What’s Love Got To Do With It?
How companies can create a digital customer experience that fosters a lasting love of the brand
The Beatles told us that All You Need Is Love. Howard Tiersky says the same thing — but he’s talking about brands, not the whole of human existence.
Tiersky is the CEO of FROM, The Digital Transformation Agency, which has helped brands such as Mattel, Barnes & Noble Education, Mall of America, NBC, Avis-Budget, and more transform to compete and win in a new digital world — and they succeed by getting customers to love the brands and everything they offer.
“The companies that have customers that feel passionately about them, that feel appreciated by them, and appreciate those brands, those are the brands that do the best in the marketplace by all the most common measures of business success, revenue growth, profitability, and share price,” Tiersky said.
It might sound simple, but the truth of the matter is that whether you’re a shiny new ecommerce start-up or a legacy brand with decades of history behind you, getting a consumer to actually love you is a multi-step process that is getting harder and harder as the digital landscape evolves. With so much competition online, brands need to get the fundamental first step right straight out of the gates — they need to prove to the customer that their problems will be solved by shopping with this particular brand. Unfortunately, too many companies are failing with step one.
“I would say one common theme is failing to make it really clear, really fast, exactly what you can do for somebody,” Tiersky said about the most common mistake he sees brands make. so “How quickly do you make it really clear what you offer them? It’s fascinating to me how often brands don’t do that clearly. They have different messages, they make it too hard for someone to really answer the question, can you help me solve my problem right now? And because the internet is this environment where it’s so easy to just go back to Google and go to another website, it’s like when you walk into a store, if you don’t get clarity within the first 10 seconds that they’re going to have what you need, the switching costs of getting in your car and driving to another store is at least a little bit high. But when you’re on the internet, the switching cost is zero or so close to zero might as well be. So that means you’ve got to make sure someone understands right away they have a high probability of you being a solution to what it is that they need.”
If you fail at step one, the foundation of love can’t even begin to form because you’ve already proven that you don’t understand who your customer is or what that customer needs are. When you do succeed in this initial goal, then you can begin building the pyramid of customer affection that Tiersky said can eventually turn into real brand love. But you have to go step by step.
“When you consistently meet someone’s needs, you’re demonstrating to them that you understand them because you can’t meet the needs if you don’t understand,” Tiersky said, explaining the steps of the pyramid. “When you delight someone, when you go above and beyond periodically, you demonstrate another emotional thing, you demonstrate they care about me….When you express values that they resonate with, that makes someone feel that they are like me, there’s humanity there, not just a business — they share something about my beliefs or my values about the world.”
What does the top of the pyramid look like and how can your bottom line increase when you get there? Tune in to Up Next in Commerce to find out.
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