“Companies and their brands need to reach out and speak directly to consumers, to honor their values, and to form meaningful relationships with them. They must become architects of community, consistently demonstrating the values that their customer community expects in exchange for their loyalty and purchases”. – Simon Mainwaring
In a highly competitive business world, influencing the behaviour of consumers in a variety of ways will engage and encourage them to provide repeat business and attract other consumers as well to your company. This would involve understanding the existing consumer base and the targeted consumer segment along with the existing market and competitors. With well-rounded information, it would be simpler for a company to influence the behaviour of consumers and veer their attention toward itself. Companies now realize the benefit of educating existing and potential consumers through a variety of way in order to affect a significant change in the behaviour of consumers, leading them to remain interested and engaged with the company. Influencing the behaviour of consumers can be used as a retention strategy as well.
In order to influence positively the behaviour of consumers, businesses must understand the efficacy and utilize all the possible means of communicating the value they can add to the customers. This communication will be more effective when businesses truly know what customers want, why they would buy or not and which emotional and business needs the company’s offerings can meet. Of course, customer expectations and needs keep changing and it is up to the company to manage these changes and influence positively the behaviour of consumers. Some companies may fail at this since they are unable to keep pace with the changing requirements and lose control of both the existing and potential consumers. At times, companies may understand the requirements but fail to communicate their strategies on how they plan to address the issues, making customers uncomfortable and uncertain of doing business with the company.
When businesses suitably understand the changing needs of consumers, have the right strategies and methods of communication in place, they would be better equipped to influence positively the behaviour of consumers – gaining long-term success and market leadership. What steps does your company take to veer the behaviour of consumers toward itself and keep them with the company? We have discussed previously that one of the major reasons customers buy is to satisfy their emotional needs. This would mean that companies that address these needs and connect on a personal and emotional level with customers have a better chance of influencing positively the behaviour of consumers – translating to repeat business and loyalty over time.
We know that customers have a wide spread of options both in offerings and companies. In order to create positivity for your company and influence the behaviour of consumers, a company must be able to display value to the customer. The company must be able to, through its promotions, marketing and other communiqué, let the customers know that they would receive better and higher value than anyone else in the market can offer. Customer satisfaction happens when a company can match the offerings and customer service to the promises it makes. As long a company can meet (and exceed) its customer’s expectations, it would not be hard to permanently veer their interest toward itself, thereby influencing long-term the behaviour of consumers.
People across the globe are becoming more aware of every condition – economic, social and environmental. A company that displays awareness and responsibility towards these conditions would be more successful in influencing positively the behaviour of consumers and would be known as a company that is responsible and with a ‘conscience’. Customers now prefer to buy from companies that actively support social causes and have a robust and structured corporate social responsibility program in place. Actions such as supporting charities, working for the uplift of the marginalized, environmental protection, technology that uses less power and factories that has lowered emissions – all work in favour of a company and are great ways to influence the behaviour of consumers.
As mentioned before, competing on pricing and products is no longer a winning strategy. The prime concern for customers now is top class service. The kind of service a company provides will influence the behaviour of consumers – great service with draw customers while poor service would turn them away. It is in the best interest of a company to keep its customers happy such that they would not only remain loyal to it but also share their great experiences, thereby attracting more business for the company. In trying to influence positively the behaviour of consumers, the company’s goal must be to deliver seamless, effective and swift customer service each time to every customer. Consistency in the customer service approach would influence positively the behaviour of consumers.
Knowing one’s customers – both existing and potential – is the key to successfully gaining their attention and keeping them engaged. By understanding customers, a company would be able to create customized products and services, anticipate future requirements and needs and proactively address them even before the customer expresses those needs. It is harder to attract new customers and companies must invest effort and resources in trying to retain the existing ones, pleasing them such that they become loyal and raving brand ambassadors. The more loyal and profitable customers a company has, the easier it becomes to attract new customers minus the effort and costs.
In trying to influence positively the behaviour of consumers, a company must be able to instil confidence and trust in the customers. The dealings of the company must be transparent, there must be regular reporting to the stakeholders, and it must have policies and procedures that ensure proper care of the employees. The more productive a company appears, the more its reputation soars, which in turn attracts investors, vendors and the best talent in the market. All these people act as business partners for a company and their support proves invaluable in influencing the behaviour of consumers – attracting them to the company.
In the attempt to influence positively the behaviour of consumers, a company must remember to first share its vision and goals with all the ‘business partners’. When the goals of the company align with the needs of the customers and other stakeholders, the company would be better placed to gain their support. No company can hope to be successful or even exist in the absence of such support – especially from the customer base. In order to gain their favour, they must be able to see the company as a partner without whom their business could fail and being associated with the company would meet a number of their business needs and requirements.
Influencing positively the behaviour of consumers is not easy. The task becomes even more challenging given the fact that the market and customer expectations are highly volatile and are constantly in a state of flux. Added to these difficulties is the fact that the consumer of today has become smarter and more complex and is not easily please. In order to influence the behaviour of consumers and become successful, companies have no choice but to comply with their expectations, demands and needs in a timely and effective manner.