Ever since the coronavirus outbreak and the enforcement of at-home quarantine, a variety of brands, especially the fashion and beauty ones, have attempted to engage with customers. People who will directly test out the goods and services that are offered by these brands. Companies have been doing it in different, interesting, and innovative ways.
We have seen Marine Serre and Loewe host live music and yoga sessions on Instagram Live. On it, their potential buyers could interact with the brands through comments. Brands having a direct interaction with their consumers is not something new. Even though it has become a trend on social media and it is crucial in creating product and brand appeals.
Why Might Brands Not Actively Engage With the End-consumers?
One primary reason why brands are not as actively engaging with their end-consumers is that brands tend to depend on third-party sellers like retailers and wholesalers. These include Nordstrom, Macy’s, and even online e-commerce like Amazon.
Because the brands are no longer the only ones directly selling their products to their end-users, they may not be putting due diligence into unique marketing. In that direction, they are also not conversing with actual people who will be experiencing their product. And we all know most retail and wholesale have cookie-cutting marketing strategies. These techniques often fail to personalize brands and create genuine connections between seller and buyers.
However, we must acknowledge the benefits of fashion and beauty brands’ use of third-party sellers like the wider distribution of their products. That being said, there are many ways aside from direct sales between brands and consumers to actively engage with each other.
Engage With Customers: Why Should Brands Interact Often with their End-Consumers?
This might be obvious to some of our readers, but a brand having a direct interaction with its end-users fosters a relationship. The relationship that is built between the brand and the consumer can look like anything from a partnership to a community.
Regardless, when there is direct communication between the brand and the end-buyer, the brand could signal its reliability to its customers. According to Forbes, having a customer relationship management can increase profit for business through forming customer loyalty and retention. To elaborate, the relationship between the brand and the consumer is trust. The end-consumer will feel safe purchasing and repurchasing the brand’s product.
Another advantage of having a relationship with the end-consumer is that the brand could survey and study their target audience. It could understand what the end-consumer desires and what kind of marketing strategy would work for them.
Engage With Customers: How Should Brands Go About Interacting with End-Consumers
Research the Values
First thing first, the brand must do its research on its target audience in order to successfully engage with its end customers. The research should especially focus on the values that the brand’s end-consumers hold. These values can range from social responsibility to simple emotional needs.
We recommend brands to look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which are basic human aspirations that drive human actions. The hierarchy divides human needs into categories like self-actualization, esteem, sense of belonging, and safety. Most marketers are familiar with this hierarchy. Therefore, they try to align their marketing strategy with the values present on the hierarchy. In the same way, brands should try to maintain their engagement with their end-users by appealing to the values that they may have.
Storytelling is a way for the consumer to understand what the brand stands for and how the brand came to be. Summing up, It is a way for brands to showcase the blood and sweat that were put into developing the company’s voice and products. Anecdotes can also act on the target audience’s desire. Through active listening, storytelling creates a connection between the consumer and the brand.
A good storytelling should not only focus on the brand’s story but also attempt to incorporate the consumer value. In other words, brands should always try to interweave what their target audience is looking for. One example of successful brand storytelling is Nike’s 1988 ad of an 80 years old man who is running every morning. So, Nike uses a simple yet effective storytelling that appeals to the general public. The brand delivers a message that anyone can be an athlete. Thereby creating a sense of belonging in Nike. Then, the brand engages with its end consumers through developing storytelling content that inspires its target audience. Check out our article on how brands should incorporate storytelling in their marketing.
Social Media as a Community
Social media becomes a place where we cultivate relationships and find community. Buyers want to belong to a place where they can share their values. As we have mentioned before, maintaining a relationship between the consumer and the company is a crucial asset in a brand. That is why brands should cash in on social media where they can be a community with overarching values.
Parade Underwear is a well-known startup that employs social media as a place that nurtures a like-minded community. Women of all colors and body types are represented on its Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. On social media, Parade is able to create a space where women can support body positivity, sustainability, and other social issues.
On top of that, Parade utilizes micro-influencers who have small followings. Parade would send sample underwear to small influencers and encourage them to do a non-professional, themed photoshoot. That happens because buyers are connected to these micro-influencers who are more personable and interactive.
Want to learn more about different ways brands succeed through social media? Read our article!