To further confirm if the ‘cult of Apple’ is real, a team of neuroscientists compared the MRI scans of Apple fans and ‘very religious’ people in 2011. The researchers found that Apple and religion activate the same brain part. To conclude, both generate the same responses and feelings in some people. The findings were published in BBC’s Secrets of Superbrands documentary.
It’s no secret that Apple fans are one of the most fanatic brand ambassadors in the world. The mere announcement of a new Apple product will cause throngs of followers to sleep on sidewalks, withstand the cold (or heat) and stand in line for hours for a chance to bite into the new Apple.
Startups, serial entrepreneurs, and corporations would kill for a following such as Apple’s. This super brand has successfully turned many of their consumers into super brand ambassadors. Wouldn’t you want a following like that?
However, for many people setting up a business, it can take decades to even mimic a piece of what Apple has accomplished. Still, if you are planning to set up a business in Singapore or open a new branch in the country, here are some tips on how you can turn first-time encounters into life-long customer relationships.
Your product or service must be worth it.
Apple products created legions of super fans by giving birth to products whose design, functionality and status symbol are unparalleled. Of course, Apple also has a myriad of super engineers but the point is if you want people to buy your product or service, especially if it’s a newcomer in the market, make sure it is worth buying in the first place.
It doesn’t even have to be a necessity that consumers urgently need. There is much to gain by leveraging on Singaporeans’ impulse buying habits, which leads us to the next tip.
Make your customers feel good.
In a 2014 study, University of Michigan’s assistant professor Scott Rick found that retail therapy is actually a real thing. When people are experiencing negative emotions such as sadness or anxiety, they want to restore some sort of control and shopping is a pleasing way to regain such feeling.
“We think there are benefits to buying something new and showing it off. But when it comes to alleviating sadness, actively choosing between products is essential, even if those choices are hypothetical,” said Rick.
A more recent study found that 57 percent of Singapore’s high net worth individuals (HNWIs) feel special whenever they buy luxury items.
Customer experience is one of the leading motivators when it comes to impulse and habitual purchases. By making your customers feel welcome and well taken care of, you cement this experience in their minds and will most likely turn them into advocates who would be on the lookout for your new products and recommended them to friends.
As you set up your business in Singapore, take into consideration that Singaporeans are one of the most sought-after consumers in the world. With an abundance of new businesses rolling out year after year, what can you do differently to make your customers feel great the moment they walk into your stores?
Create brand ambassadors.
When it comes to creating brand ambassadors, most business owners think that it requires a big chunk of their marketing budget. This is particularly common among small and medium-sized commercial owners planning to open a business.
The truth is, much of the work is done on social media. The secret to creating life-long brand ambassadors is activating the ones who are already fans of your products or services. Partnering this online relationship with a continuous offline conversation is a great way of building real connections with your end users.
“It’s a matter of being able to find and activate those consumers to see who you are. That doesn’t necessarily take a lot of money. It does take a lot of effort,” said Perry Fair, international ad agency JWT’s chief creative officer.
Picking brand ambassadors is just the first step. Taking care of them is as crucial as taking care of your brand. Showering your brand ambassadors with freebies, discounts and invites to big PR events are good ways to keep them active. However, giving them ‘real power’ is an even better way to utilize their large following in social media.
Extend the invites to some of their friends, let them share discount coupons or freebies with their peers and allow them to bring contacts along who can get a taste of what being a brand ambassador for your company feels like.
The increased status will not only pave the way for new brand ambassadors to be born, but people will also appreciate the amplified prestige.
Keep innovating and introducing something new.
Researchers from the University College London’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience found that dopamine levels in the brain increases when shown something new. When faced with a new kind of innovation, the brain makes us feel that some sort of reward is waiting for us if we try out this new innovation.
The possibility of pleasure or happiness is the one that motivates people to go after this new thing. This is why Apple regularly comes up with new models and new innovations and people keep buying them even if they recently bought a relatively new model.
Turn first-time buyers into loyal customers by regularly coming up with new ways to tap into this kind of psyche. It doesn’t have to be a new product or a new service every single time. It could be a promotion, a limited-time sale or a discounted coupons first-time buyers can share with friends. The key is to be constant and not let the fire within your customers die a slow, agonizing death just because you don’t come up with a way to sustain their interest.
Are you ready to launch?
When registering a company in Singapore, there is no shortage in customers who are willing to try something new. After all, many businesses are launching in Singapore left and right but in order to ride with the competition, you have to turn on the charm and turn first-time buyers into life-long customers who will help you grow.