Brand Building and Marketing, Impact Mapping, and Increasing Profits

Key Points:

  • Brand building and winning loyal customers
  • Impact mapping, making a difference for customers
  • Increasing profits using impact mapping

 

Brand building and marketing showcases the values, characteristics, and attributes of a product or an organization.

 

While brand building, especially online brand must be identical to your physical brand in terms of color, logos, fonts, layout, and look and feel.

 

The expectation of a brand business is not just selling a single product but wooing the customer with a unique set of characteristics, values, and superior customer experience, which is repeatable and consistent every time the customer buys any product from a particular brand. There are greater chances of these customers eventually becoming the product advocates and brand ambassadors for your products and your organization.

 

Brands these days spend a lot of money to build its reputation in the market. These brands ultimately are targeting customers who would want to become customers for life or customers who are interested in a long term relationship, which seems a bit difficult these days.

 

In today’s competitive and changing business environment, brands are trying hard to attract and retain loyal customers. Trust and reliability are hard to find these days in business.

 

For customers, a brand is important because of two things – reliability and good customer service. So, even though they get someone offering the same services, they are not comfortable in giving them an opportunity as time and money are important for most customers. They look for reviews and ratings of other customers before they make a switch or think of going to a new brand in the market. Even if it is just a one-time pest control service, the customers think about reliability, quality, reputation, and experiences of other customers with the brand. These factors and other factors bundled together help in building a brand and reputation and in attracting and winning the hesitant customers, who are mostly on the fence.

 

As today’s customers are bombarded with many brands, they do not tend to stick to or are less likely to stick to a single brand. Customers also want to build and revamp their own brand value in the changing market.

 

Price, customized customer requirements, shipping cost and time, and reliability are some of the factors defined by customers. Brands are forced to keep pace with the requirements defined by the customers. For example, Uber had to change its business model from a driver-driven taxi to a driverless taxi, and now they are moving toward flying taxis.

 

As customer expectations change, to retain your customers, brands must do something different, something that seems unachievable at the moment. Brands must act like superheroes for their customers and try to remain a superhero in the eyes of their customers. Some of them are unsaid expectations and dreams of your customers that are rarely shared with the brands, they are like the unsaid expectations of a wife, which brands must try to find out and fulfill. And, if brands are able to understand its customers better, then, the customers most likely want to stick to these brands.

 

Customers want to brag and boast about their brand and never expect their brand to let them down in front of their friends and competitors. They want an invincible and best brand to pamper their egos.

 

In the case of online branding, changing the location, size, color, font, and look and feel of the Buy button can have a huge positive impact on the sale of a brand. Even changing some keywords that match the status, moods, styles of your customer matter a lot for the success of a brand. For a brand to always do this is a difficult task and it will definitely keep the brands on their toes.

 

Is there any alternative to this constant dancing and running? Perhaps, yes, the impact mapping technique is a probable solution to this constant dancing and running. Even here, brands need to run and work hard to make a positive impact in the business of the customer. It is a slightly different style of dance, where you have the scope to define some of the dance steps to your customers.

 

Impact mapping can help you to give your customers exactly what they need without any need for your customers to overspend. They need not buy a product with frills, they buy exactly what they need. Software as a Service (SaaS) approach is able achieve this to some extent. The product here is developed from the perspective of a software brand taking into consideration the requirements of multiple customers, whereas impact mapping develops everything as per the bare minimum requirements of a specific customer with no frills. And, most important, impact mapping aims at actually making a positive impact on the lives and business of your customers.

 

Impact mapping is thinking like a business consultant for your customers where you identify and analyze the growth areas, identify and develop product features that will help in saving time, cost, resources, and in improving the lives and growing the business of your customers. This is somewhat similar to the approach of smaller companies developing additional plugins for a specific customer requirement. Most of us might be thinking, “Aren’t we already doing this?” The answer is, yes, to some extent and in some ways and as a reaction to a customer requirement.

 

Impact mapping is proactive approach. Impact mapping brings a total paradigm shift in developing customized products for specific customers similar to the customized furniture that we design and get it built in our homes and offices. If we give and try to give the same customer experience to most of our customers, we will never need to run after customers. In fact, the customers would run behind such a brand, which knows the unique requirements, desires, and expectations of each customer and most important a brand, which knows how to grow their business with the least cost. Cost is a major factor to survive in the competitive market. Companies are always in need of money to fund their branding, research, and other activities.

 

Brand building is important because it helps you in getting customers. Whereas impact mapping helps you in winning, retaining, and pampering your customers to a level where your customers build confidence in you and your brand. They are comfortable in relying on you to some extent in growing their business.

 

The choice is yours – brand building over impact mapping or use of impact mapping to build your unique brand and USP against your competitors. Or, are you thinking even ahead of this, help your customers earn more and eventually it is easier for brands to demand and earn more consistently by making a difference in their lives and businesses. Ultimately, it is much easier to convince a happier person and customer than an unhappy customer who is facing a lot of issues with finances, business uncertainty, and other challenges.

Advertisements

Encourage customers to take software upgrades and increase your earnings

Key highlights

  • Ways of encouraging customers to take software upgrades.
  • Challenges in encouraging customers to take software upgrades.
  • Turning customers into your product advocate and an upgrade expert.
  • Planning software upgrades effectively.
  • Dealing with indifferent customers.
  • Assisting software upgrades remotely.
  • Running automatic software upgrades.
  • Certifications and appreciations for customers.
  • Competitor analysis.
  • Benefits of studying the customer requirements while upgrading software.

Unless our work or regular daily business tasks are not affected, customers do not tend to bother about taking new software upgrades. Customers are reluctant to take the software upgrades for various reasons. There are different methods to overcome this problem:

  • Help the users to upgrade their software.
  • Help the users to upgrade their software.
  • Remind or warn the users to upgrade their software.

Any software can be upgraded in two ways, that is, manually and automatically.

Challenges in encouraging customers to take software upgrades

Let us first see what are the challenges to do manual upgrades:

Fear, lack of knowledge, and indifference are some of the challenges and obstacles in the path of software upgrades.

You can use these challenges to know more about your customers and their requirements. This will help you in improving your product as per different needs of different users.

If a customer is afraid of upgrading software, a software vendor can write user-friendly online help pages to answer all the possible questions that a software vendor is able to find out by understanding and researching.

Analyze support tickets

If you analyze your support tickets, you will come to know the trends in the kind of questions related to the software upgrades and the fears of the customers. This is a good opportunity for you to understand the concerns of your customers. The customers might have the following concerns. For example, after taking the upgrade, the Internet browser gets upgraded on the customer’s system. They might not have the time and resources to do the upgrade. In this case, you can either do the upgrade remotely or, if possible, send your support professional to help your customer in upgrading the software. The support professional can answer all the questions and educate the customers to take the software upgrades. This will help in gathering more customer feedback and inputs for new features and further marketing your product.

Ways of encouraging customers to take software upgrades

In the following sections, let us see how we can encourage customers to take software upgrades:

Turning a fearful customer to a product advocate and a software upgrade expert

After building confidence and training a customer, you can encourage the customer to share the experience of upgrading the software. Request the customer to share their knowledge in the online product forums and in the support blog. You can write a part of the blog and request your customer to add some customer-specific details. For example, some problems might be faced by only some specific customers who are working on a particular version or restricted and customized version of your product that is available to only some customers. The collaboration and sharing of solutions might be helpful in reducing the workload and might give some time to your support staff. They can focus more on providing better customer experience by using the time efficiently and by channelizing their energies in improving their services.

Planning software upgrades effectively

Before helping your customer in planning the software upgrade, you should be able to communicate the approximately amount the customer can save and benefits of the software upgrade to your customer.

A software vendor can help its customers in planning the software upgrades. They can reap the benefits of the new product features at the right time when their market is ready for receiving and using these new features.

You can help the customers in creating and updating the software upgrade calendar and in setting reminders. You should be always mindful of the changes happening in the business of your customers, downtimes, and business continuity requirements. You should coordinate the software upgrade as per the requirements of your customers. You should also recommend the frequency of the software upgrade and schedule for taking the upgrades as per specific requirements of your customers from different industries.

Dealing with indifferent customers

If you can convince your customers with statistics how much revenue they can possibly earn in their business, half your battle is won. For achieving this, you really need to understand your customer’s daily task and how the new product features can positively affect your customer’s business. Share the success stories and case studies of other customers and competitors with these customers who are reluctant and indifferent in taking the software upgrades.

Assisting software upgrades remotely

You can assist your customers in upgrading their software remotely using the available customer support tools such as TeamViewer. This will be useful in catering to the customers who have limited knowledge of computers and where you cannot go onsite all the times to provide customer support.

Running automatic software upgrades

Generally, an alert for an automatic software upgrade is ignored by most users. They automatically upgrade the targeted customer systems.

There are different tools available to make software upgrade easier to implement. Some of the tools are Hewlett Packard Update, EMCO Remote Installer, HP Client Automation Application Manager, and CA Client Automation.

Improving product logs

Product logs are useful in capturing important information related to the problems and for improving the logs for easier detection of potential problems. User-friendly logs and well-structured information in the logs can help your customers to provide the required support information quickly to resolve the issues quickly. This helps in reducing the support cost. Less time spent on resolving issues, increases the customer and employee satisfaction.

There are different tools available for improving the product logs such as Loggly, Logz, Sumo Logic.

Encourage customers to upgrade their software

You can present a list of benefits creatively to your customers in an effective way such as the videos of other customers and their success stories and infographics. You can show comparative case studies where you have documented the benefits of using specific product features experienced by your other customers. You can showcase the power of your product – processing speed, improved productivity and efficiency, time savings, and improvement in the work and life balance.

If these customers after taking the software upgrade, experience a positive difference in their productivity, time management, and satisfaction then they can become an advocate for your product. You can use this feedback from your happy customers in your blogs and forums to encourage other customers.

Certifications and appreciations to customers

Encouraging your customers through certifications and appreciations for their technical expertise and problem-solving capabilities can help in making them a brand ambassador for your product. It will give them a sense of importance and provide recognition and appreciation for their efforts. In a way, you are successful in making them a partner in your business.

Educate and increase the awareness of the customers

Inform and educate your customers and users about the potential and current loss to their business if they are not able to upgrade their systems in time. Use case studies of other customers who prevented loss to their business by upgrading in time to convince your reluctant customer.

If a third-party tool stops support for your older version of your product, be the first person to inform your customers. This is an example of a good reason for encouraging them to upgrade to a higher version of the product. Most common examples are discontinued support for older Internet browsers or operating systems for specific products.

Competitor analysis

Educate your reluctant customers using vital statistics, newsletters, blogs, and forums about the competitor analysis. You can showcase the benefits of upgrading the product experienced by different customers.

Benefits of studying the customer requirements while upgrading software

You can study and find the dormant and unexpressed expectations of the customers from your product by in person and online interactions with your customers. The interactions and onsite usability tests will help you in finding more problems, requirements, and expectations of your customers.

This will help you to develop the right features for the right customers and to make your product more customized and customer focused.

The chances of your product winning over your competitors increase because your product is the most customizable and customer focused product. You are providing a unique product to each customer in addition to the common features that are offered by your competitors such as good workflow, user interface, and scalability.

Ease and flexibility to customize should be one of the top priorities for making your product more successful and a good candidate for taking the software upgrades.