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According to studies, traditional brand fidelity is declining. This is bad news for large, established players. But it’s a golden opportunity for SMEs to capitalise on a new phenomenon… “loyalty as you go”.
“Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”. This well-known axiom from decades ago made the point that emotions are a big driver in purchasing decisions in the B2B marketplace. A trusted brand can make everyone feel safe. But trust in any company doesn’t come with the same certainty – and thus loyalty – today.
Heritage brands can disappear from the high street and the Internet overnight, often after a brutal price war against sharper competitors with deeper pockets. In a world of price comparison websites and discounts, being a household name doesn’t guarantee your future anymore.
So how can SMEs win loyalty?
If striving for years to achieve a “cool brand” won’t ultimately be enough to keep your valuable customers and you don’t have the economies of scale to battle it out on price, then where do you go? How is it possible to build a secure customer base in today’s fickle world? The answer is “loyalty as you go”.
Put simply, this approach is about nurturing loyalty at every step of the pre-sales and post-sales process – by giving customers something unique. And it’s still very much about emotion.
If someone believes buying from dependable company X will keep their job safe, or choosing supplier Z will make them look good at one level or another, then emotions will be key to your sale. And this is almost always the case.
As an SME, it’s possible to break through and outsmart larger competitors by fixing long-standing issues that reside deep within your prospect’s operations – and trigger frustration and other emotions.
Read the full article on Real Business.
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