In many cases, the simple answer is service. But what does delivering good service actually mean?
Personalization is what really makes a brand experience stand out to a consumer. A person’s ability to connect with your brand as an individual and in a personal or customized way is a key differentiator, isn’t it? Good service is an expectation in today’s world, and many service providers are recognizing the need for a truly tailored approach. The ability to learn about the buyer and market to them based on their specific preferences is in many ways what makes that “service” come to life.
This will eventually become the standard, not the exception. Organizations that don’t recognize the power of personalization will eventually get left behind. We are at a turning point as industry-leading organizations are changing the market place for the better. Uber is a terrific example of personalized service. The Uber app recognizes you by name, catalogs your personal and billing information, remembers your home or most frequent locations, and the drivers (in many cases) will greet you by name when you enter the vehicle. Other industry verticals, like retail, are adopting this concept by learning about you, what your favorite designs and styles are, when and how frequently you prefer to receive new clothes, and more. Trunk Club and StitchFix are two perfect examples of how companies are shaping the business to what consumers are expecting — a personal approach.
In these examples, newer companies are pioneering this market shift using online applications as their medium. However, even tried-and-true brands are adopting this approach. Take McDonald’s, a company that has been around since 1955. If you notice its latest ads, it is all about a “build-your-own” burger campaign. McDonald’s recognizes the fact that the everyday consumer no longer wants to purchase a number one or number nine, but would prefer to create his or her own unique sandwich.
While personalization is gaining momentum, it is not a new concept. In many ways, people have done a version of this forever, perhaps just not with the technology or social media platforms to support their efforts. Sending a handwritten card, giving a long time client a bouquet of her favorite flowers, tailoring an RFP response to be about the customer and not your company — none of these actions require an app or a custom website. Just a personal touch! These are simple practices that are executed through a shift in the way you think and how you approach your customers and even personal relationships.
As a consumer, guest, or business partner, we are all looking to be being treated with a personal level of service in our long-term partnerships. Good brand experiences foster brand loyalty for now. Personalized brand experiences foster brand loyalty forever.