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4 Ways to attract customers – and keep them coming back!

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In 2018, business is most definitely booming. Every industry and sector have found themselves in a place of healthy competition, with rivals vying for the attention of a select group of potential consumers. So ensuring a brand stands out, and removing possible barriers for entry initially are crucial. But it’s not just important to attract customers to your business with strong brand image and brand advocacy, it’s just as important to attain brand retention. Research indicates that repeat customers are responsible for 40% of a business’s revenue – so it’s crucial to not just set out an enticing premise, but to give one-time consumers a reason to keep coming back. But how exactly are businesses doing this in such a saturated market? Using beauty, poker, F1, and free delivery, we explain.

1. The power of social media

One of the best routes for businesses to appeal to new customers, and find a way to reach out to existing customers and give them a new product proposition is through social media. Engaging with a fanbase on social media can lead to a high number of conversions, and provides a dedicated audience to act both as a platform to announce new products and services, but also as a group of advocates for the business itself. There were 2.8billion social media users in 2017, leading to 37% penetration. Word of mouth recommendations are crucial, and while a like or retweet goes some way in extolling the virtues of a business, contests on social media have a proven success rate of increasing social media following – a tool used to showcase the business as an expert in their field – but also of using customers as a springboard to other potential customers in their network. The original customer, who likes the business enough to like it on social, will be reinvigorated, while also using the share function, which is a common facet of contests, to direct their own followers to the business. A prime example is the Dove “Real Beauty Should Be Shared” campaign, which prompted fans to share an image of a friend and explain why that friend showcased real beauty. The campaign boosted the fanbase with a chain reaction style competition metric, and gave fans a reason to share – to show their friends some Dove love. Dove’s sales sit at around $4billion, and the campaign certainly helped achieve this figure.

2. Breaking the barriers to entry

Entry barriers are a business’s biggest obstacle when a consumer becomes aware of the various brands in their sector. These can range from complex sign up processes, to difficult to navigate websites, to opaque information on the business. So businesses need to offer a reason for a potential consumer to choose them the first time, which, given good service, should result in repeat transactions. One way of doing this is through welcome bonuses. A special offer at the point of initial interaction with a brand can resonate positively with a customer’s view of the brand going forward. Telecoms companies and service providers are famous for their “new customers” deals, which attempt to outshine their competitors, while good service means people rarely change once their welcome deal has expired. A key example of this is the welcome bonus offered by online poker provider 888poker. The online poker market has a lot of big players, so standing out is crucial in order to bringing in initial business, which can be retained through the varied poker offering on the site. 888poker is a key example of a company using welcome bonuses to strenghten its brand and reach – from the option to double your money on your first poker game, to the chance to win £888 worth of free play, to a premium welcome package with the chance to grab up to £1,500 in the first week of online poker play. Shared across the various versions of poker, from Texas Hold ‘Em to Omaha Hi-Lo and 7 Card Stud, and some exclusive variants such as SNAP, players can choose the game they want to play. These offerings not only leave the customer with a high opinion of the brand and introduce them to the variants on offer, but also act as a talking point for their networks – especially if they’re lucky enough to bag the bigger prizes. Showing goodwill initially is a strong move for a brand, and winning a big blind in Texas Hold ‘Em is a surefire way of ensuring brand retention.

4 Ways to attract customers - and keep them coming back!

Source: Pixabay Caption: Giving customers the VIP treatment can entice them to a brand.

3. Rolling out the red carpet

Poker isn’t the only pastime that aims to treat customers like royalty. By offering something of added value, the brand can allow itself to stand out while providing something for social media, and developing a positive brand reputation. VIP Packages can help attract customers, and a strong service afterwards can help keep them. Especially good for “event” brands – by rolling out the red carpet, and offering something special for fans, interest can be drummed up. And then for those who opt not to choose the VIP package, they may fall back on the business’s other offerings, while they are on the site. A good example of this is the F1’s push for VIP weekends. Not just offering races, the package creates an all-compassing journey into the racing world, with track tours, pit-lane walks and meet and greets with the racers, which can create a strong value proposition for racing fans. If the customer ends up booking, the higher cost will result in greater social media advocacy (as it tends to do) leading up to, during, and following their visit, which will be broadcast to their network. Consumers always look favourably on brands that allow them into an esoteric inner circle, so the VIP move is a clever one – we’ve also seen it in poker and casino brands, both land-based and online.

4. Loyalty is business royalty

One of the easiest ways for a brand to keep customers coming back is through the loyalty scheme. Whether this be a card to be stamped for each visit, resulting in something free (coffee shops offer the 7th cup free for 6 stamps), or a sustained period of discounts for points collected (the British-based Nectar points scheme does this well, allowing consumers to clock up points on their various transactions in a number of stores), or even something special doled out for every other stage on the card (Baskin Robbins offers free ice-cream in exchange for repeat visits). 82% of consumers enjoy discounts, while only 77% prefer free products. Loyalty cards show amenability and compromise on the brand’s part – which is always a good move to show to customers that you’re willing to meet them halfway and give them a special discount (a trick dating back to the travelling merchants). The trick with a loyalty offering is to offer something that tips the scales in your brand’s favour when making a decision (e.g. many may opt to eat a certain place if they can collect points). Amazon Prime has cornered the market on loyalty schemes. While most promote delayed gratification – input x amount and then receive y – Amazon prime promotes instant gratification. Amazon Prime has often been referred to as a privilege program, which gives the consumer the privilege of next day delivery. Once signed up, the customer then feels the need to make use of the delivery, so would choose Amazon as their retailer in order to take advantage. So, with this in mind, loyalty and privilege programs can work exceptionally well in order to become the preferred vendor.

As we can see, offerings that attract new customers, and maintain current ones, can work well in order to achieve their goals. But, what’s most interesting is the ability for each offer to work together with the other tools at a brand’s disposal to create a fully integrated holistic approach. Offer a welcome bonus, like the online poker sites, which can result in social media advocacy, special treatment, and loyalty cards, which can boost word of mouth advocacy. Ultimately, the most important thing about a brand is what people are saying about it. So, by developing a strong strategy, brands can boost not only immediate conversions, but the brand’s image in the long run.

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