Buyer-centric strategy: You're the owner of a business that puts a lot of effort into marketing a product you believe in. You've spent time and money building buzz and testing the waters on which techniques encourage your target customers to open their wallets.
You're careful with your messaging and try to shape your customers' view of your brand and product. You focus on differentiating yourself from the competition, showing why your product is the only solution for your customers' problems.
User-centric strategy: You're the owner of a business that puts a lot of effort into developing not just a product you believe in, but experience customers can relate to and will share with others. You've developed this product while strategically thinking about how it's useful for customers and how using it will alleviate their existing pain points. Your goal is to create a demand for the use of your product, making it essential to the daily lives of your customers.
You work to generate positive conversations with your customers with your brand as well as with each other. You worry less about comparing your brand to similar brands and more about how your product can improve the lives of your customers. Your product includes the experiences your customers have before, during, and after their purchase.
Does It Matter?
The main difference between the two businesses described above is one is focused on trying to get customers to buy their product, while the other is focused on how to get customers to continually use their product. The good news: Both result in the sale. However, for the greatest success in this digital world you have to be looking to do more than catch-and-release sell.
Digital brands that view their customers as users and not just buyers generate greater loyalty in their customers. These customers are more likely to organically recommend the product and less likely to switch to a competing brand. This is what allows new brands to compete directly and successfully with those legacy brands that seem like giants in their industries.
A joint study by SAP, Siegel+Gale, and Shift Thinking "found distinct differences between legacy/traditional brands and newcomer/digital brands...In every case, the legacy brand rated higher on the statement “Is a brand that people look up to.” But the newcomer brands all rated higher on the statement “Makes my life easier.”
The brand lineups compared? Newcomers Airbnb, Dollar Shave, Redbull, Venmo, and Tesla versus legacies Marriott, Gillette, Coca-Cola, Visa, and BMW.
Since the traditional buyers model has worked well for legacy brands, it seems like great success comes from the buyer mindset. However, as the world of digital socialization and communication has been set so has the need to adapt the way businesses approach their customers.
While legacies have steady name recognition and trust in their corner, their user-minded comrades have rapidly grown in the digital age. These newcomer brands have developed that same recognition and trust, plus the loyal customer that comes with a user experience. #Winning!
To thrive in the digital age as a new business, it's essential to think in terms of the user.
PIVOT To The User
Just like Ross Geller, the user mindset can take many forms. Start with these three simple ways to make the switch:
- Social media engagement is critical. To think user, you shouldn't merely be posting pictures of your products and calling it a day. You have to up the engagement efforts. Your social media should be 5% posting, 95% engaging. Your social channels are a prime place to create a community experience with your brand. It can open conversation, share different ways to use the product, answer questions, and create a community around your company.
- Think about what will keep your customers, more than what will get you customers. By focusing on retainment, you focus on what makes your product useful and something they'll return for time and time again. You need to determine how to embed your product in the daily life of your customer. Cue the birth of the loyal customer that can't live without your product/service.
- Change your measurement for success. Success can't simply be measured in sales numbers. Instead, you need to look at your customers. Are they engaging on your social pages? Do they actually use your product? Are they talking about it? Are they referring others? Are they gifting it to aunts and uncles during the holidays?
Don't Let Fear of Change Hold You Back
Changing your business and marketing strategies to a user model can be overwhelming. This is especially true as you hone in on how exactly to embed it into your business. StellaPop can help you develop a truly integrated brand strategy, with expert campaign management, social media optimization, and more. Contact us and we can get started!