In a consumer world full of websites and apps that direct customers to the cheapest gas, best deals and lower-priced everything, it can be increasingly difficult to earn customer loyalty. Sometimes your business can’t or won’t compete on price for products and services, so you must gain customer attention through other means.
Making that human connection with a customer through telling your company’s story is one such way to get that attention. There is a collection of consumers out there that want their purchasing power to have meaning and to make a difference in the world. These are the people who bestow loyalty to companies that have a compelling story.
There are many ways to tell your company’s story, but here are a few tips to get you started.
Consumers want to know that you understand them. By understanding them, you are better equipped to serve them. If your company was founded because you had a personal problem and you created something for yourself to solve that problem, that’s relatable.
Everyone has problems but not everyone is equipped to solve them. The fact that you have an MBA from Harvard may be the thing that equipped you to solve your own problem, but the masses won’t relate to that.
They will relate, however, to someone identifying a need and taking matters into their own hands to meet that need. It is something they wish they could do for themselves, but will accept your help now because you’ve already paved the way.
Promote Your Ethics
Back to that group of consumers that want their buying power to make a difference the world – they chose companies that align with their personal ethical views. They are looking for companies that treat their vendors and employees fairly, that have robust corporate social responsibility programs in place and that give back to their communities through charitable actions.
Look at the response REI got when it launched its #optoutside campaign and announced it was closing stores on Black Friday. Consumers that had never shopped at REI flooded social media to commit to shopping at REI because the company took a stand against the consumerism of the holiday season. Instead, it took significant steps to support its values of getting people active in the outdoors.
Create a Timeline
If part of your company’s draw is the long history it has in its area of expertise, use a timeline to show that history. Timelines are impactful because they give a visual representation of how far your company has come and garners trust in your products and services because you’ve kept your business open for a long period of time.
Take Arrow Cattlequip’s historic timeline, for example. Its timeline shows that not only has it been in business for 27 years, but it has also grown from a single family ranch into a global operation. That tells customers that Arrow Cattlequip understands their needs because they were once a small operation too. Also, its products are of good quality because it was able to build a corporation based on them.
You can tell your story by using data pertinent to your business and presenting it in a quickly and easily digestible manner – also known as an infographic. Infographics can be used to show customers how to get the most of your products and services, how well you know them by providing demographical information or to share your company’s success story.
Made a Video
Telling your business story face to face, virtually of course, can be incredibly powerful. Again, it all harkens back to the consumer’s need to feel a human connection. Reading words on a computer screen can be a cold and lonely experience, but watching a video complete with emotive background music and the faces of the storytellers is inclusive and inviting. Social media makes sharing videos easy and very cost-effective.
YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and Periscope all allow businesses to connect with consumers of all ages across the globe for little to no cost. The weight behind online shared content can make any business an overnight global success.
Make It Personal
Does your company have a mission, service or product that draws in employees and customers alike? Get your employees out in front of your customers and allow them to share their personal experiences working for the company. Letting customers see the real people behind the scenes that are providing their products or services allows for a trustworthy connection.
Let your satisfied customers draw in new customers by allowing them to share their experiences. Using customer testimonials to tout the quality of your products and services builds trust with would-be customers. Customers are going to talk about their experiences with your company whether you are listening or not, so tuning in will allow you to show gratitude for the positive feedback and manage the negative feedback.
Telling your company’s story in a compelling and relatable manner can be one of the best marketing tools available to you. Better than deep discounts that drive fickle business, building a loyal customer base that chose your company because you have shared values is the key to long-lasting success.