With so much competition and increased choice for consumers, brands no longer have the luxury of simply relying on their product to sell itself. A product has to be great yes, but brands have to offer more than that. They have to provide a reason for customers to buy into the brand itself.
Instead of focusing solely on selling a product, brands must now focus on creating a whole world of beliefs, experiences, attitudes and feelings that people get when they buy one of their products.
As Moz once said: “It’s not about focusing on your products. It’s just old-fashioned branding: associate your brand with the right emotion and put it in front of as many relevant people as possible.”
That’s how you stand out from the crowd.
Getting people to buy into your brand gives them a reason to buy your product over someone else’s. Even if it’s not better.
It’s why people buy into Apple when there are other products of equal quality available. It’s why people buy Nespresso machines instead of other coffee makers. It’s why people buy Nike products. Fitbits. Jack Daniel’s.
These brands have created experiences as well as products. And it’s why they’re so popular.
How do you get customers to buy into your brand?
Knowing people have to buy into your brand is one thing, making it happen is another. Here are a few ways to achieve it.
Have a great engagement strategy
Social media has established itself as a fantastic way for brands to engage and connect with their audience. It’s important to be proactive across on social and have a monitored presence across all channels.
Topshop have their own hashtags #TopshopIT and #TopshopStyle where customers can tag themselves wearing the brand’s products, to be featured on Topshop’s own Instagram feed. This type of user-generated content makes customers feel like they are part of the brand themselves.
View this post on Instagram
IKEA do something very similar with #IKEAatmine.
View this post on Instagram
The pop of colour with the STRANDMON wing chair really lifts this living room. It’s bright, fun and very inviting @victoria_aptno4! Share your IKEA Living room with us using #IKEAatmine and @IKEAUK #IKEAUK #WonderfulEveryday #LivingroomInterior #LivingroomInspo #LivingroomDecor #Armchair #InteriorInspo #InteriorDecor #ColourfulDecor
And you can take it further than social media.
Actively invite your customers to interact. Implement a live chat on your website, ask for reviews and feedback, send them personalised emails. Anything that engages you with your audience. And don’t worry if not every bit of feedback is positive, not only can you improve your offering by listening to your customers’ criticism, the way you handle the negative can endear you to your audience. They just want to feel heard. The way you communicate and interact with your audience is what really matters, and your customers should be at the heart of everything you do.
Integrate in-store experiences with digital ones
This isn’t applicable to every brand but where possible, integrate your in-store experiences with your digital avenues.
As our head of design, Linzi, highlighted in her post about the downfall of Toys ‘R Us, experience driven retail stores are a great way to bolster your digital strategy:
“Fully connected and integrated with the Nike app, even if customers walk out without making a purchase, their data is stored and accessible, and the path to future purchases – be they made at the same store, a different one, via the app or on the Nike website – has been decidedly lubricated.”
Focus on honesty and transparency
In the ‘Age of the Customer’, trust, transparency and honesty is something consumers expect as standard now. And it’s something that customers really value in a brand. So much so that studies have shown that:
+ 94% of people are more likely to be loyal to brands that are completely transparent
+ 56% of people would stay loyal to a brand for life if it was completely transparent
+ 73% of people would pay more for a product that was completely transparent
+ 37% of people would switch brands if another brand shared more detailed product information
For an ecommerce business, your website is the single biggest asset you can use to gain customer trust. Incorporating authentic customer reviews and testimonials, being transparent about pricing and delivery costs and ensuring a safe and secure checkout are all ways to encourage trust with your customers.
For a great example of a brand that has absolutely nailed their overall ecommerce customer experience, have a read of Jo’s in-depth look at Glossier. And if you’re looking for help improving your ecommerce marketing, have a chat with us at Run2. We’re an ecommerce agency in Manchester who have helped so many brands increase their conversions, their revenue and their overall roi.