In many cases, it’s not the company that offers the best product or the lowest price that wins the customer – it’s the business with the most positive brand recognition. Thus, if you want to build your business over time, you need to keep your brand at the top of your customers’ minds.
4 Ways to Keep Your Brand Top of Mind
Unless you’re in a micro industry where you sell a proprietary product or service, you face stiff competition. In large industries like retail, real estate, or finance, the competition is steady and strong. The only way to consistently beat out other companies is to stay connected to your audience. A strategic, well-defined customer engagement strategy will do wonders.
According to sales expert Paul Greenberg, customer engagement can be described as “the ongoing interactions between company and customer, offered by the company, chosen by the customer.”
Here are a few suggestions for enhancing customer engagement to keep your brand engaged and top-of-mind:
1. Use Promotional Items
Perhaps you’ve been approached by someone in the past and encouraged to use promotional items in your business, but you felt like it was too gimmicky. While it’s certainly understandable to feel this way, be cautious of discounting the value of freebies and giveaways.
An investment in promotional items isn’t really about the items – it’s more about how these items allow a brand to continually connect and reconnect with customers in an indirect and ongoing fashion. Something like a branded coffee mug or pen repetitively instills brand recognition for months and even years to come. When you look at it through this lens, it’s easy to see the value and make room for it in your customer engagement strategy.
2. Invest in Social Media
It takes time to invest in social media, but you can’t let this keep you from partaking. In 2019 and beyond, it could be argued that social media is the most important method of staying at the top of your customers’ minds. Posting once every few weeks won’t suffice.
“I might be alone on this, but I’ve found that consistency is more important than quality when it comes to social media,” marketer Brandon Dempsey writes. “That doesn’t mean you should publish junk, but it does mean you shouldn’t wait six months until your blog post is perfect.”
Dempsey may be on to something. While quality does matter, you can’t be so focused on publishing perfect content that you don’t share anything at all. There’s such a thing as “good enough.” Post content you’re proud of, but don’t become paralyzed trying to reach an unobtainable status.
3. Send Handwritten Notes
You almost certainly have an email marketing system setup where you email customers at regular intervals to let them know what’s going on or to encourage them to place a new order. You may even use email to thank customers for their loyalty. But in an age where digital communication costs nothing, perhaps sending a handwritten note could allow you to leave a lasting impression with customers?
Researchers Amit Kumar and Nicholas Epley recently conducted a study on the power of handwritten thank-you notes and found that they’re far more influential than most business leaders realize.
“What we saw is that it only takes a couple of minutes to compose letters like these, thoughtful ones and sincere ones. It comes at little cost, but the benefits are larger than people expect,” Kumar explains.
Try sending one handwritten note to a customer every day. In less than 10 minutes per day, you can wow individual customers and give them a reason to believe in your brand.
4. Get Involved in the Community
Your customers want to know that you care about more than profitability and the bottom line. They want to see that you genuinely care about people. One way you can prove this – and gain some exposure at the same time – is to invest in local communities.
An investment in local community can be as simple as sponsoring a charitable cause or event – such as an annual 5k race or holiday craft fair. Or it could be as involved as launching your own event or starting a 501(c) charitable organization.
Regardless of what you do, make sure there’s a solid connection between the cause you’re investing your resources in and your brand values. Without a strong correlation, your audience will fail to connect the dots.
Adding it All Up
Your specific strategy will differ from the next company’s – however, the underlying principles remain the same. If you want to consistently stay on the top of your customers’ minds, you need a strategy that makes your brand more compelling than the next. Hopefully this article has provided you with some inspiration that you can use to take your marketing and customer engagement strategies to the next level.