We polled Talking Shop newsletter subscribers to understand the biggest challenges brands have connecting with customers today.
It’s no surprise standing out on crowded channels is one of the highest concerns. Now that third-party data is disappearing, many brands have recognized the importance of “owning their customer relationships” in order to build connection and loyalty.
This has led many brands to look for ways to increase their presence in their customers’ inbox and social channels. But as you’ve noticed, these are also becoming saturated with competitors. If you're not seeing the open rates you're used to, you’re likely overwhelming them, not keeping them more engaged or interested in your brand.
So—how can brands gain and retain their customers’ attention?
Build Your Brand To Build Buyer Trust
Your brand is not limited to the products you sell, it’s the reputation you have with your customers. They’re evaluating your brand across their entire experience— your mission, policies, communications, and more. The perceived value of your brand is your brand equity, and it’s the key to helping (or hurting) your click-through rates and customer loyalty.
Building your brand has a direct impact on your sales. In recent years, consumers have become more open about sharing their opinions in visible spaces. From politics to social causes, we're much more comfortable with controversy. Now, we expect the same from brands—and we're voting with our wallets. Fifty-two percent of shoppers we surveyed are more likely to purchase from a company with shared values. And they’re willing to pay more, and shop more frequently, with brands they trust.
Identifying what gives your brand an edge and sharing your values gives shoppers another reason to choose your brand. The customers you earn have the potential to become your most loyal advocates. Over time, this leads to greater customer lifetime value and, oftentimes, new customers by referral.
Deliver A More Engaging Brand Experience
Your existing customers are a great source for understanding your brand experience. Using surveys, reviews, and social communities, you’ll learn why they choose your brand or choose to leave your brand behind. Your customers can help you refine your brand story and uncover better ways to communicate it.
Communicating your brand story doesn’t necessarily mean sending more emails or ramping up your social media presence. Your customers are overwhelmed with content on these channels already. But trust takes time to build, which is why consistency is essential. Highlighting your brand's story once in a while isn't enough. You need to live your values, and share them clearly and contextually throughout your customers' journey.
Mobile apps are one of the best channels for brands to engage their customers on a 1:1 level today. Native apps leverage the operating system of a mobile device, allowing for better data collection. And that data can help you offer more personalized shopping experiences.
Push notifications are especially powerful for engaging your customers. They can be triggered by specific actions to share relevant and timely communications. Push should not be used as a substitute for email, however. Delivering the best experience from your brand means using these channels appropriately. They need to enhance your customer’s experience. Reserve push notifications for moments in your customers’ journey where real-time communication matters. Email is best for low-urgency communication, such as newsletters, advertising, or announcements.
Example: Say your brand is having a sale that gives some of the proceeds to a cause you support. Email provides the space to announce the sale, share your brand’s values by explaining how and why you’re involved, and offer a preview of products or deals that will be available. When the sale begins, a push notification can notify customers that the sale has begun in real-time. By using both channels to support your goals and your customers’ needs, you can build a more relevant and memorable brand experience.
While it’s important to plan your brand activity according to how different channels are used by your customers, they’re not evaluating your brand by channel—they consider their entire experience. Instead of competing for attention in saturated channels, ensure that the message and value you’re offering is consistent across the channels you’re in already. Exploring new ways to engage customers, through mobile app experiences, gives you more opportunities to earn their trust and loyalty by fulfilling their needs across their journey.
The best part? Building brand equity not only helps you earn your customers' attention, it helps drive new business. A strong brand retains your loyal customers and builds advocacy that can bring new customers in.
We’re building the mobile channel where your brand can thrive. Add the Shop channel to join us on our journey.