Once in a while, we stumble upon things that take our breaths away. Things we wouldn’t usually pay attention to but now have taken over our existence. Things that have taken us by surprise. These things, they shift our paradigms, and change the way we think and prioritize. Things so gripping that we just find ourselves rearranging our lives just to make time for them.
Meet my dear friend Ellis. 14 months ago, she didn’t give a damn about Kjwan Kjwan> or any local band for that matter. But when she came across the band last year in UP Manila, Kjwan took her breath away. Ellis wouldn’t usually pay attention to Kjwan but now it has taken over her existence. The band took her by surprise. Kjwan shifted Ellis’ paradigm, and changed the way she thinks and prioritizes. The experience for her was so gripping that she found herself rearranging her life just to make time for Kjwan. I’m trying to make a point here. You see, Ellis is just an example of the many suspects a brand has.
The suspect is at the bottom of the Ladder of Customer Loyalty, meaning it’s where everything starts. Customer loyalty sprouts from SUSPECTS, those who businesses see as fit into what they have identified as their target market. Basically, suspects are anyone who might buy from your brand. All raving fans start out as suspects, in the same way that advocates, customers, and prospects do, which is why I believe brands have to exert extra effort in getting the attention of the suspects. :)
RESEARCH is basic. “Market research is like sticking your toe into a lake before jumping in.” Brands should find out why suspects are not paying attention because only then can they make these suspects think about getting their product. :)
Brands should BE WHERE THEY ARE EXPECTED TO BE! Suspects and prospects first become aware of a brand’s existence. At this stage, the goal should be to create exposure for the brand. Capitalizing on the power online presence is one way to go. :) Having a website or even just a fanpage in a Social Networking Site could be helpful. Buying advertising is what most brands would do but then again, brands may opt for cheaper alternatives such as producing online content. These could come in form of online articles, blog entries, or videos. This way, brands are not merely creating content but also ADDING VALUE to their brand.
Of course these wouldn’t work without two things:
1. Appropriate Level of Personalization. Suspects and prospects should be able to relate to the content you’re posting. Without this, they’re just gonna hit the Back button.
2. Ease of Access. What’s the use of having awesome content if people don’t have access to them. Keywords and proper tagging are what brands can use to make their content easy to get to. :)
Brands should also allow suspects and prospects to stay in touch with them. Offering subscription to newsletters is a great way to keeping in contact and perhaps building the interest in one’s suspects. :)
We’ll never know when we’re going to encounter things that will change the way we think. And this is why the opportunity for brands to charm suspects using new social media is just immense. :O