Marketing your business-to-consumer (B2C) company is a little different than doing so for other types of firms. Your focus has to be exclusively on consumers and their needs if you want to grab their attention. Relationship with your audience is everything.
B2C e-commerce sales make up about 1.96% of the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP). That number doesn’t include brick-and-mortar locations, which account for the majority of purchases. As internet shopping grows in popularity, more people will likely turn to B2C companies for their needs.
Branding your B2C business requires attention to detail and understanding just who your target audience is.
Identify Your Brand Through Customers’ Eyes
It doesn’t matter how you view your company — your brand identity ties to how others see it. What is the biggest need your customers have? Why do they turn to you in the first place? You should provide whatever solution they’re looking for.
If you sell home security products, your customers need to feel safe in their own homes. Build your brand as one that pays attention to detail and stays up-to-date on the latest research to ensure the most reliable system possible.
Tap Into Buyer Emotions
The most successful brands grab people on an emotional level. Think about the commercials for Folgers coffee. Each one tells a beautiful little story about home, family or love. The coffee is always present in the tale. They leave the viewer with a heartwarming feeling and memories of special moments shared with family and friends.
Brands that tap into emotions create campaigns that perform twice as well as those without. Choose the right emotion by thinking about your customers’ pain points. What problem are they facing when they come looking for you? What feeling does it involve, and how can you address it?
Know Who You Are
What are your core values as a brand? Most of the time, your principles date back to the reason you started your company. A local teenager starts mowing the lawns of his elderly neighbors because they are unable to. They pay him. He starts a landscaping company, which eventually turns into the biggest such operation in the state. At the core, he wants to help those unable to maintain their lawns.
Each brand has a unique story. Knowing yours and what you care about helps you get the message across about who you are as a brand. If you want users to have a positive connection with your organization, be authentic and honest about your ideals.
Make a Personal Connection
If you wish to build a relationship with your customers, add the personal touch to your marketing efforts. One example of this appears in Coca-Cola’s name campaign. It placed a variety of names and descriptions — such as teacher or nurse — on its bottles. In its ad campaigns, it encouraged people to find their name or a unique way to share a Coke.
Once you’ve built a relationship with your target audience, they’re much more likely to pay attention to other marketing you send their way. They now know you care about them as an individual. There are dozens of ways to personalize the experience with your company. Send out emails using the person’s first name, offer suggestions for products based on past buying behavior, or poll your customers and segment them into groups based on their responses.
Build Better Customer Service
As a B2C company, the experience your clients have dictate whether they’ll return to your brand again or not. Do a full inventory of your customer service policies. Hire mystery shoppers to test out your systems and see what needs improving. Think through the customer experience (CX) from the moment a person enters your store — online or offline — until after completion of the sale.
Do you want your brand to be known as one that truly cares about consumers, or one that just wants to make money? Which one would you be most likely to do business with? See the process through your customers’ eyes and improve all the little aggravating things that drive them away.
Highlight Product Benefits
Even though your brand identity is important, if you want people to trust you, you should also market your products specifically. What is the benefit of buying your item or service over that of your competitors? When creating a brand identity, you should still focus on individual products.
At the same time, there needs to be elements of your company that appear in every single bit of marketing. Are you known for fast delivery? Do you have the best customer service in your industry? Include that information when you reach out to customers. Figure out what you want to be known for and consistently present those elements over and over again.
Manage Your Reputation
With a B2C business, your reputation is everything. People likely have a lot of choices where they can buy the same thing you offer. One way you can attract their patronage is by developing a strong reputation. When the consumer thinks about the item, you want your name to be the first that comes to mind.
Pay attention to online reviews, and answer any customer concerns. Ask for feedback from those who order once and don’t return. What could you do to keep their business? Strive to continually improve.
Brand Identity Involves Multiple Elements
Your brand identity is about more than your logo, your reputation, or even the customer experience. How others see you comes from all these elements and more. You have to pay careful attention to the chatter online and offline and strive to create a positive appearance for your organization. Developing a strong brand takes time and effort. It is the one thing that helps you stand from your competitors.
About the Author!
Lexie is a digital nomad and graphic designer. If she’s not traveling to various parts of the country, you can find her at the local flea markets or hiking with her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.