Strategic initiatives can be described as the means or plan an organization follows to transform its goals and visions into reality. For example, if your business goal is to increase sales and boost margin in the next three months, a strategic initiative is the plan that would get you there.
Compared to the pre-internet years, consumers today have limitless options to choose from in almost every niche. What even makes it so much worse for modern businesses is the ease and speed at which consumers can switch from one brand to another. With this in mind, it becomes crucial now more than ever to create a more positive experience and higher value for your customers at every stage of the product lifecycle.
Most of the strategies here can be successfully applied at any of the product levels. However, it is important you consider your target demographics, their present need, current market situation, and the goal you want to achieve when deciding on what strategy to use at any of the product lifecycle levels.
Why should a business strive to create more value for its customers?
There is rarely an industry or niche where the competition is not fierce. The only exception might be those whose barrier to entry is extremely high. However, even for these sectors that are tough to break in, it is very much likely digital and internet technology have made entry significantly easier for new disruptors.
So, knowing about this ever-growing fierce competition present in today’s business world, every manager needs to continually seek ways to create more value for their target audience. Offering more value to the users of your product or service is what makes them trust and love your brand. It is also the secret to turning customers into diehard loyal fans whose positive reviews would attract and keep newer customers
7 Strategies to generate more value for your customers across your product lifecycle
1. Build a unique brand identity and increase the perceived value of your product or service
What happens in business is the same thing that happens in human social life: People love to associate or identify with high worth people or, let’s frame it another way – prominent people that others think highly of. In business, just having a well-known, quality, and unique brand image can make some consumers want to have your product in their possession. Therefore, knowing this, how can you increase how the market perceives your brand? One of many ways to go about that is by creating positive emotions with every person who patronizes your brand or comes in contact with your brand. Also, while you’re doing this, find creative ways to differentiate yourself from rivals and remain at the forefront of customers’ minds when they venture into your niche.
2. Make tactical use of customer loyalty programs
Indeed, a major aim of loyalty programs is to thank your repeat customers for always choosing your product and keep them more devoted to your brand. However, interestingly enough, research discovered additional benefits that should make any savvy business leader consider using this method to offer greater value to consumers. For instance, it was revealed that long-time customers who are offered a form of loyalty or appreciation bonus are more likely to recommend the company to others. In addition, a higher percentage of customers are willing to spend more to enjoy a loyalty bonus. There are numerous loyalty programs you can use for your customers, but some tried and tested ones include:
- Perk-based: In this type of loyalty scheme, a company offers small perks like product samples or another smaller surprise gift to the package of anybody who buys from them. For perk-based, all users of the product are rewarded.
- Point-based: In this case, customers accrue points when they make a purchase, join the email subscription list, provide personal information or give feedback. When the points reach a specific number, they can then be used for future purchases.
- Tier-based: Here, customers are rewarded according to how high they are on the membership level. For example, premium members or those with the more expensive plans get advanced offers, bigger points and discounts, and exclusive invitations to certain high-profile occasions.
3. Request for feedback and reviews
There is literally no way to know what customers love or hate about your brand, product, or services except you ask them. By requesting feedback, you’re able to gain insight into where you are impressing and disappointing consumers. With this information at your disposal, you can effectively plan which areas of your business need to be changed or strengthened. Another essential thing to ask customers to drop is a review of their experience or the result they get when using your product. Studies have shown that more than half of customers rely on reviews before making their final purchase decision.
4. Motivate customers with attractive incentive programs
When using this strategy to deliver more value to customers, remember it’s crucial you target the right people. It might be tempting to want your incentive program to be available to all categories of customers, but you must resist that urge. Having a huge participant does not guarantee that you will successfully convert all of them to faithful customers.
Rather than spread your resources thin, why not concentrate your best reward on those groups that would likely give you the greatest bang for your bucks. For example, already-frequent customers; high-value customers who may buy from you occasionally, but when they come, they make a substantial purchase; and lastly, bulk buyers. So, what incentives can you offer to customers to make them feel special?
- Discounts: You may cut certain percentages off for high-spenders or simply when a customer spends up to a specified amount. Another strategy commonly used by sellers is to give discounts during special periods like Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year, and off-season.
- Free trials: This method is commonly employed by service businesses where they let existing, potential or interested persons use a service for a specific period of time. Studies have shown that people who have tested a product are more likely to subscribe to the paid package than those who haven’t used the product before.
- Special offers: A special offer is not only about using free products to reward customers. It could also be free or expedited shipping, assigning personal managers, decreasing the minimum order quantity, or offering after-hours service to the customer being appreciated.
- Partnering with other brands: If you know a brand(s) whose product complement but does not compete with yours, you may strike up a deal with them. For example, you could offer their product or service along with yours in a special and discounted bundle.