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Last week, Adweek reported that only 4% of consumers consider one company when making a purchasing decision. As much as we’d all love to believe that our customers love our companies and are as loyal as family, that’s apparently just not the case.
Adweek further reported that 72% of consumers say they consider two to four brands when making a purchase. That’s good news if you happen to be one of the four, but rising to the top of a crowded industry, or breaking out into a niche audience, can be difficult.
No matter how good you think you are or how loyal you think your customers are, you’re almost always going to be competing against at least one other company for the sale. Consumers know they have multiple options to choose from.
How can you make sure buyers think of you when it comes time to make a purchase?
According to Sammy Nickalls, Adweek’s departments editor and author of the article, “Infographic: Most Consumers Only Consider 2 to 4 Brands When Making a Purchase,” the top factors that create loyalty are price, quality, and the company’s ability to do what it says it will do:
Price. You could read a dozen different books on pricing strategy and track the prices of every major competitor you have—and it would all be good—but the success of your pricing all boils down to this: do you clearly communicate the value of your product or service, based on its positioning, and are consumers willing to pay for it?
Quality. If you’re looking to make a quick buck and aren’t concerned about retaining customers and working with them again in the future, quality doesn’t matter to you. But if you want to build a good product, a good reputation, and a good relationship (i.e., loyalty), then you want to create a product or offer a service that gets the job done, performs without error or hassle, and lasts.
Reliability. This has a good deal to do with quality. If you promise a solution to a problem, your product or service must be good enough to deliver on that promise. Again. And again.
Of course, getting into the coveted “one of four” positions of preference among customers take more than just price, quality, and reliability, but those three factors give you a good start. Consistent and clear marketing, excellent customer service, and positive brand recognition will help do the rest.