Getting into customer wishlist
What does the customer desire? A question that runs through the minds of every marketer & businessman throughout every industry, be it B2B or even B2C. A question far more prevailing in this regard and perhaps more important is, “How does one become a desirable brand?”. Is a good product enough to drive positive experiences, or does integrated efforts in all channels the only way to ensure a positive perception? Several concepts such as Brand identity, customer perception, market value are thrown in the discussion, but at the end of the day, what matters is if you as a brand and your product/service to the people is likeable or not. It doesn’t always have to reflect in sales, but it does have to maintain a positive demeanour. For example, Tata Motors is known to create sturdy, rough and rigid vehicles that are perfect for industrial and commercial settings, which is why it is a brand that is considered reliable, albeit in a commercial regard. Although most people would not go around buying trucks and buses, if they do, they definitely will consider Tata. Which is exactly why it is just very important to be the “it” company. While probably is one of the most difficult things to be in such times of flooding competition, its benefits are unmatchable.
Tesla for example is a curious case of “People’s choice” auto manufacturer. If you’re thinking of electric vehicles, you will think about a Tesla. That is the kind of desire that marketers chase.
Apple similarly is a ‘wish list’ brand for many Indians. Creating a lasting positive perception, that is so effective that it transcends into other product categories.
But the root question prevails. What is it that makes these brands desirable as compared to their competition? The answers varies from product category to different businesses, but certain rules of thumb remain, that drive a brand/product from the general eye to the ‘wishlist’ category of things.
1. Honesty and Customer centric nature
All businesses exist for a single reason, ‘They create value’, and if a product or a brand ceases to do so, that is where the curtains fall. While brands swear by the idea that ‘Demands need to be created’ , in the process of doing so , be it with charming advertisements or aggressive sales strategies, the after effect always leave the customer feeling sour. Simply said, people do not like being sold things they don’t need. To sum the idea, a quote by the legendary advertising mogul Mr. David Ogilvy suffices, “You wouldn't tell lies to your own wife. Don't tell them to mine”
2. Listen to your customers
As marketers complain about the growing difficulty to match up to customer expectations from brands, they often forget to do one of the most simplest things. Listen. A classic example and a very infamous one in the world of marketing is Xerox. A company which once dominated the photocopier market, was taken down by new entrants of the market like Canon because they just would listen to their customers. Even after being a leader in its entire category, Xerox just did not hold its own in the market, because of its over ambition. While not having faced though competition in the photocopier market itself, the brand decide to move to data processing, computing and several other ‘pet projects’, taking away its attention from their cash cow, the photocopier, which was at the peak of its demand. And as earlier said, if you do not create value, the customers do not need you.
3. Deliver diligently
How does one differentiate themselves in a market that seems to be populated by identical products and brands? One delivers.
Although the ‘Quality over quantity’ model receives its share of credit, one cannot emphasise enough about the importance of Quality. It essentially is first marketing/branding step for any business and thus forms the base of the entire communication that is designed towards the consumer. One Plus for example, entered the smart phone industry as a single phone manufacturer, which increasingly earned the title of ‘Flagship killer’. But what was unique about the brand and their product is , that apart from actually being a very usable and feature rich device, One plus One, was able to create an experience. Which in turn was created by the design of the product, the packaging and even their marketing strategy at that point of time(Referrals).
The product and as a result the brand became desirable, because, it was not only creating value, but also creating ‘magic’
To conclude, desirability just like a positive opinion takes time to develop, and thus must be closely monitored. Cues that brands could keep providing include but are not limited to the quality of their product/service, approachability, and most importantly a desire within to create value.