Share of Life – A New Marketing Era – Part 2
Allow me to add additional context to the notion of Share of Life.
This is about enterprises and their brands meeting up with customers to form a community – a community with shared interests, concerns and responsibilities. Within that community the brand actively participates in delivering and expeditiously dealing with any lapses in the brand promise because of the longer-term financial benefit of extending the retention rate of their customers.
The brand will be able to leverage that community to better understand existing and emerging needs and if successful becoming the preferred solution source.
There are several pivotal components here:
1. For many companies this is a radical departure from the acquisition emphasis found in many marketing departments. Financial markets will place increasing ‘scrutiny’ on companies regarding their track record in managing organic growth.
So now we need to ensure we have the right products and services to nurture that growth and generate a reasonable financial return.
Organic growth will place a greater emphasis on being solution driven which in time will allow successful enterprises to learn how to better manage the value proposition as the notion of value is highly situational.
Some will endeavor to monitor the marketplace and have the right product at the right value at the right place to take advantage of these situations. Others will try to create the image of being ‘value islands’ to give customers a beacon they can gravitate towards and then offer even greater granularity in the solution’s matrix to meet those needs.
Funding for this will come from the freed up resources (variable and fixed) currently used to acquire new customers and divert that to the needs path the brand will support not unlike the approaches currently being used by technical/engineered products.
2. What of the customers that cost the enterprise too much money in servicing? Some enterprises will seek to manage this shunting customers to self serve channels. Others may choose to revisit their brand promise with the customer and use this as an opportunity to fix any systemic problems in their internal systems and reconfigure their brand promise with the customer by providing then the valued features they need. But the Share of Life brands will benefit from having long-term retention – thereby allowing them to make cutomer investment decisions that a firm operation in Share of Wallet mode would not be able to ‘justify’.
3. Community means exactly that. The community of brand users may exist in a formal or informal setting – depending on the characterstics of the category. These people will be able to find one another through any number of channels and once connected be able to share their experiences. Hence satisfied customers will be key advocates for the brand.
The brand community as part of the global community also embraces the notion of interconnected responsibility and look upon the enterprises to be responsible corporate citizens. This is a fundamental ‘cost of doing business’ for the Fortune 1000 – but will percolate to all corners.
The community will also be an invaluable resource for enterprises to understand the needs of its constituents and of the lapsed support the competition might be experience with its constituents.
Brand affinties will improve for those that succeed but it will not be a quantum event. The competition will not allow it. The winners however will experience stronger margins and have a declining reliance on traditional price based incentives to stimulate purchases.
I hope this proves to be of benefit to you.
Thanks for stopping by.