With social as a center of everyday activity, it has given consumers control. A brand is essentially what customers say it is, not necessarily what the brand says on their ads. Consumers, the regular people, are given a louder voice that they often dictate and direct the conversation-Why they like you, which ones of your products they enjoy, what you could be doing better, etc.
Today’s consumers are more empowered than ever before. Consumers are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, retailers need to act now. Customers are likely to become more perceptive, critical, and demanding than we see now.
Today’s dynamic marketplace, the customer-centric businesses will thrive. Simply put, a customer-centric organization understands its value and provides this consistently to its customers.
Your brand promise + what your customers value = Customer centric
Consumers are now in the driver’s seat and we need to adapt to this. Success will come to those that are most adaptable and stay indispensable to consumers. Brands must adapt to become more integrated and brands should develop an environment so consumers can truly ‘live’ these brands.
In looking at some of the most successful brands, one can argue that they are also some of the most trusted brands. And this is due to their emphasis on understanding, listening and putting their customers front and centre. They emphasize emotional relationships with the very people who use their brands.
Having celebrated its 125 Years of Sharing Happiness, Coke is a wonderful example of brand evolution done right. While adapting to the times, its brand promise has remained the same. Its thoughtful evolution has taken its consumers throughout the years the same feeling of happiness, their essence. They remained true to their promise with great respect to their past, which means something to its loyal customers.
Nordstrom has built its business and brand around superior customer service which permeates the decision, action, and recommendation by all its employees. It has built an environment based on trust and value that not only meets, but often exceeds the needs of its consumers, from its very open return policy to thank you notes after a purchase. It’s these little things that help Nordstrom build its name by word of mouth. Their customers know they’re important and are worth the personal attention.
Starbucks aims to create brand awareness through the customer experience- customers starting off the day with a cup of coffee, good customer service, and being able to enjoy their drink while they do some work or read a book. Their goal is to create an experience by providing an environment in which customers return over and over again.
These are just some brands that focus and centre their mission on their consumers. It’s not only brands jobs to connect with consumers, it’s their responsibility. Those who recognize this are those who will continue to succeed and remain the topic of conversation as consumers steer conversation online and off.