“Ever-rising expectations, mobile obsession, often contradictory preferences—these are just a few factors that marketers are dealing with. Brands need to rely on sophisticated technologies to engage with today’s customers,” – DMN.com
The evolution of human beings is hailed as a modern wonder by behavioural science. From single-celled organisms wallowing in the primordial soup to complex tool wielding social entities, the evolution of animals in general and Homo sapiens in particular, paints a long story. Modern customers represent an advanced stage of such evolution. They have emerged as a well-informed, time deficient but empowered constituency that has a mandate to test corporate performance. Therefore, modern businesses must invest in the creation of reasonable customer expectations with a view to serve a wider mandate. We intend to examine some of the techniques to achieve these outcomes.
Goods and services are subject to human sensory perception. The hospitality industry is driven by brand value and customer perception. Therefore, hospitality chains can elect to create reasonable customer expectations based on ability. For instance, a luxury hotel chain can invest significant resources in a bid to fashion signature experiences for its clientele. However, this may not be possible for budget hotels. Therefore, the latter should advertise its services with a view to inform public perception. That said, the budget hotel might choose to spotlight the value-for-money quality of its buffet spreads in a bid to attract cost-conscious travellers. In light of the above, we state that commercial operators should spotlight the positive factors in their service. This enables them to cater to reasonable customer expectations.
Brands can device out-of-the-box strategies in a bid to generate reasonable customer expectations. Brand managers should carefully brainstorm this tactic with a view to attract the attention of customers. For instance, a ketchup manufacturer might sponsor food festivals in an attempt to boost its brand image and public visibility. This campaign can gain widespread attention; participants and members of the public might attend in heavy numbers, thereby spelling success for the brand efforts. Subsequently, it is reasonable to assume that customers (now familiar with the ketchup’s product quality) would purchase the product. We note that the food festivals are essentially a promotional vehicle for the ketchup. The festivals also helped to ignite public enthusiasm for the product, and served as a means to create reasonable customer expectations.
Intelligent brands may choose to construct positive customer experiences by supplying minor gifts to all customers. This is an age-old tactic designed to reinforce a brand experience, win repeat business, and to boost brand recall. For instance, a footwear manufacturer can engender the creation of reasonable customer expectations at various customer touch points. The tactic of choice hinges on a free writing instrument embossed with the sponsor’s branding. This gift is offered to customers at the point of sale, thereby sparking customer delight, despite the gift being unrelated to footwear products. The sole aim of the gift is to reinforce the customer experience.
Commercial operators must help their customers to anticipate an experience ahead of the actual event. This enables brands and businesses to modulate reasonable customer expectations and to earn the goodwill of customers. For instance, a winery business may elect to announce a release date for a prized variety of vintage wine. Wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts would react with fervour typical to this fraternity. The winery may choose to offer limited edition goblets and other merchandise to entities that pre-book the tasting sessions. We note that this marketing campaign essentially provides a foretaste of future events, thereby igniting mass excitement prior to the event. This technique can be emulated by other businesses with a view to creating positive and reasonable customer expectations.
Modern customers are finicky entities that are vocal about their expectations. They desire a consistent and personalized brand experience in exchange for their shopping dollars. Therefore, businesses must exert themselves in actively curating positive customer expectations. For instance, successful online businesses at the dawn of the Internet era used to operate websites designed for desktop users. The emergence and evolution of mobile technologies encouraged said businesses to design mobile websites and apps in a bid to cater to reasonable customer expectations. This instance clearly illuminates the benefits of catering to customer expectations. We note that the absence of agility would likely doom some of the businesses to oblivion, as their customers would migrate to competitors.
Brands and businesses should work steadfastly to earn the customer’s trust. This is important because it enables commerce to lock in customer dollars over the long term. For instance, businesses can work to address customer exasperation over random and persistent marketing calls. We note that such activity may further commercial interests, but tend to generate distaste for customers. In response, brands can work to create reasonable customer expectations by curtailing the indiscriminate collection of customer information. Further, market operators may undertake to offer customers fair value in exchange of their information. This technique essentially hinges on equity and assures customers that their data is safe. Further, brands and businesses can choose to undertake a public pledge designed to safeguard the sanctity of customers’ personal information.
Creating niche experiences for a certain customer segment enable brands to cater to reasonable customer expectations. Every brand must exert itself to develop a special relationship with each of its customer segments. For instance, a manufacturer of cosmetics and beauty products may elect to frame distinct marketing campaigns directed at each of its customer segments. The campaign that targets young women can hinge on the effusive use of colour and floral notes in its fragrances. Cosmetic products aimed at mature customers may emphasise the use of premium ingredients and exclusivity in terms of market positioning. We note that these differing approaches will likely win the hearts of customers, thereby helping the brand to develop positive customer expectations.
Search engine businesses can choose to develop a ‘mobile first’ stance in response to changes in consumer behaviour and customer preferences. We note this response is appropriate and entirely justified because changes mentioned signal deep changes in the use of technology itself. The response is also justified in light of the fact that user studies indicate mobile audiences search differently from desktop-borne Internet audiences. Therefore, brands and businesses should remain sensitive to their domains and markets in an effort to stay relevant for their customers. Once relevance is preserved, brand strategists can start working on creating reasonable customer expectations.
In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some techniques that empower brands to create and cater to reasonable customer expectations. We must bear in mind that every commercial operator needs to adhere to a degree of probity in order to court success over the long term. Therefore, operators need to explore constantly the means to decipher and cater to customer expectations. Acting in advance of market trends will likely generate high levels of commercial success. However, brands that fail to decipher will become obsolete. Recent events in the domain of Internet technologies bear witness to these assertions. In addition, brands and businesses must consistently engage with their customers and institute mechanisms to generate customer delight. These actions bear the potential to trigger rich pay-offs and expand the customer base of a business. When operated in concert, the net outcomes of such techniques will guarantee commercial success.