Without a strong acquisition strategy, you won’t have much retaining to do. So, in that sense, the entire acquisition and retention spectrum holds significant value to you, a brand builder.My business partner Miles Fryer and I teach a concept called “nurturing your A.C.E.s”, which is a memory trick for focussing your efforts as you shape and carry out your branding and marketing strategies. Here’s how it works: Attract strangers Your brand should act as a virtual magnet to your ideal customers. Be that thing they’re craving; be the solution to the problem that no one else has solved; solve that problem in a way that no one else has solved it. And then wrap it all up with language that not only mimics, but complements and recognises your target audience’s. You must also focus on using words and actions that summon up the emotions your ideal customer is craving. Today’s consumer does not operate from a cerebral place, but rather from the heart. Purchases and brand relationships are rarely based on sound financial or practical sense; they’re usually about how your brand makes them feel. Bait your hook with just the thing they’re looking for, and they’ll bite. How will you know what that thing is? Get out there, mingle with your target audience; eat, sleep and breathe their preferences and their needs. Fully immerse yourself, and you’ll know. Convert friends We all have people who support our aspirations, but don’t feel that they can benefit from what we’re offering. This will remain true for many – your brand will not be a good fit for all. However, there are those who have the problem you’re aiming to solve, but either won’t admit it or don’t realise it. It’s up to you to rub salt in that wound, to irritate it and bring their attention to it so they’ll crave a solution. Maybe they’ve misdiagnosed their own problem, or they’re trying to solve a problem they don’t have…with little success, of course. Draw their attention to others like them. Show them how your brand has changed lives. Give freely of your expert advice, in order to build trust and rapport. Make it easier to jump on-board than to stand alone and stoic alongside the tracks. Engage customers Here’s the retention portion. For any customer to stay with your brand and remain a loyal follower (and shouter), the value he or she detects must be ever-increasing. Value can come in a lot of forms, including reward programmes, VIP treatment, superb customer service, convenience, social or professional status, private-club atmosphere, free gifts, behind-the-scenes access, first-name-basis interactions and more. Many of these benefits included person-to-person communications. That’s engagement. Answer their questions, with bonuses. Ask them for feedback. Listen to their complaints. Follow up. Fix what’s wrong and enhance what’s right. Keep the conversation going and respond to their needs…always. Does the Nurture your A.C.E.s model sound like something you can enact for your brand? Will your team members buy in and carry through? There isn’t a startup or business out there that won’t benefit from putting the A.C.E. plan into action – and that goes for yours, too. So get busy lighting up the entire spectrum…from acquisition to retention to brilliance! Written by Sammy Blindell of How to Build a Brand. Image: Shutterstock Are you looking for an in-depth branding experience, where you’ll gather enough valuable advice in one day to put your brand on the fast-track to credibility, visibility and significant profitability the next day? Then look into our B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamps without delay. Your brand, and its customers, will thank you. She also wrote an article on how today’s consumers expect relevancy in the messages they receive.
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