Many entrepreneurs are focused on constantly pursuing new customers—and with good reason. After all, the only ways to expand your profits are to expand the number of people who buy from your business and expand the amount that those customers buy. However, many small business owners in doing so make one very disastrous branding error: forgetting who their loyal customers are.
You probably know at least a few of these loyal customers. In many cases, they are easy to spot, because they are the ones who leave with a smile and keep coming back. However, over time they seem to get lost in the shuffle. It’s easy to focus most of your attention on the customers who present a problem and the people who aren’t yet customers at all. However, this is exactly the opposite of what a successful business owner should be doing.
The first step to putting your focus on loyal customers who are already fans of your brand is to identify them. Who are these people? Once you have narrowed them down to a narrow demographic range, you can begin to ask the questions that will help you create more customers just like them. What made your brand fans customers in the first place? What keeps them coming back and, just as important, what about your brand is appealing to them? Knowing this crucial information will help you add more people to your base of fans. However, it will help you in another important task: keeping these fans happy.
Why should you work hard to keep loyal fans happy? It is simply the right thing to do. Ignoring the people who are your business’s bread and butter while focusing on the new kids on the block is just unfair. Customers who observe this pattern will likely become bitter and disillusioned. Further, it is exponentially more difficult to get a new customer than to keep an existing one. Wooing your brand fans makes good sense from a fiscal point of view as well as an ethical one.
Not only will identifying and romancing your biggest brand fans bring you greater profits and encourage loyal behavior, it will cut back on your day to day headaches as well. Aren’t you tired of appeasing difficult customers? Wouldn’t you rather be dealing with people who are generally happy with your brand and its products? By knowing who these people are and why they love your business, you can more easily identify and market specifically to others just like them. Focused marketing efforts such as this are always more successful than broad attempts, and they are usually more inexpensive as well.
Once you have identified your brand fans and understand what makes them keep coming back, you will be well on your way to small business success. These customers are not going to abandon you because of one bad experience. They are not going to jump ship for a cheaper alternative as soon as the economy takes a dip. They have formed a relationship with your brand, which is the whole point of your investment in marketing and branding activities.