications use language that’s inclusive and shows humility and understanding, i.e. “we know that times are tough right now, so we’re making things that little bit easier for you”. Talking the talk isn’t enough, so show you care by offering value, such as free gift wrapping, free shipping, a returns and exchange policy or personalised ‘thank you’ notes in orders. Take Penny Lane for example, who has created lockdown care packages, filled with freshly baked treats.
Don’t hit the panic button
Businesses that approach shifts in customer behaviour with optimism and a little bit of strategy are the ones that succeed. Just because something has changed, don’t let panic replace your customer service. Now is the perfect time to forge and nurture genuine relationships with your customers. If you have a little extra time up your sleeve, put it to good use; set up email automations, be more active on socials, show behind the scenes, and share your tips for other businesses.
A great local example we love is Just Add Flower. She is the brand, and we love her updates on the process of cake making, but also life in Lennox as a working mum and the struggles and wins as a small business in lockdown.
Be human on digital
With everything and everyone online, you need to make digital more ‘human’ wherever possible. We live a big proportion of our lives through a screen, so make the experience with your brand a refreshing one. Use real people in your photos, model clothing on a variety of body types and be inclusive of all the walks of life who may benefit from your product or service. You can introduce your team, share a ‘day in the life’ and use a more real tone of voice (Go-To Skincare and Zero Co are great examples to checkout).
With a positive mindset, change is an opportunity, whether that be to grow, nurture relationships, diversify your offering or enjoy the slower days. If you take one thing away from this, have empathy and humility for your customers, knowing their worlds have changed just as much as yours.
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