The saying that satisfied #customers tell three friends and an angry customer tells 3,000 friends…
Have you ever considered how brands like Apple, Coca Cola and many others were able to build a cult-like following around their products and services?
Ever wondered what magic is behind the action of normal human beings who will spend days lined up outside Apple stores waiting for a new product release?
Over the years, this has always been the same. Whenever a new version of the iPhone is released, the line-up of customers waiting to get their hands on the new release is the same. The fans stand in lines (some spending days out in the open) waiting to get their hands on the new smartphone. Funny enough, many of these fans, most times, still have the last version that might still be working great.
Besides, the new version might just be a simple improvement on what is being released into the #market. And come to think of it, these products can actually be gotten online, in places like Amazon.com, and will be shipped to your doorsteps, even if you will need to wait a few days!
So, what difference does it really make to get the new Apple product on the day of release? Does buying it a few days later make it less; both in value and aesthetic?
It’s indeed “irrational” to say the least!
But as a #business, wouldn’t it be a great thing if your existing and potential customers develop such an attachment to your brand? Considering what this has done for Apple over the years, is it not a wise thing as a business to think of how you can create such a cult-like following for your own business?
Okay, maybe some figures might interest you. If so, then hear this, during the launch of the iPhone® 5s and iPhone 5c models Apple reported a record 9 million sales in just 3 days after the release. And recently, the Company posted a quarterly revenue of $46.9 billion and quarterly net income of $9 billion for its fiscal 2016 fourth quarter ended September 24, 2016!
Now, imagine how much success you can achieve if your brand has such a cult-like following. Of course, Apple may have built this magic over the years. What that simply means if you commit to it today you too can build the same cult status for your business and see customers fall over themselves to have your products or services.
Here are a few suggestions:
How To Create A Cult-Like Following For Your Business
1. Stand Out As a Business
Every business person knows something about unique positioning (#USP) but not many have been able to find a way to implement this in their #marketing. One sure thing around us today is the fact that the noise around has become so deafening that simply setting up your wares in the marketplace without finding your unique positioning, will only amount to a waste of time.
The first step to doing this is, knowing who you are as a business and what makes you stand out from the crowd. Apple has been able to do this very well and has gone on to implant this idea in the heart of their customers. You can learn from Apple by committing to discovering why you exist as a business and then using the information to position your brand in the marketplace.
2. Create an Exclusive Club
Who is the target of your products? Is it for just everyone or there is an exclusive group you want to reach? If you want your customers to bond with your brand at the level of becoming a “cult,” your products must be designed to satisfy a specific group.
Ask Apple any day and they will tell you that there products is not for everyone. They are not in the market to satisfy just everybody. And with that stand Apple customers over the years sees themselves as belonging to an exclusive club of Apple “loyalists.” Like it or not they are pride of it!
3. Communicate the #Right Message
Nobody knows your product or service more than you. You believe in it and you can stand for it any day. But you will need to effectively communicate that belief if you want others to also have the same faith on your product or service.
You must understand that perception is everything in the marketplace. It is the image you create in the minds of the customer through your marketing that will determine how they regard your product or service. You can communicate right image through your marketing message, your business logo and even your website design. Use all of these to create a positive image in the mind of your prospects and that will help them to better bond with your organization.
Apple has been simply great with their brand message over the years. Before launching any of their products into the market various pre-launch events are organized to sensitize both potential and existing customers of what to expect in the new version. These events are so successful that even before the product hit the market, there is already a long list of expectant customers.
4. Provide a #Quality Product
Beyond communicating the right message with your marketing can you prove the quality of your product or service? Can you back up that message with a great product or service?
You could spend millions on marketing and in creating a buzz around your business but if your product cannot live up to the image created, then the customers would simply stay away. Besides, that quality must be consistent if you want the patronage to continue.
One thing we can say about Apple over the years is that their products have always lived up to the expectations of their customers. You too should work towards satisfying your customers with quality products.
5. Be Terrific With Your Customer Service
You can talk about your product or service and create the needed buzz but you will greatly multiply that if your customers do the talking for you. And the simple way to enlist your customers to become your product evangelists is by adding a terrific customer service to your great product!
This is one thing that Apple has been able to do over the years. Their customer service is not just amazing but well beyond expectations. They have been able to use their customer service to create a deep and lasting connection with their customers. Besides, through their responses to customer complaints they have been able to come up with improvements to their products.
Indeed Apple’s cult-like following did not happen by chance. It is a well orchestrated move by the Apple brand and it has worked greatly for them. There are of course a variety of other items that might have accounted for the Apple magic, for example, the ability to innovate and take risks, but with the few listed here I do hope you can create your own success in the marketplace.
Your turn: What other things you think a business can do to create a bonding with their existing and potential customers?
Share your thoughts with us in your comments below.