This is the time to hear your customer speak

Just got off the phone with the research agency. Before we talked about the project we did a little chat on business in general and he mentioned that God has been great. Thanks to all the recession and tough market scenario companies are spending more money on research. Every brand wants to know how to pinch that little money coming out of the consumer’s pocket, especially when the money is now being spent a lot more wisely. Makes sense, when times are difficult you have a two point agenda.

  1. Ensure that your customer continues to spend money on “your brand only”.
  2. Don’t let your competition offer a product comfort factor which makes your customer even willing to try the other brand.

At this point it becomes very essential for us to realize that customer is going to get wiser and look at product offerings with a magnifying glass to ensure that they are being offered the best deal for their money. High premiums may get even more difficult to justify. What do brands need to focus on:

  1. Ensure that there is no quality loss for the consumer. Don’t switch to a cheaper packaging material/raw material to cut corners.
  2. Evaluate the “value deals” from a consumer’s mind-set – do you really think it’s valuable when he is trying to spend less for probably the same offering. (but then again not all brands can offer “value deals”).
  3. The internal words are cut-back & reduce but I think when the customer is your focus we need to innovate, think of different ways to talk to the consumer and ensure him that the brand recognizes his needs and is changing (if any) to adapt to his needs.
  4. Customer service will be a key factor right now. Ensure you’ve got the best guys doing a good job on this one.

This is probably one of the worst times for brands who don’t know what the customer wants; they will disappear by the end of this year. So your company may have cut-back on your travel expenses but not willing to go out and hear your customer speak is the worst cut-back you can do at this hour.

All the best!