Have you ever wondered why people line up for Apple’s newest iPhone release, having gotten bored with their previous model despite the fact that it’s still in mint condition? Marketing in itself does not explain it, as these customers border on the fanatical, because the brand itself has cultivated an irrational cult-like following over the past years.
Nike, Volkswagen, Coke, McDonald’s are brands that stand out more than just for what they sell. They speak the lifestyle of the middle class wants and what the middle class strives to get, which gave these brands a life of their own. That “life” operates as how a virus infects a person, to the extent that they have etched themselves indelibly in the minds of its customers and non-customers alike.
Hardcore and pervasive brand loyalty for small businesses
Unsurprisingly, small businesses aspire to achieve that brand indelibility; it’s money, after all. However, there’s competition, and in the age of the internet, it seems even more challenging to stand out from the flood of brands that overwhelm people’s minds. However, those big brands were once small, which means you can also achieve that cult-like following for your small business’s brand. These four steps list down how you can do so:
1. Define your purpose
Of course, your primary purpose is your bottom line. However, that purpose is too one-sided. Instead, ask yourself how you want your customers to value you. It’s literally like courting someone to fall in love with you because you are ‘you.’ That ‘you’ is defined by your purpose, and not what you do. It could be to provide the world with quality products only you can make, or set your brand’s mission as your passion or belief. Only when you define your purpose can you begin spinning a brand that transcends the product or service itself.
2. Know your customers and define the kind of customer you want to have
Next, figure out is how to make your purpose align and resonate with those of your customers’ purpose and values. This requires intensive study of what they need, how they behave, and how they cope with challenges. When you study your customers, you can find gaps in the existing market that your brand can fill. Then, identify the type of customer that you want to achieve from your marketing and brand promotion efforts. Note that customer behaviour and demands may change over time, so you have to determine how you can adapt your brand marketing campaigns to deal with these changes.
3. Start in your community and with your best customers
If you want to build a cult-like following, blasting out your brand broadcasts to the general public would be ineffective. Instead, start with a base of cheerleaders – the first customers who were enamoured with what you offered them. All big brands such as Nike began with a small base of customers, and it’s this small base of devoted customers who helped spread the word about the quality of the products they were offered. Reach out to the community where your business is based and build relationships beyond those defined by customer and vendor.
Consciously but subtly cultivate your base customer’s behaviour to meet the characteristics of the ideal customer you have defined earlier. In the process, you know which techniques work and which ones don’t, which improves your branding promotion as you expand your reach and brand awareness over time.
4. Focus on what you do best
A business stands out from the others when there is something to differentiate between them and the competitors. Gather data from your base of customers to know what they see in the services you offer that other brands from the same industry don’t. Then, use this best feature of yours as your promotional claim to fame to establish the name recall that people associate with your brand.
5. Exhibit patience and perseverance
Building a cult-like following takes time. As you have already seen, you have to study your customers and build a base from where you will expand your brand’s awareness. Brand promotion and standing out is painstaking work, but if you persevere, your small business might soon join the pantheon of giant brands.
If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency in Cambridge, Orange Squash Agency is your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.