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Most of a company’s business comes from existing customers. Keeping those customers loyal to the brand at a time when there are so many alternatives to choose from is something every organisation is struggling with. Considering that 80% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience, it seems that the solution is staring business leaders in the face.
We’re deep into the age of loyalty and rewards programmes, with just about every bank, insurer, retailer, and service provider offering an initiative of some sort that purports to reward their customers for behaviour that demonstrates loyalty to their brand.
In 2011, Coca Cola launched its Share a Coke campaign in Australia, which was a personalised campaign with the most common Australian names printed on Coca Cola bottles and cans. The result? More than 250 million personalised bottles and cans sold over the summer months to a population of less than 23 million people at the time.
Brands in all sectors of the economy have come through COVID-19 with varying degrees of success. The liquor industry was of course hard hit, but through it we (as a brand) have learned a lot about consumer behaviour. In fact, the purchase-behaviour spinoffs we’ve seen as a direct result of COVID-19 restrictions have been very interesting.
KIA Corporation claimed a Guinness World Record in early 2021, and it had nothing to do with cars. The 303 drones used to etch the carmaker’s new logo (a movement from the classic red logo in a circle to a clean, crisp, and progressive monochrome logo) in Seoul’s night sky were loaded with fireworks. Once ignited, the drones made KIA the unlikely holder of the record for the ‘most unmanned aerial vehicles launching fireworks simultaneously’.
COVID-19 has brought about the notion of people working together for the greater good, rather than a world where people exist for their own survival. Humanity has been tasked with looking out for one other because what we do now has a ripple effect on others. In saying this, brands also have the responsibility to consider more than just their businesses but also their communities, cities, people and every element that they directly and indirectly impact.
Whether they like it or not, all business owners engage in some form of marketing, but many neglect to adopt a strategic approach. It’s not surprising then that marketing was highlighted as the area in which most business owners feel they require skills training, according to the most recent National Small Business Survey by the National Small Business Chamber.
2020 looks set to be an epic fight for survival as numerous socio-economic factors come into play that will further challenge businesses and their ability to achieve greater levels of customer satisfaction in a bid to retain and grow their customer base – from a looming recession, abysmal economic growth figures, political uncertainty and a disastrous return of load shedding.
Changing consumer behaviour and creating loyalty throughout the supply chain are areas every FMCG manufacturer is trying to achieve. However, these are the last links and typically the most difficult elements to manipulate. This is due to challenges around validating sales – you can only reward loyalty if you can verify the purchase.
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