Marketing 101 – Customer Service & Brand Equity
We recently stumbled upon Google’s locally targeted outdoor campaigns in Mumbai and we were stoked to see some of our clients there! We at LitmusWorld are proud to be associated with global brands that have consistently surpassed their own benchmarks in creating memorable experiences for their customers! We could have continued here with a flabbergasting case study, but I guess the image speaks for itself. Way to go Titan Eye Plus team for leading the customer-first approach!
The race to own customer experience is on!
Companies are recognizing the importance of delivering an experience that makes them stand out from their competition. While some are breaking boundaries, some are still learning it the hard way. It used to be that customers could communicate with companies in only three ways. They could visit the business in person, write a letter or call customer support. Then came faxing, and then email.
Today there are even more ways customers connect. They use Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google, SMS, Email, QR, Missed Call, Website and many more. And, when customers do connect with you, they expect to be known and served “on-demand” regardless of the channel they are using.
Driving context through feedback campaigns has led over 20,000 positive testimonials on social media for Titan Eye Plus every month!
Consumer Based Brand Equity: Creating a consumer-first brand!
Brand equity management can be related to customer equity management in different ways. One way to reconcile the two points of view is to think of a matrix where all the brands and sub-brands and variants that a company offers are rows, and all the different customer segments or individual customers that purchase those brands are columns. Effective brand and customer management would necessarily take into account both the rows and the columns to arrive at optimal marketing solutions.
Customer-based brand equity is defined as the differential effect that brand knowledge has on consumer response to the marketing of that brand. Having stated this, customers might be more accepting of a new brand extension for a brand with positive customer-based brand equity. They are less sensitive to price fluctuations and withdrawal of advertising support, or more willing to seek the brand in a new distribution channel.
Let’s look at the three key ingredients to this definition:
- Differential effect
- Brand knowledge
- Consumer response to marketing
First, brand equity arises from differences in consumers’ responses to the experience you create. If no differences occur, then the brand/product can essentially be classified as a commodity or a generic version of the product. Competition, most likely, would then just be based on price.
Second, these differences in response are a result of consumers’ knowledge about the brand, that is, what they have learned, felt, seen, and heard about the brand as a result of their experiences over time. Thus, although strongly influenced by the marketing activity of the firm, brand equity ultimately depends on what resides in the minds and hearts of consumers.
Third, customers’ differential responses, which make up brand equity, are rejected in perceptions, preferences, and behaviour related to all aspects of brand marketing. For example, including choice of a brand, recall of past experiences, response to a sales promotion, and evaluations of a proposed brand extension.
Building brands on compelling consumer insights
Organizations and advertising agencies have now discovered that merging of the market research department with their database marketing team has not necessarily led to a stream of consumer insights to build strong brands. They have now migrated to a more sophisticated and technologically advanced CEM platform (of the likes of LitmusWorld) to capture consumer insights and improve customer experience.
These solutions uncover compelling consumer insights reveal a deep discovery about the consumer that can be used to position a brand or a new product in a differentiating and meaningful manner. A compelling insight is completely different from a mere consumer finding.
Identifying an actionable consumer insight is every marketer’s dream. Here are some directions to unearth these compelling consumer insights as prescribed by one of our clients:
1. Discovering consumer commonalities by aggregating and integrating data:
Understanding and analysing consumer emotions through open text feedback questions often enable grouping of your customer base on the basis of their emotions, common issues and so on. Text analytics enables CX professionals to uncover gaps in the process that otherwise would not have come up through an everyday feedback questionnaire.
Online reputation management is a key driver to influencing the initial buying journey of the customer.
2. Going beyond sales figures and actually speaking with customers:
One of the common mistakes brands make these days is that they base their performance on the basis of sales figures and not on the delightful experiences they create for their consumers. This in common marketing terminologies is known as the “Leaky-Bucket” effect. Which effectively means that the sales funnel will continue to grow as long as there is an inflow of new customers. However, the target market is fixed and eventually, the inflow will reduce. Engaging with customers will increase the customer lifetime value, reduce retention costs and increase profitability.
3. Peel the consumer onion by delving deeper into consumer feelings, beliefs, and attitudes:
Compelling insights require digging deep and peeling back the layers of what consumers say. Contextual conversations enable you to ask the corresponding whys which are required to really understand the emotional anchor behind the consumer’s behaviour and actions.
Steve Jobs in one of his interviews said, “A lot of times people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. A ‘Eureka’ experience is all about combining the familiar brand traits with an element of surprise!”
Behind every CX initiative is the company’s need to improve an existing situation. Consumer insights are the beginning of possibly hundreds of ideas. It is a source of inspiration for reinventing brand communications, product innovations, distribution channels, pricing policies and most importantly creating memorable customer experiences.
These consumer insights don’t just reside with the customers, they also come from your shop-floors. Compiling insights from various touchpoints, sources and stakeholders arduously is the foremost driver for creating a strong brand.