Effective marketers are able to turn strangers into visitors, then leads and eventually customers. However the true marketing magicians are able to turn those customers into promoters or brand advocates. According to a study done by the Obama Administration's Office of Consumer Affairs, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much their first purchase. Conversely, 48% of customers who had negative experiences told 10 people about it.
With the advent of consumer initiated rating platforms like Yelp and Google Reviews, consumer delight has increasingly become more important and no longer simply your customer service department's responsibility. Consumer delight, suggest that you provide a remarkable service experience focused on the customer's needs, interests, and wishes. It should leave them so satisfied, they are inspired to tell others personally and online. You've created a promoter or a brand evangelist.
Simon Sinek defines brand loyalty as "when people are willing to turn down a better product or price to continue doing business with you."
Essentially its the execution and consitendcy of many small interactions that create the larger experience of loyalty. Technology has made it easier than ever to switch products (or services) if the company doesn't meet expectations. Consumer demands are at all time highs and their recommendations to family, friends and now even strangers are the difference between a business growing or shutting down. The one advantage to targetting multiculturals however is their higher brand loyalty. They're likely to stick it out, even through some tough times for the brand or bad experiences. On the flip side, winning their loyalty is far more difficult than the general market consumer. Understanding the cultural essence that drives multicultural consumer behavior will not only enable you to appreciate future market trends but also help win brand loyalty by establishing lucrative relationships with this growing consumer base. Here are three keys to Multicultural consumer delight and brand loyalty.
Focus on Product
I don't watch a ton of television, but one show I absolutely enjoy is "The Profit." (No surprise here.) On every show, host and millionaire investor, Marcus Lemonis talks with entreprenuers about his three keys to success: people, process and product. While a good product is important for any successful business, its also very important to winning the loyalty of multicultural consumers. How your product differentiates itself from its competitors is important to why your customers are loyal to it.
Its important to note that multicultural consumers are younger than the average American consumer. Additionally, multicultural millennials are recognized as the trendsetting demographic, tastemakers across a broad range of categories, from food and beverage to beauty products. According to Nielsen, Multicultural consumers disproportionately represent the the top 10% of product category’s household consumers. The ones who can drive at least 30% of sales, 40% of growth and 50% of profits. They are disproportionately product enthusiasts, fueled by an emotional and very often a cultural connection. With so much influence living within the multicultural community, its not only important to target these consumers but invest in delighting them and cultivating brand loyal evangelists.
Work on Communication
How you communicate with the general market consumer should not be how you address the multicultural buyer. Their challenges are unique and they often feel under-represented and ignored by businesses. By segmenting your messaging and paying careful attention to communicate differently with them, you not only show them that they are important to you, but valued, listened to and in turn, they will reward you with loyalty.
Doing this is easier said than done. There are 4 basic steps you should follow.
- Listen. Spend some time with multicultural consumers, especially those that frequently buy and those that refuse to. Find out why, what drives them to make a purchase. Are they motivated by value, service, access, etc. You'll likely find their motivations are different from the general marketplace.
- As you begin to craft your messaging, make sure to use language that they use. I'm not necessarily only referring to speech or dialect. Written and non-verbal cues are important. Cultural cues, language patterns and cadence are important to emulate. A word of caution: authenticity is extremely important. Refer to step one. This is a marathon not a sprint, so invest in listening and understanding before you speak. Make sure your message is representative of their unique differences and not offending of. It will show you're not only listening but understand their uniqueness and are extending an olive branch.
- Most importantly, stay committed. I often get clients that want to launch a 3 month campaign and evaluate results at the completion. If your goal is to win multicultural consumer loyalty, you have to be prepared to invest in time, as long as it takes. Turning your back on a strategy because it hasn't yeilded results after 3 months will be more damaging than not attempting to engage at all.
- Lastly, measure everything. This might go without saying but you must recoginze your every tactic in your overall strategy will have varying degrees of effectiveness. The more you understand what resonates best with your multicultural customer, the more you can consolidate your efforts around those channels and maxize your return on investment.
Empower through education
This is an often assumed and frequently overlooked component of multicultural consumer delight. Multicultural consumers have a disproportionate amount of influence. They take tremendous pride in introducing their family and friends to new products and services. This can only happen if they've been empowered to share an informed opinion. The more they can accurately differentiate the brand they're loyal to from others, they more prepared and empowered they become to be evangelists. While multicultural consumers over-index in digital, don't assume this is the platform they use to "sneeze" their endorsements (refer to Seth Goudin's Purple Cow). Word-of-mouth is just as important. This is why its important to keep your mission and values clear, concise and conspicuous so they can not only find it, but also understand it enough to share with others.
Delighting ethnic customers must be ingrained into your company culture to create lasting relationships with these consumers. By focusing on your product, effectively communicating with them and lastly empowering them through thoughtful and concise education you'll not only win more customers but deputize an army of brand evangelist to do the marketing for you.
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