The millennial mom:
Women are not only the biggest spenders but also the primary decision-makers in most households. They make 75% of decisions about buying new homes, 81% of the decisions about groceries, 85% of consumer goods and they influence at least 80% of all household spend. That women is most likely a mom. The mommy market is estimated to be worth $1.6 trillion. She is not just buying for herself; she’s also buying for the baby, the toddler, the teenager, her spouse or partner and the house. She’s not just buying Cheerios and baby wipes — she’s purchasing electronics and other household items.
They describe three generations of moms: Baby boomer moms (born between 1946 and 1964) , Gen X moms( born between 1964 – 1981) and Millennial new moms. If your company is still only marketing to soccer moms, you’re missing two-thirds of the moms. The millennial moms are mothers who were born between 1981 and 1994. Approximately one in five moms (22%) is a Millennial Mom, accounting for approximately 9 million people. They are trying to juggle career, family and their homes and lead very busy lives.
The millennial mom has 3.4 social media accounts, vs. 2.6 for moms in general. They spend an average of 17.4 hours per week with their social networks, 2 hours more than they spend watching TV and nearly 4 hours more than the average mom spends on social networks. Millennial Moms are decision-influencers. They are more likely than moms overall to provide opinions and recommendations. They also cite themselves as key advisors among their circle of friends as they are more likely to be asked for opinions on purchase decisions. With an average of 24 close friends, vs the 22 of the average mom. They are asked for a product recommendation an average of 9.6 times per month vs. 6.3 times for moms overall. Millennial Moms are spreading information on a wide range of products and services. Nine in 10 or more of them are sharing information about apparel, retail stores and groceries/food and beverages.
Millennial Moms are experiencing motherhood from a much different perspective than older moms. They are twice as likely to be single – whether that is by choice or circumstance – but yet just as likely as the average mom to be the majority income contributor in a multi-resident household.
Engaging millennial moms is key:
- Not all Millennial Moms are in two-parent families with dual-incomes. Many Millennial Moms may have difficulty identifying with images of the traditional two-parent family.
- Develop products – including digital ones like apps – that help make Millennial Moms’ lives simpler. They are looking for less complexity in their lives.
- The love e-commerce, not only do they buy online, they also browse, compare and read customer reviews. The primary reason is the time and convenience of online shopping, they are juggling jobs, children and household chores, so being able to shop online really helps.
- The rise of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogs have given moms a place to congregate, share opinions and build friendships. Posting pictures, especially on Instagram of their family life, parenthood their career and social life.
- 70% of moms own smartphones, so she is on her phone a lot. A recent survey suggests that American moms spend an average of 2.3 hours per day on mobile devices, compared to just 1.4 hours a day watching TV.
- Their word of mouth is very powerful, moms love to socialize and share their latest finds anywhere they gather with friends and family. Consider outreach at community events and sponsoring school activities.
- They follow, trust and value comment from influencers. They sign up, follow and get involved.
- When marketing to moms, you need to take advantage of the networks they build. Moms love to talk about what they’re buying, so if you have a good product or message, the word will spread. Virtually all new moms join some sort of play group or support group, so it’s wise to get your message across.
Millennials care about many of the same things as women in their age group who don’t have children. They’re unique individuals with stories that deserve to be told. They’re social, and they love to share. They crave adventure and experience. They just want to bring their kids along for the ride. Of the 80 million millennials in the U.S., one-quarter are now parents. 83% of new moms are millennials. Millennial women control the purse strings in most households, and with millennial parents wielding $200 billion in spending power, with a considerable amount of purchasing power, millennial moms are worth every marketer’s attention.
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE is what trade and retail buyers, consumers, shoppers, agents, business associates and employees experience in their individual and collective interactions with a brand or business. Customer experience has to do with the quality of the relationship between two parties and the effectiveness and respect that the buyer feels. Customer experience is the “Feel Good” factor that leaves a subliminal and lasting impression in the consumer’s heart. A positive experience will keep your customers coming back.
Let’s unpack this a little. According to Jake Sorofman, Research VP at Gartner “89% of marketers compete primarily on the basis of customer experience — discrete moments that, together, strengthen or weaken a customer’s preference, loyalty and advocacy.”
Customer experiences spring from concrete, controllable elements – touchpoints. Customers lead busy lives, fraught with distractions and responsibilities, and while it is not possible to control the variables leading up to their engagement with your organisation, it is indeed possible to control the touchpoints that they will encounter within your organisation – here you have the opportunity to impress, delight, assure your customers.
According to Gartner “customer experience is created by who you are – your people; what you do – your products and services; and how you do it – your business processes, methodologies and service levels. Additionally, and very importantly, it includes the user experience and thoughtful application of design and aesthetics.”
A customer journey map is a helpful tool in plotting the various touchpoints it is a diagram that illustrates the steps your customers go through when engaging with your company. Link to diagram!
A deliberate customer experience
A deliberate customer experience requires collaboration amongst all the departments in a company – from product design and development, marketing, administration, customer service, sales and retail partners.
In large organisations, a distinct customer experience replies on the complete understanding and buy in of all staff and departments. This is most successfully achieved through a concise statement, or catch phrase within the organisation that becomes a mental go-to in all scenarios.
Customers include your employees – those who you count to deliver on your promises and who are critical to the success of your organisation. Ensuring that your staff are operating from their strengths and that they have the skills necessary to deliver excellent service and represent your organisation proudly are essential to the reputation and longevity of your image.
McKinsey provides some guidelines on how to ensure that your employee’s abilities and insights can add to the customer experience:
- Listen to your employees, ensure that there are channels to receive and respond to their feedback.
- Hire appropriately, attitude should trump other factors, for example a highly credentialed candidate with an unfriendly manner would be a poor choice for a customer relations position.
- Give staff scope with a purpose rather than rules, this will allow for ownership and improvisation based on genuine insight.
Another element of customer experience that is important to consider is that of the shopper. By being in tune with shopping habits of consumers and being receptive to shopper’s needs, it is possible to excel in customer experience – demonstrating a considered response to customer’s needs. For example, by gathering data of a customer’s buying habits it is possible to offer valuable and surprising extras to your customers such as a digital shopping list, suggested weekly menus, suggestions for supplementary items and so on.
Providing an excellent customer experience is well within the reach of any organisation, through observation and plain courteousness you will find that you are well on your way.
How do I apply Customer Experience for my brand?
- Attentiveness: be a good listener when engaging with your consumers.
- Recognition: greeting customers by name goes a long way in making your customer’s feeling validated.
- Personlisation: remember your customer’s preferences.
- Consideration: acts like walking customers to the door or assisting them with a heavy load are little gestures that go a long way.
- Appreciation: consider the ways that you could make your customer’s feel appreciated, special, set apart – notice their loyalty and reward them.
- Delight: you have won at customer experience if you can achieve an element of delight, that surprising, uplifting moment or gesture that is so unexpected and above and beyond that it elicits a feeling of delight – at the end of an appointment my children’s dentist will blow up a surgical glove and draw a face on to create a chicken balloon and it is well, plain delightful. I appreciate the few extra moments she took to turn our exchange into an experience.
It’s these extras, the hand written note, the considerate foot stool at the book shop for children, the remembering of birthdays or how you like your coffee just so, the offer of help to the car, or the welcoming greeting that impress upon your customer the feeling of being valued and build loyalty.
If you want to improve the customer experience of your business in the market place, contact one of the Prana consultants for a handy guide to apply CE principles in the most effective way within your organization. For the months of July and August, we are offering a free 2 hour consultation session with our CE specialists. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your session.
Brands help customers make choices, to differentiate products from one another. The purpose of branding is to ensure that your product or service is the preferred choice. Success in business hinges on customers’ choices and those choices are largely based on the perception customers have of a brand.
Successful branding distinguishes your brand from others like it. Successful branding has a clear and consistent positioning wherever it is encountered, which results in a predictability that builds trust and loyalty for your brand.
A brand is comprised of certain tangible attributes, which form the bedrock of your identity but also, and more significantly, a brand is formed by the perception of your brand in the marketplace. David Ogilvy described brands as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.”
A brand is shaped by the perceptions of its audience.
Outlined below are some important elements to consider when developing a brand:
A great LOGO. The foundation of your brand is your logo. A logo’s meaning is derived from the quality of what it symbolizes. A logo is a face for your brand, in that when someone sees it, all the associations they’ve made with it quickly come to mind. It’s a little like running into a friend and immediately your feelings toward them, trust in them, memories of them come to mind at the sight of them. A logo should accompany all experiences with your brand to reinforce those associations.
BRAND IDENTITY: brand identity includes all visual elements that contribute to your brand: uniforms; packaging; store design; letterheads, business cards and other stationery; website design; signage to name a few. The continuity of these elements is essential in reinforcing your brand. Develop design template and create brand standards for your marketing materials that consider guidelines for colour, logo placement, fonts, layout to name a few.
Create a VOICE for your brand, which will be applied across all channels and incorporated, in visual imagery representing your brand. Consider the kind of personality you would like your brand to have – is it friendly, irreverent, sincere, conversational? Maintain this tone across all platforms so that your brand becomes dependably consistent.
DELIVER on your brand promise, the hope for every brand is to foster brand loyal customers who ultimately become brand advocates. This journey begins with your brand living up to its promises.
Be CONSISTENT – across all platforms and encounters. With the rise of social media and the endless ways in which customers can encounter your brand, consistency is an artful and valuable pursuit because if you get it right, it is a solid investment in the future success of your brand. Consistency improves recall and it ensures that customers enjoy the same experience with your brand wherever they find you.
Once a year the Sunday times releases the TOP BRANDS SA, using consumer interviews. The newspaper can gain a picture of South Africa’s most loved Brands in business and consumer sectors.
Why is this so important? Why do brands matter?
Brands differentiate products in the same category and create relationships with consumers. When consumers perceive a product as better than another, they are more likely to stay loyal and even pay more.
Brands differentiate themselves with unique and recognizable brand identities. There is no confusion between a box of KFC and Nando’s because each brand has its own logo, colour scheme and fonts but even more so, a brand has a personality. People can’t bond with deep fried chicken in cardboard boxes, but they can form attachments to the idea of a finger licking good meal or Nando’s spicy take on current events.
The brand articulates who is responsible for this product and therefore what to expect from it.
Although brands are intangible, they can rake in profits. Knowing, or liking, what you are getting creates extra value. This means a justifiable increased profit. Or at the same price as their competitors, strong brands have a competitive advantage.
Selling is great but repeated selling is better. Strong brands increase customer loyalty. Customers who return without having to be exposed to an expensive advertising campaign, are worthwhile.
This is shown in the way the Times measure top brands. Brands win based on market penetration, love by users and attraction by non-users. (Also included in this summary is the Sunday Times next generation brand awards to get an indication of youth favorites).
The most loved brand for businesses was Vodacom. (Vodacom also won first choice in business, for consumers and youth as a telecommunications Provider).
Consumers voted KOO their favorite brand.
And the upcoming generation is most impressed by Nike.
Community upliftment was won by Woolworths for businesses and awarded by consumers to Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola also won the Green Gran-Prix according to consumers and Nedbank were green according to business.
In smartphones, Apple iPhones were a favorite for CEOs but consumers and the youth preferred the Samsung brand. Similarly businesses prefer British Airways for local flights and consumers and youth agree on SAA.
For banks, the youth side with business voting in FNB and while Capitec is preferred by consumers in general.
Each group has a different preference for cars, with businesses voting Mercedes, consumers Toyota and the youth BMW.
For winners in each category: See here
For winners in each youth category: See here
But what makes these brands so great? And how can we learn from them?
Firstly, all these brands are familiar, so much so that when we read KOO we can see the yellow circle around the letters or smell sweet corn. Each one of these logos is striking and attached to meaning. A whole range of experiences, conversations and emotions are attached to each symbol. We have all heard people talking about the products offered using these names. We all know people who are die hard Apple or Samsung consumers, or who can’t stop telling people how reliable their Toyota has been.
That’s because these brands meet a compelling need. Coca-Cola knows how tough life is. They offer you the opportunity to open up some happiness with R 16.35 and the twist of a cap. Certain brands, like Vodacom, are championed by all, but others such as Mercedes and Toyota must choose a position (luxury or tough) in order to meet the differing needs in the market.
As seen with the Youth votes, some brands will remain in favour and others will become less popular unless they’re able to pay attention to the youth, to be responsive and to change with the times both in relation to new consumers’ needs and what competitors are doing. Continuing to meet consumers’ needs is incredibly important to build love and loyalty.
When the waiter says “is Pepsi ok?” when you order a Coke, is a great example of the loyalty Coca-Cola inspires, despite Pepsi’s attempts to convince the population that they taste the same.
Pepsi doesn’t always taste the same as Coke because brands speak to both the mind and the heart. Brands offer emotional value to consumers and aid them in building identity and enriching life experiences. That’s why branded businesses are valued more, have more loyal customers and greater profits.
What are Micro-moments?
How would you describe the difference between a laptop and a smartphone to your grandmother?
Shape and size are probably the first thing that comes to mind and, not surprisingly, that’s also what differentiates these devices in the marketing world.
Laptops are bigger and usually, require a desktop or a lap and a wall plug. This means that your audience to online media through a laptop is relaxed, perhaps with a cup of coffee in one hand and time to allow themselves to be intrigued by captivating design and wowed by a list of the benefits your product offers, but a smartphone is a whole new ball game.
A smartphone can be whipped out your pocket on impulse in a bustling street, the stuffy back seat of a taxi or a supermarket isle with a million products screaming for your attention. Smartphone users need answers to the questions right in front of them, they are multitasking, and they are late. Smartphone users are under pressure. Smartphone users, therefore, approach marketing in a completely different manner.
Between Sipho sitting with coffee and his laptop in Seattle and the Jahara running through Woolies with five minutes left of lunch hour, who do you think would have gathered from your site that you only deliver on Tuesdays? In fact, the chances are that Jahara granny smith instead of golden delicious and she can’t even recall who served her. In fact, chances are the only thing that Jahara remembers was how many minutes she had to get back to work. This is called the narrowing effect.
When our minds get stressed they zero into one attribute in particular. There’s no time to consider complex positives, rather people tend to eliminate products based on negatives. They don’t look at reviews and they don’t revisit decisions.
If people are going to your site in a hurry for directions, bookings or answers, it should offer a clear, simple offering. Millions of customers around the world are listening through their smartphones by split seconds at a time. The question is, are you telling them what they need to hear, right there, right now?
Here are the 4 steps that South African brands can take to win with consumers at micro-moments:
1) Know the four search types.
Your customers are using their micro-moments to buy off your site or to find information. If they are looking for information, it’s usually of three kinds: they want to know more about your product or service, they want to know how to use your product or they want to find out where you are. These four search types need to offer easy to get results.
2) Answer questions.
With the four search types in mind, delve deeper into your customers experience by searching the most searched phrases about your brand. Are you happy with the results? Take some time to ask yourself if the customer really needs all the text and images they are seeing on the screen. The information should only be the answers to the questions inside a viewer’s head. Try to anticipate what they will need, and when they will need it in the purchasing journey.
3) Play to location.
Is the information you see relevant to the many various environments that your customer may find themselves in? Or even better can you customise what the customer sees depending on their location?
4) Make it fast.
They key word here is ‘eliminate’. Eliminating unnecessary information and images in the second step will save your user plenty of scanning time. Reducing the loading time of your pages and eliminating unnecessary clicks and steps in processes like checkout will also work miracles.
A name, an image, a logo, a symbol, a word or any other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from those of others. A brand is the specific perception in a customer’s mind concerning the qualities and attributes of your product or service, your brand is what creates a lasting impression in the minds of customers. It is what prospects think of or feel when they hear your name. Your brand is your most valuable asset and is what keeps customers coming back, recommending you to others and ultimately makes your business successful. It takes many years to build and it is therefore just as essential to protect your brand image as it is to create awareness.
Branding has been around for a very long time; it started more than a century ago when cattle famers used branding irons to ‘mark’ which cattle were theirs. This ‘mark’, eventually made its way onto products, with the widening array of products, producers found the need to distinguish the source of their goods. In the late 1880’s the infamous Coca-cola product started what is seen as today’s first branding: distinguishing coca cola from other soda’s in the market.
Building a brand is more than just making sure your product is distinguishable, functional, searchable and available. Building a brand is making a promise to your customers that they can expect long-term security, a competitive frame of reference and consistent delivery of functional as well as emotional benefits from using your product or service. Branding has thus far surpassed just the physical and functional nature of your product or service, it includes how the customer feels when they use your brand, the customer experience, the customer journey, the customer satisfaction and the customers willingness to continue to use your brand and refer it to others. Everything your brand touches or is associated with is a reflection of your brand. From your premises, your employees, your culture and values, your business operation policies to the manner in which your delivery trucks drive are all factors being accounted for when customers form perceptions of your brand. Hence why brand image, customer service, reputation management, brand partners need to be carefully considered. One unsatisfied customer has the potential to really cause great damage to your brand. The internet is not only your biggest tool as it can reach customers far and wide 24/7, it can also be your most dangerous one. The internet has given the consumer power and a voice, consumers now research you, compare you and read other customer testimonials, they can complain more easily about you and share experiences they had with you with millions of people immediately. The notion that the customer is your businesses most important asset is becoming more true everyday.
Building a brand, requires you to have certain key tools. Your brand building toolbox includes your brand’s identity, the visible elements of your brand, your product design,colours, logo, slogan and imagary . Constantly ensureyour brands image is always consistent and always adheres to your corporate identity.
Brand communication, the different channels a customer uses to interact with your brand, your website, social media channels, your store partner stores etc. Brand awareness, the extent to which your brand is recognized by customers, you need to reach the right customer, at the right time on the right channels. Brand loyalty, how likely are customers to use your brand again, the right customer constantly needs to see or hear your product, you can also build brand loyaly by ensuring your customers leave you satisfied, this way they will tell others about your brand. When a customer is familiar with a brand or favours it incomparably to its competitors, this is when you have reached a high level of brand equity. One of the ways to see that your brand is growing stronger is when your customers start referring to it by something different from its brand name, think of Woolworths, everyone refers to it as Woolies or coca cola referred to as coke.
Brands are everywhere and consumers are constantly experiencing them in their daily lives so it is vital to protect, grow and reinvent your brand all the time.