The continual talk of “tough times,” “economic hardship,” and a “global recession” is causing many business leaders to be fearful of what lies ahead. One thing that is clear is that we are now living in “uncertain times,” and this is requiring business leaders all over the world to apply a “different” kind of thinking to how they approach business issues and decisions.
Business viability is at top of everyone’s agenda. Many businesses urgently have to rethink how to keep the cash flowing to keep their financial position stable. Decision makers should remember one basic truth—the source of your business’s cash flow is your customer base. So how can you nurture and keep your existing customers loyal?
Customer loyalty stems from the relationships you have built with them and is heavily influenced by the daily interactions. Avoid the trap of promoting your brand long before you are capable of delivering promises sounds simple, but is continually overlooked by many companies!
Faced with financial insecurity and instability, people will seek out brands they feel they can trust. Can you honestly say that you know whether your brand is delivering on your customer expectations in this changing market?
- Do you know what is going on in the lives of your important customers?
- Does your brand offer still resonate with these customers, or do you need to innovate your offering to better meet changing preferences?
- Are your competitors demonstrating a better “value” offering, causing your customers to switch brands?
- Are your employees in tune with your customer needs?
A comprehensive approach to providing your brand with a health check is to conduct a brand audit. This process evaluates your current position, internally and externally, providing you with valuable insight and knowledge to get your brand strategy back on track.
While your competitors batten down the hatches in response to the current turmoil, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you proactively creating a point of difference for your customers?
- Are you investing in your most important asset, your brand, to ensure your customers are satisfied and secure?
- Are you resilient enough for the short term, and will you be better positioned to prosper in the long term?