In 2010, Gap launched a new expensive logo that was aimed at capturing the hearts of a younger, hipper crowd. However, just days after launch, the new logo set off an online backlash from consumers who criticized the decision to ditch the well-known logo. 2 days later, the shiny new logo was put back into its box, never to be spoken of again.

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The “old” logo on the left, the “new” one on the right.

What did Gap do wrong? It misunderstood its customer’s needs, thinking that a new “younger looking” logo (featuring the Helvetica font, no less) would appeal to them. Gap failed to reach out to their customers and understand their needs on a personal basis, thus resulting in the huge failure of their rebranding efforts.

 

Focus on what your customers need

Over a hundred years ago, advertising and sales pioneer E. St. Elmo Lewis came up with the four common events that take place when a customer engages with a marketing campaign:

-A – first, the customer is Aware of the existence of a product or service,
-I – then, the customer expresses an Interest,
-D – next, the customer Desires a particular brand or product, until finally
-A – the customer takes the next step and Acts on purchasing the product

Referred to as “AIDA”, Lewis’s model has evolved over the years into what is known today as the “marketing funnel“.

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For so long, we stuck to it, simply assuming that consumers follow a linear path when making purchasing decisions. However, what we have neglected is the fact that consumers can enter the funnel at different stages and possibly jump around between different processes. The marketing marketing isn’t a linear route, always beginning with awareness and ending at retention. In fact, we consider multiple factors before buying anything—online reviews, social media platforms and even referral from friends. The solution to the funnel problem is to forget about the theories and the products for a moment and start forming meaningful relationships with your customers.

 

Towards a more personal form of advertising

While it may be intuitive that advertising should appeal and engage to consumers at a personal level, it is something that, surprisingly, not many businesses think to do. The first step to making advertising personal is to identify your customers. Go beyond characteristics like their age and gender. Instead, go deeper and find out their information that would indicate their habits, behaviors and preferences. This will allow you to know what appeals and would work in keeping your customers engaged. Take Facebook for example, while the ads that appear in your timeline page may seem randomized, they’re actually selected to suit your personal characteristics. That’s what personalized advertising is about—knowing your customers and showing them what they would be interested in. After identifying their needs, you can then move on to setting up a system and collecting such information on a recurring schedule.

However, besides identifying your customer needs, the next crucial step is to interact and engage them. Effective interaction ensures that the information provided to customers is relevant, timely and catered to their needs.

This is just a taste of our research into customer engagement. If you’d like to learn more about building meaningful relationships with your customers and creating personalized engagement campaigns to target customers individually. Download our whitepaper One to One Marketing – How to Add Personality to your Customer Engagement Campaign for free today: Click here to download

1 Comment

  1. nauman lodhi February 23rd, 2015

    We engage with our customers through solving their problems and it is working for us. Our customers in turn reward us by purchasing our files management software Clone Files Checker.

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Abhiroop Basu is a Content Strategist for Zopim helping create intuitive products that redefine online customer experiences. Our award-winning live chat solution helps businesses increase sales conversion by engaging important leads on their websites.