Connecting with customers on an emotional level builds a community with customers. Companies that establish a deeper relationship with their customers than one based on making a sale have the capacity to be exceptional guerrilla marketers. These businesses win because customers receive an emotional boost every time they buy these companies products or services. They connect with their customers emotionally by providing captivating products, supporting causes that are important to their customer base, taking exceptional care of their customers, surpassing customers expectations in quality and service, or making doing business with them a fun and enjoyable experience.
The goal is not only to create lifelong, loyal customers but also to transform customers into passionate brand advocates, people who promote a companys products or services to friends, family members, and others. The result of this emotional connection with customers can drastically increase your sales.
One important aspect of connecting with customers is defining your unique selling proposition (USP), a key customer benefit of a product or service that sets it apart from its competition. To be effective, a USP must actually be exclusive. Unfortunately, many business owners never define their companies USP, and the result is an apathetic message failing to compel customers.
A USP should express in no more than 10 words what a business can do for its customers. Can your product or service save your customers time or money, make their lives easier or more convenient, improve their self-esteem, or make them feel better? If so, you have the foundation for building a USP.
A business is unlikely to have more than three primary benefits, which should be unique and able to set it apart. When describing the top benefits the company offers its customers, entrepreneurs must look beyond just the physical characteristics of the product or service.
It is also important to develop a brief list of the facts that support your companys USP, such as 24-hour service, a fully trained staff, awards won, and so on. Building a firms marketing message around its core USP spells out for customers the specific benefit they get if they buy that product or service and why they should do business with your company rather than with the competition. Finally, once a small company begins communicating its USP to customers, it has to fulfill the promise! Nothing erodes a companys credibility as quickly as promising customers a benefit and then failing to deliver on that promise.
Many small companies are finding common ground with their customers on an issue that is becoming increasingly important to many people: the environment. Small companies selling everything from jeans to toothpicks are emphasizing their green products and are making an emotional connection with their customers in the process. Companies must be truthful, however, or their marketing pitches can backfire and damage their reputations. Customers feel good about doing business with companies that manufacture products according to green principles, support environmental causes, donate a portion of their pretax earnings to philanthropic organisations, and operate with an apparent sense of fulfilling their social responsibility.