Every brand wants a loyal customer, a customer that is with them throughout time, through ups and downs no matter what. After all, isn’t it similar to any relationship (marriage or partnership/friendship)? But what if this way of thinking, as it has been in marriages/partner relationships especially, is just a redundant ideal and does not truly serve any purpose to those involved?
Yes no doubt back in the day there was a simplicity to things where some relationships were built to last, where brand loyalty was a given and legacies were built upon that. But those that withstood the tests of time were based on values, mutually understanding each other and a genuine care that was often borne out of or fostered through adversities. Life’s challenges brought out the best in them back then but nowadays we seem to look for an early exit strategy and move onto the next one – Business or otherwise.
So if there is less brand loyalty these days, what could be the reasons? Instead of looking outwards constantly and blaming it on market dynamics, unforeseen factors, rapid technological changes, pandemic, war etc etc should we not stop for a second and take responsibility instead and check in and see what drives the company/brand from the inside out? Are values and a strong purpose, with a passion to serve your customers, the focus or are profitability and greed the drivers of the business?
- What if brand loyalty was based on the truth of what was needed and what we are all ultimately seeking?
- What if it is based on forging deep relationships and connections that go beyond business transactions?
- What if the product/service actually addressed – and enhanced – peoples’ lives and not just for individual self & profit by selling things that are not really needed?
- What if marketing/digital strategies came from a place of supporting the customers with more insights and tangibly having a product and service that has actually an evolving imprint on their lives.
- What if businesses and business owners garnered true support from those who know their jobs and actually work together to grow the business without constantly thinking of how much money is being spent on marketing or growth. Of course we are not advocating that one foregoes wisdom and accountability for the sake of anything.
So then would customers come back for more? Would they stay? Would they be your brand ambassadors in times of challenges and shifts? Would you then be able to build a true legacy for your business or a business that is for everybody who is engaged within it and with it?
Building a business is just like being in a relationship, where one nurtures and truly cares for each other and both grow together. But this cannot come about if there is no internal love and caring for oneself first- an inner place of well-being. The custodians of any relationship are the ones who are in it together. Each one doing what they must- standing for truth, holding values first as the foundational basis to deepen and evolve in that relationship.
Thus, any organisation or a company/brand must first look within itself- within its systems and processes- look for hindrances and obstacles and be utterly honest with them, address all the pain points that block communications between people, look for the subtle hooks and the so called ‘good’ that the organisation and its management thinks it is doing and yet no one’s true well-being is the focus. Above all it must have the willingness to change and shift the stuff that stands in the way of true progress.
It is the same as when we love someone- we have to be willing to be able to stand in complete transparency in front of that person and unravel all the lies that stop that relationship from being truly great and inspiring. Would we not go that extra mile within ourselves to forge a deeper connection with the other person?
Matters not whether that relationship is an intimate partner, a friendship, a family connection, a work colleague or even a stranger that we meet for a minute. All relationships offer a point of evolution for everyone involved and if that is not taken onboard they then break down easily and bitterness, frustrations, pains and hurts and dysfunctional arrangements become the norm.
Same with brands/companies that quickly lose their mojo and a lot of time, effort and money is spent to recover lost ground and win back the customers. And frustration sets in to rule the day along with cynicism that no one understands your business or its worth. This then becomes a virally infected work environment where no one is motivated anymore to do their jobs and deliver what is needed.
Brands and companies and above all leaderships and teams that are at the helm of these have to now take on the challenge of deconstructing all the false ways of doing business as the world goes into more turmoil and uncertainty over how Life is going to pan out. Each day there is something going around globally that has an impact on each and everyone one of us no matter how far or how near we live to any event that occurs.
Business is all about relationships and relationships are all about connecting to a transparent way of conducting oneself with everyone around you.
In this the most important aspect is to ensure that the leaders of the company, the management do not come from a sense of entitlement, ownership or wanting to own anything, or even subscribe to a false narrative just because everyone is doing that. Staying true and staying consistently steady to one’s values in the challenging times and in every other time is the hallmark of true success.
So if this part is first nailed then we can get onto the next blog which talks about customer retention and maximising on your core business strengths
Our brand founder and author of this blog Chetan Jha is leading not just change but also innovation across the board through best practises that echo compassion understanding and reflection. To know more, email us: [email protected]