Befriend Consumers With Your Merchandise
Quick, name three products you can’t live without. I bet you have more than three. It may have all started in childhood with your favorite blanky or can’t-leave-the-house-without-it stuffed animal. As adults, it may have transmogrified into something like your morning cup of Starbucks or Republic of Tea. For others, it’s their ASICS running shoes or their Helios fly-fishing rods or their Le Creuset cookware. Or their Montblanc pens or iPhones.
Brands endear themselves to their customers by creating products that become part of their customers’ lives. Products endear themselves to customers by making their lives easier, simpler or better in some way. Often these products have found ways to create new habits in their owners’ lives.
Take Amazon’s Kindle for example. Dyed-in-the-wool traditional book lovers have been converted by this convenient e-reader device that actually improves upon the normal book experience with features like a built-in dictionary with instant lookup, adjustable text size, no-glare screens and more. Amazon Chairman Jeff Bezos recently said that “the e-reader has become the No. 1 best-selling item by both unit sales and dollars — not just in our electronics store, but across all product categories on Amazon.com. It’s also the most wished for and most gifted.” Kindle has indeed befriended its customers. Readers now wonder how they ever managed to live without it.
With the ability to choose from 350,000 of the most popular books, magazines and newspapers via free wireless delivery in less than 60 seconds, Kindle has become a can’t-leave-home-without-it accessory and tool. Yes, the competition is heating up — e.g., Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble’s nook, Plastic Logic’s QUE and others yet to be announced — but once again Amazon has masterfully put customers first and created another on-brand product that changes lives.
What's your brand doing to befriend its customers? Are you improving a present customer habit or experience in any way with your products? Do you have any products that classify as “most wished for and most gifted” this season? How can you create the next “can’t-live-without-it” in their lives?