Humanising brand message can develop loyalty

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Humanising brand message can develop loyalty
Loyal customers are five times as likely to repurchase and four times as likely to refer friends to a particular company.

Dubai - A recent report by the Temkin Group stated that loyal customers are five times as likely to repurchase

By Yiannis Vafeas

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Published: Wed 13 Jul 2016, 8:02 PM

Last updated: Wed 13 Jul 2016, 10:12 PM

On an average, people in Dubai and other metropolis areas in the Middle East like Doha, Manama, Riyadh, Jeddah and Cairo are exposed to over 5,000 messages per day, making it quite challenging for brands to be noticed and engaging. As we move towards a customer-centric world, humanising communication will be the ultimate key to success to ensure that those consumers become brand loyalists and advocates.
A recent report by the Temkin Group stated that loyal customers are five times as likely to repurchase; five times as likely to forgive; seven times as likely to try a new offering and four times as likely to refer friends and family to that particular company or product. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, the customer will manage 85 per cent of the relationship with a brand without interacting with a human.
The question that now arises is how do we ensure that customers become brand loyalists and advocates? The answer, according to the 'Customers 2020' report by intelligence consulting firm Walker, is to focus on customer experience as this will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator within the next five years.
The key to an exceptional customer experience is not just providing them with trouble-shooting excellence but to ensure that this level of human communication and engagement is reflected across all mediums.
Consistent voice
Having exceptional communication across various channels is quite rare and this is because individuals fail to understand the brand relevance which is the foundation to crafting any communication strategy.
Brand relevance is the starting point for developing a strategic communication strategy that bridges the perception gap between organisations and its target audience. It also includes crafting key messages and engagement guidelines on how to interact with customers across various channels.
The last thing that customers want at any touch-point is the standard corporate message. The key point to remember is that people purchase solutions, so it is imperative to address the individual's grievances, be relevant and provide a unique solution that seems custom-made.
In order to humanise communication and ensure a consistent voice across all channels, it is imperative that brands develop key messages that are known, practised and preached by everyone - from the CEOs all the way to the sales clerks. The idea is to identify the discrepancy in perception and form a communication strategy that will gradually align the customer's opinion with those of the employees.
Promoting loyalty
Being able to relate, make favourable decisions and provide the desired solutions when a customer is exhibiting an emotion (be it sadness, anger, happiness, excitement, etc) is an experience that will forever resonate with the individual, encouraging them to become a returning customer as well as a loyal brand advocate.
As public relations and communication professionals, it is imperative for us to use technology to develop innovative tools that analyse emotions, sentiments and hard facts to craft creative and relevant messages that will affect the consumer's decision-making process. Fortunately, we live in a time where technology is evolving at an exponential rate and we are constantly unveiling new ways to effectively and efficiently collate information, analyse trends and engage with current and potential customers.
The writer is managing director at Golin Mena. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.

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