No business operates within a vacuum. No matter who you are, or what you do, there’s someone else somewhere who sells the same product or service that you offer. More so, they also compete for the same base of customers that you want. They even follow the same current small business trends to improve their strategies. You probably believe that you’re the best at what you do. While you may be correct, convincing potential customers of that fact isn’t easy. In crowded markets, making your business stand out from the pack is the difference between success and failure.
What we’ve just told you isn’t anything that you don’t already know, but knowing something to be true and doing something about it are two different things. Attracting the attention of customers by spending big money on marketing might seem like the most obvious approach to get your name in front of potential new buyers, but people are slowly becoming numb to marketing. Millennials, in particular, have learned to see adverts coming from a mile away. Although millennials come in for regular ridicule from the press, they’re the customers of the future. Without appealing to them, your business doesn’t have a future. That means it’s time to think again about how to make your business stand out from the crowd. If the bad news is that advertising doesn’t work as well as it once did, the good news is that there are other ways of getting people’s attention for the right reason. Below, we explore the top tactics for making your business stand out to millennials.
Act Quickly When You’re In The Wrong
Go on social media and type in the name of any brand, and you’re all-but-guaranteed to see a list of complaints about them. Usually, these complaints relate to defective products or poor standards of service, aggravated by a slow or dismissive response. No business owner likes to believe that their company has let anyone down, and so it’s common for businesses to defend their own position when presented with a complaint. In the age of social media, this is counter-productive. In extreme cases, it can lead to situations like the United Airlines PR disaster of 2017. Had United immediately admitted their error and dismissed the members of staff involved, they’d have endured far less damage to their reputation.
Don’t let that be you. When something is wrong, act swiftly, apologize immediately, and make sure your first communication with a complainant is a genuine attempt to address their concerns. If you make a mistake in your targeted millennial media content, address it. People understand that mistakes happen. A company that’s seen to make mistakes and correct them efficiently will build up better word-of-mouth reputation than one which doesn’t.
Find Your Niche
Your business might operate in the same field as hundreds of other businesses, but you almost certainly have something you’re particularly strong at. Do you stock brands that nobody else does? Do you deliver faster, or possess specialist knowledge? As an example of this, look at the way online casinos operate. There are thousands of websites, but the ones who succeed find a niche within that market. Now that gamers often play casino games on their phones, some companies now operate as mobile slots specialists. Their competitors may also allow games to be played on mobiles, but those who market themselves as mobile sites seem more devoted and suited to the task because that’s how they position themselves. Someone who likes to play on the move is more likely to log into a mobile site than a general website, even if the games on offer are largely the same. Perception is important. Discover your specialty to attract millennials.
Use The Personal Touch
Nobody likes dealing with faceless giants. A lone customer interacting with a multinational company feels like they have no point of contact if they have an issue with their purchase, because they haven’t encountered any human contact during the purchase process. Just seeing someone’s name on a customer service email can help with this, but consider going a step further. Could you operate a blog on your website – either from you, or another senior member of staff? Could you send thank-you cards to your customers when they make a purchase, and sign them personally? You could use the best business thank you sayings in them to build better customer relationships. Perhaps, going back to our first point, you could personally handle complaints? That would make your customers feel like they were being taken seriously – and they’d probably tell their friends about it, too.
People like to know what they’re buying, even if you sell something abstract. Guarantees offer certainty. A guarantee is a promise from you to the customer that something will happen exactly as you said it would, and when you said it would. That’s what creates trust between brands and buyers. It doesn’t even have to be anything big. Can you guarantee next-day delivery if someone places an order before a certain time of day? Could you guarantee zero shipping costs (if it doesn’t eat into your profits too much)? Is it possible to guarantee the quality or reliability of your service? To some customers, guarantees take away hesitancy. They might be reluctant to buy from someone else because they only think they know what they’re getting, as opposed to knowing. If they buy from a company with a guarantee, they feel more secure.
Catch The Eye
Marketing may be less effective than it used to be, but people still have to look at what you’re offering before they buy it. That’s your chance to get your brand identity in front of people’s eyes. Too many people play safe with this. Financial service companies invariably have dull names, dull fonts, and dull colors. The logos and branding of IT and computer companies are little better.
Millions of businesses have virtually identical WordPress websites. Be the one that breaks the trend. Don’t be afraid of bright colors, or bold typefaces. Don’t use dry language if that’s not who you are as a company. Dress up your business in a way that makes people feel invited in. As an exercise, put your logo on a piece of A3 paper alongside the logos of five or six of your competitors, and ask ten strangers to pick the one they’re most drawn to. If you’re coming up less than five times out of ten, your branding is too dull.
None of the above suggestions will win you a thousand customers overnight, but nothing will. There are no quick fixes when it comes to finding customers, but a slow fix is better than no fix at all. Consider implementing the advice outlined above, and you may be surprised how much difference it could make to the way your business is perceived six months from now.