As the Internet’s influence over our behavior intensifies, hit-and-miss engagement is less likely to result in a lasting relationship. Supportive, value-added entanglement is what is needed to forge a binding connection with customers.
Clickers disengage as fast as they engage. They jump from platform to platform – from Linkedin to YouTube to Facebook to Instagram. And they jump as fast from one brand to another. Relying on mere engagement is bound to be a disappointment. Think beyond engaging content to entangling your brand and your customers in ongoing, mutually rewarding experiences.
Update May 9, 2016
Entanglement with a Grey Goose
Grey Goose, the super-premium vodka famous for inventing imaginative cocktails, has created a marvelous dining experience for consumers. The fun launches this month in 20 worldwide hot spots – including The Cannes Film Festival, the U.S. Open in New York, the Hamptons, Ibiza and Marbella.
As reported in Beverage World, Grey Goose will be partnering with leading chefs to prepare brunch, lunch and dinner dishes worthy of the South of France. Consumers have the effect of being transported to the French Riviera via a secret entrance in a traditional French bakery.
Accompanying the delicious food, diners get to enjoy the latest refreshing Grey Goose liqueur Le Grand Fizz.
The venue for entangling the brand and the consumer is titled Grey Goose Boulangerie Bleue. Online buzz is being generated by the extraordinary nature of the experience provided at Boulangerie Bleue. Admission is by invitation only.
“How you connect with people these days is different than five years ago” commented Dan Leahy, the global content director for Johnnie Walker, in the N.Y. Times. “It’s a natural evolution from television being the primary one-way medium. The Internet allows more ways to participate.”
Mr. Leahy admires the 90-second Johnnie Walker commercial done as part of the classwork of two film school students in Germany. It’s been viewed more than four million times on YouTube.
The film about two Scotch-drinking brothers has more impact than the much ballyhooed Johnnie Walker ad campaign recently launched on an unprecedented scale in over 50 countries.
Applying an Entangled MarketingTM approach to create brand excitement is just beginning to take hold in the liquor category. Millennials are much more interested in experiencing a French bakery changing into a Riviera beach club than being bombarded with clever Grey Goose ads.
Soon the race will be on to see which liquor brand is smartest at going beyond engagement to do smart things together with users.
Update April 30, 2016
High Value of Entangled Returning Customers
The April issue of INC magazine offers an impressive picture of the huge benefit in keeping customers returning rather than seeing them slip away.
Drawing on such trusted sources as Harvard Business Review and Boston Consulting Group, the stats presented show what makes an entangled relationship so valuable.
On the average, only 8% of U.S. business customers are longstanding buyers. These returning customers account for a startling 41% of total U.S online revenue. All it takes is a 5% increase in customer retention at financial firms for a profit growth of 25% or more.
While it costs as little as $7 to market to an existing customer, finding a new customer can cost $34. Obviously, an investment in whatever it takes to entangle the first-time buyer in a permanent relationship is money well spent.
According to INC: “Keeping users is harder than it looks. Just getting a customer to come back to an app is never guaranteed – how many times have you downloaded one and never used it?” Reportedly, around 80% of people who download an app try it only once.”
One-time engagement is never enough to tie a tight knot between the brand and the consumer. Giving someone a compelling reason to make your product or service part of everyday life is the key to keeping her or him coming back.
DietBet (www.dietbet.com) is a recent start-up with a 35 to 40 percent repeat rate in a fiercely competitive $6 billion category.
The big idea is to bet on yourself to lose weight. You can enter a betting game that takes 4 weeks, 6 months or 12 months dependent on whether you want to lose a little or a lot. Each person puts money in the pot and enters a starting weight. There is an elaborate photo review process to prevent cheating. Forty-eight hours after the game ends results are made official. If you met your goal, you are one of the winners with a share of money in the pot.
You just got paid to lose weight. Lots of people want to be entangled in this web-enabled experience.
DietBet’s founder Jamie Rosen says the site has attracted more than 350,000 players with a combined weight loss of more than four million pounds. Those who reached their goal divided up $18 million. About a third of the dieters take away more than they put into the pot.
Winners often sign up again to reach a new goal. Most who fall short of their goal still lose some weight and try again.
Jamie Rosen’s motivational entanglement creates a novel weight loss experience. High-value customers return repeatedly to fatten his bottom-line.
Update April 9, 2016
Lowe’s Opens a Window on the Future
A good starting point for making your brand a permanent fixture in your customer’s life is a unique experience that was inconceivable without today’s digital technology.
That is precisely what Lowe’s is doing with the Holoroom, a virtual reality design tool that puts a person in the room of their dreams. First test marketed in Toronto stores back in 2014, the latest version of this sci-fi experience is rolling out to stores in the U.S. this month.
The immersive 3D technology reveals how Lowe’s products will look in a person’s home. Shoppers use Oculus Rift goggles for the virtual experience in the store and a Google Cardboard viewer is taken home to share what is screened with whoever you wish.
The Holoroom visualization allows customers to see the home improvement result before the project is ever begun. What can be a stressful procedure becomes a fun-filled experience. “It was like standing in my beautiful new kitchen” is a typical comment.
Lowe’s uses virtual reality technology to entangle shoppers in bringing their imagination to life.
The Holoroom concept was developed at a Lowe’s think-tank called Innovation Labs launched a few years ago. According to Executive Dirtector Kyly Nel, they use the power of science fiction narratives to create retailing adventures like no other. Tech-savvy partners bring the Labs’ visions to life.
Innovation Labs partnered with Fellow Robots in building a helpful robot that greets you when you enter the store. You can talk with OSHbot in English or Spanish. Ask where an item is located and the robot says “just follow me.”
Partnering with another company, Made in Space, Lowe’s is installing a commercial 3D printer in outer space at the International Space Station. Astronauts use the technology to create product parts they may not have on board. Lowe’s is the first retailer to have a presence in space.
Daring use of digital technology by Lowe’s is opening a window on the future. The brand and the customer get entangled in doing great things together. The pay-off is a Lowe’s advocate in a very long-lasting relationship.
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