The Power of Strong Relationships
If this period of uncertainty during lockdown has taught us anything, it is the power of relationships. Relationships are the things we have missed; the day to day contact with work colleagues, the nights out with friends, extended family gatherings, the bond between your children and your parents. At the same time this period has given us the ability to focus on building more value in the relationships we have with our immediate family, giving us the time to teach our children and watching them gain life skills, making future plans and sharing the highs and lows of lockdown with our partners who we now see 24-7.
This period of uncertainty will have tested relationships, highlighted weakness in some and strengthened others. Just sharing an experience as big as this will have changed relationships forever.
This period of lockdown has also forced us to re-assess our relationships with brands. Many of us will have engaged with new brands during the period whether that is businesses offering food deliveries or online educational brands or brands providing stay at home experience. How many of those will you continue to use post lockdown? Have you chosen them out of necessity or because they provide an emotional connection to your identity?
Loyalty is an outcome of strong relationships. You need the balance between the transactional and the emotional connection to form a long-lasting strong relationship that will result in true loyalty. If we think about it, we will all be able to think of companies during this period who have impressed us with their response to the situation and others who haven’t. If you are a brand with an existing loyalty programme how are you using the data to help your customers? You could be offering:
- To halt points expiries
- To give customers the ability to donate their points to charity and offering to match the donations
- The opportunity to learn more about your industry at a reduced cost or free of charge.
If you don’t have an existing loyalty programme and have gained more customers during this period start to think about how you can form a connection with those new customers so that they continue to buy from you after lockdown. It may feel like there isn’t enough time in the day if you have had a sudden influx of customers but you don’t want to waste the momentum you have now. Think about segmenting those new customers into four quadrants based on their reason for buying with you:
- Aspiration – you may find you have new customers that haven’t yet bought from you but as an aspirational brand they have used the period to learn more
- Lifestyle – you have gained new customers who believe in your story and identify themselves with your message
- Value – you have gained new customers because you offer value and at the moment we could all do with value in our lives
- Utility – your new customers have found you because of a specific need.
It doesn’t really matter what the reason for buying initially was, what matters is what you do with the knowledge now and how you harness it to create an emotional connection.
Create communications that focus on how you can support your customers, new and old during this period and beyond.
Create an emotional connection and build on the power of the relationship.