Do you remember those days when we talked about using email newsletter sign ups to add stickiness to a website? Well, they still exist but, we also talk about using branding blogs to build stickiness online as well.
A good portion of that online branding experience comes through social media, blogging and a variety of other experiences. Yet, a good portion of the talk out there about Facebook successes or Twitter successes seem to surround coupons. And, it seems to attract people. It’s not always the best strategy and it can hurt a brand when used incorrectly.
This is one strategy that can backfire. There are multitudes of case studies where too much discounting or couponing used incorrectly, erodes a premium brand. Especially for high end brand names, if you wouldn’t coupon or discount in the real world to attract customers, don’t do it online. Premium brands no longer get people to buy at premium prices when the brands keep offering discounts. Everyone waits for the coupons and discounts to buy at the best price. The brand and price point becomes eroded.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for promotions but make sure it is strategically aligned with your brand. If you’re a discount brand, then you’re likely to use this strategy much more. If you’re not, use gifts or coupons as rewards of ideal customer behaviour such as referrals, recommendations, appreciation, testimonials or purchase frequency.
After all, if you develop an experience, people will come to expect it. And, the people who appreciate that experience most will become drawn to it. Thus, the new online stickiness. We need to be aware of how we use it.
Once people receive coupons regularly and become incented to buy, they will come to expect it. Many people join Facebook pages just to receive coupons and not because they are attracted to the brand for other reasons. Branding is key to attracting the right customers and prospects. If the brand is about other qualities of the product or service, then create an experience around those other qualities. Brand strategically. Be aware that the effects of coupons in the online world is just as powerful and possibly even more effective since word can travel more quickly and further.
So, if not couponing, what are some of the other experiences we can develop?
If it’s a consultative brand, demonstrate the consultative and informative nature of the brand. If the brand is about quality, tell a story about quality. Even today, I still remember brands that take a licking and keep on ticking. That’s a story of quality and durability so let customers share their product experiences and leverage those brand stories – spread them. Reward loyal customers willing to share stories so that the news travels!
Whatever the brand, make people aware through stories or blogs, videos and experiences such as gifts or coupons. Keep it strategic. That’s the honey that keeps the target audience drawn and stuck on your brand.
When we put it altogether, that’s the new online stickiness!