In marketing, every brand tries to sell you value (or make you believe they are doing so), while getting paid for it. Phone brands are definitely not an exception. Quite often, phone brands try to make their products as amazing and sophisticated as they can, and market them in a way that makes their target audience feel they support their lifestyle and so much more, and that purchasing it can give them some sort of social gratification. Most of the time, how gratified consumers get is a thing of the mind. In this regard, perception can make a consumer feel that owning a trendy phone is an automatic gate pass for being tech savvy or sophisticated.Whether they are need-based consumers, loyal consumers, discount-seeking consumers, impulsive consumers, those with the need to reward themselves, those with phone obsession, or those who just want to replace their bad/stolen/misplaced phone, the question of what type of phone to buy would always first pop up in the mind. The answer definitely would be the outcome of various mental and emotional considerations, even before that of the functionalities. It is at this place and point in time that marketing either loses or wins.
There are probably many reasons why a consumer should want that newly released smartphone; but there are also a million and one reasons why they might not, considering the fact that different brands are going to keep coming up with newer models. So, creating a marketing strategy that appeals to the very intangible perceptive value of the various categories of consumers outlined here is likely to set a brand on the winning way. This is in addition to the brand’s ability to live up to its billing in terms of functionality.
If brand perception still refers to a congregate summation of individual opinions or views of a product, then it’s never cast on stone. With changes in the market, it has the potential to change for better or for worse. In the case of a phone brand (and any other brand for that matter), factoring in some of the factors captured here could help a great deal.
- Examine what’s on ground. To change people’s opinion or views, you need to first appreciate what they think. Don’t just run off with ‘what you think they think’. Good enough, you can listen to your customers via various social media channels and get a grasp of the reality on ground. In doing this, be sure you are asking open-ended questions and not leading questions.
- Understand your real targets. It is also important to understand why your targets think the way they do. Gathering feedback is simply not enough; you need to be able to analyze the feedback and make practical sense out of it. After all, said and done, you need to take this into consideration before coming up with an actionable plan that will give our customers what they were looking for. On this, you must be reactive and not proactive in your responses.
- Connect at an emotional level. It’s important you connect with your customers and targets at an emotional level. To achieve this, you need to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and tap into their motivations so you can meet their emotional needs. Be it in your communication or product design, you need to demonstrate a long term commitment to the things that matter to them.
- Don’t change for change. Change for the right reasons. If you must bring in innovations, do it for the right reasons, and when you do, make sure you make it profoundly clear. Your customers would like to know that the changes you are bringing in are as a result of the feedback you got from them. When you score this point, you can rest assured that they would follow your lead.
- Always be positive. Let your language of communication show positivity and strength. This helps to unlock positive emotions towards your brand and gets your targets to see more possibilities in your product. Recent research reveals that, contrary to some school of thought in business circles, the expression of positive emotions is likely to contribute to customer satisfaction and create a good perception for you.As the bar of customer expectations continue to rise, it is important to restate that ‘Value’ is what consumers buy. However, the definition of this value can take a number of connotations. A lot of the time, it’s just about perception. This is particularly important as recent research reports reveal that, in a few years from now, customers’ perception could surpass traditional competitive advantages like pricing, features, and usability in determining patronage.