The primary goal of every entrepreneur should be to create brand fanatics. Getting your customers to fall in love with your products and services is simply the smartest business move you can make.
When customers rant and rave about your business, more customers come running, your profits increase, and you’re able to attract greater talent, opportunities and awareness for your business.
If you want to grow your business, focus on creating brand fanatics.
To help you get started, we asked entrepreneurs and brand strategists to share the techniques they use to earn fans for their businesses. Here’s their advice for you…
10 Ways To Create Brand Fanatics:
1. Get Personal With Your Customers
Become a friend, not just a “company” “business” or “brand” that is untouchable and unreachable. We engage our customers and make them part of the business. Customer service is #1. We will work overtime to turn an unhappy customer into a raging fan. We speak to our fans on our Facebook page daily, we enlist moms and dads who use our products to train stores and attend baby events, and we use actual customers as models on our marketing material. I honestly think we’ve grown organically due to these things alone. You can have a superior product but it’s useless if you don’t have loyal fans and brand fanatics. -Michal Chesal
2. Surprise Customers With Free Gifts
We get so many compliments about doing this and so many of our referrals that we track come from this. We also will surprise members with extra store credit or discount codes on our site. We do not do a mass mailing of these, but personally email people with codes that have their name in them and are geared towards them. This site is about building community and our site is built for our customers so whatever we can do to create an amazing shopping experience we are going to do. A lot of it just boils down to what would you want to happen if you were in your customers shoes. Just asking yourself that every day will give you a lot of food for thought in creating a brand that drives brand fanatics. -Amy Ludwigson
3. Accept That You Are Not For Everyone
You exist to make one small group deliriously in love with you. Everything about your brand: your word choice, your design, your jokes, your product structuring, your price points – it’s all about meeting the needs and wants of that group. No one else in the world should exist when you’re making decisions about your business. -Catherine Caine
4. Ask Your Customers For Feedback
We’ve been in business for 20-years because feedback and seeking customers to share their experiences helped build our local business into a national brand for high-speed photo scanning. Every order includes a yellow post it note that asks: “How’d We do? Share your experience and post a review on our Facebook and Twitter pages” -Mitch Goldstone
5. Remember It’s About Your Clients, Not About You
Understand what your clients want and give it to them in just the way they like it. Don’t make assumptions about what they want know it. Too many companies start profiling their customer base and making broad assumptions about how they think, what they buy and what motivates them. Don’t do that. Talk to them, open the lines of communication so that you have a deep understanding of what your clients want and how to give it to them in a way that makes them smile – and come back for more. -Romana Mirza
6. Communication Is Key
Always stay in touch with your client base on a regular basis…. Be accessible, offer top notch customer service, and be available and responsive to your clients. -Craig Wolfe
7. Offer Behind The Scenes Info
Advanced previews make customers feel like a real part of the business and helps them become your brand evangelists. Rewarding your regular customers through special deals, perks and coupons reinforces their awareness of the brand and their loyalty. Social media tools and platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla and others make this easier than ever! -LisaMarie Dias
8. Give Your Fanatics Something To Crow About
Why should they rave about you? If you do have something unique, consider yourself lucky. You, your employees and your best customers can all begin to sing your praises. Give your customers the tools (e-mail, referral perks, swag, online) to crow about you. -Mike Farley
9. It’s About Choices
Give your customers choices and be very knowledgeable about your product so you can help them make the right purchase. It is always helpful to be able to read the customer’s style and taste. Remember the name of the customer and use it when you greet them returning to the store. This makes them feel welcomed and they feel like they are visiting a friend. -Terri Coleman
10. Add Little Extras
Provide extra services that differentiates you at every level of the transaction – even in a tiny way. When faced with multiple choices and similar prices, consumers will always go with the company that gives that little extra and makes them feel special. – Tom Kuhr
Now that you know how to create brand fanatics… get moving. While your competitors are still using the hard-sell approach, you can earn a greater market share, increase your profits, and grow your small business by converting your customers into fans.
Cheers to your success!