Who are brand enthusiasts, and what do they mean to your business? A recent study from IBM identified four core types of consumers based on their enthusiasm for brands:
- Disassociated shoppers (about 14 percent of the respondents) aren’t likely to engage with brands; instead, they buy based mostly on low prices.
- Ambivalents (about 36 percent of respondents) feel positive about brands but are reluctant to engage or interact with them.
- Product purists (9 percent of respondents) aren’t engaged, although they want brands to recognize them, and prefer locally made products.
- The most important group: Brand enthusiasts (25 percent of respondents) are positive about brands and highly likely to engage and interact with them.
Brand enthusiasts are important to your small business for many reasons. They’re more likely to engage with your business and spread awareness of it to others online, on social media and via word-of-mouth. They’re also more willing than any other group to pay premium prices for products with premium features, socially responsible practices and transparency about their business practices.
Millennials are a particularly important consumer group, the study reports. Why? Because they make up a whopping 51 percent of brand enthusiasts, as well as 41 percent of ambivalents. That means there’s a lot of potential to benefit from the Millennial brand enthusiasts and to engage the reluctant Millennial ambivalents.
So how can you reach them? Here are some tips and what they mean to you.
Tip: Brand enthusiasts surpass the other categories of consumers in their use of technology. Some 72 percent go online on smartphones, and more than half of brand enthusiasts look up product information on their phones while shopping in stores.
To-Do: Make sure your business website, email marketing messages and other marketing messages are mobile-friendly so they can be accessed wherever customers are.
Tip: More than half of brand enthusiasts post comments on business websites and social media accounts. They also express great willingness to provide feedback and ideas on product innovation.
To-Do: Survey your customers on social media, on your website or via email. Create customer “advisory boards” to bounce ideas off of, offering something special in return such as discounts or early access to products and services.
Tip: Brand enthusiasts are five times more willing to share their personal information, such as location-based data, than the other consumer groups.
To-Do: Collect personal data and encourage customers to enable location-based services so you can send them location-sensitive information and offers, such as coupons or codes while they’re in or near your store.
Tip: All consumer groups plan to increase their use of purchasing methods such as buying online and picking up in-store, ordering in-store and shipping to home, and other alternative options in the next two years.
To-Do: Make sure your business is ready to serve consumers in whatever way they want to be served.
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Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.