“Buy Now” No More
Brands want people to buy things. Brands NEED people to buy things. You might say that they’re obsessed with that notion, and there’s a good reason for it: without that basic premise of business, there would be no business. Time would stop ticking, the world would stop turning, it’d be really, really, really hard to get a slice of pizza on a Friday night…you get the idea.
It’s a given that maintaining a transactional relationship with your customers is without a doubt the fundamental machine that keeps a business running. We’re not contesting that.
Here’s the problem: focusing exclusively on this most primitive of business conceits won’t necessarily get you ahead of your competition. Sure, if you’re not selling, you won’t be in business for very long… but to sell even more takes a mindset that thinks beyond transactions.
Take a look into the consumer mirror, and think about why you yourself buy the things that you buy. For many purchases, it would indeed be a matter of necessity. Running low on something? Hustle out to the store and buy it. But why do you buy that specific product/brand? Why is a trip to your favorite retailer such a pleasant experience? Why does the taste of that ice cream scoop up such deep feelings?
Products, or more specifically, the brands that support them, are an intricate web of emotional ploys and storylines that intimately connect with the target consumer. In the world of loyalty, there are salient tactics that build these emotional connections…and creating purchase urgency is the LAST thing that should be on the minds of brand marketers when building these forward-thinking tactics into their own programs.
Here’s some examples of loyalty promises that think beyond the “Buy Now” mantra:
- Surprise & Delight: give your loyalty members, something special, no questions asked. This tactic doesn’t come with strings attached; there’s no fine print; you won’t spam members with a dozen emails once they accept the terms & conditions…it’s simply to make them cherish their relationship with you and think about you more often than they currently do.
- Product Reviews: these build deeper engagement, and have a twofold function. On the one hand, they create a wonderful opportunity to turn members into advocates, and we all know that today’s consumers listen to their peers more than anything when making a purchase decision. But on the other hand, they make members themselves think deeply into why they love your product, emboldening their own passions in the process. It’s also a great way to get data beyond purchase-level information, such as behavioral, attitudinal and purchase attributes.
- Creating Communities: there’s really no better way to make people feel like they belong than to create a community just for them. The focus here is on deep engagement with other members, giving them the sense that they’re part of a “special club” – your brand being the ringleader, of course. Just don’t forget to keep the members and their experience at the helm.
- Special Events: this is another great way to get members feeling special. Give them a party, an experience they won’t soon forget, and they’ll latch on to all those positive feelings like a pepperoni to a pizza slice (is this the second time we’ve used pizza as an example in this blog? We might be getting hungry).
So go forth and think beyond the simple transaction. These tactics will help you sell more at the end of the day…the difference is, if you have the patience to wait till the end of the day, you can have the whole pizza and not just a single slice, unlike your competitors that came late to the party. And yes, we’re probably getting pizza for dinner tonight!
Brandon Klein – Sr. Account Executive
Lanndon Lindsay – Sr. Strategist