Why is opinion the ultimate goal?
Opinions are resistant to change. They are the point where your experience of something is enough to resist contradictory information. It will not undermine your belief. Once you have created a strong perception, this is the final stage in building lasting success.
What does it take to achieve?
The bond of opinion has a strong correlation to the value you ascribe to it. Products you love, services you can’t do without can be bonded quickly, due to their high value. That also works in reverse, when let down by something you badly needed.
Where the need or desire for something is less intense, or a change might be painless, the brand must work even harder to earn loyalty.
How does that process work?
It relates back to the values used in building your initial proposition. Weeks, perhaps months, and many touchpoints later, can your customer still feel those values or were they just part of an initial sales process? You may now be using channels such as:
- Email marketing
- Social media
- Direct mail
- Offer-based advertising
Now the frequency of contact or variety of touchpoints has lessened into an aftersales process, does it fit with your customers’ ongoing needs? The nature of the dialogue changes and new possibilities emerge. You likely now have customer data; what use do you make of it and how is that new form of content used to build a lasting brand opinion?
Perhaps you are a brand who is capable of building a genuine customer community around your products or services. Perhaps not. But at the very least, we should be thinking beyond the transactional. It’s not just about customer retention, that’s a binary view. Even if you didn’t retain me as a customer, I’m still going to have an opinion about you, I could still be an advocate!