Consumer behavior patterns can be fickle at times. Whether a brand is a household name or an unproven business that is still getting its feet wet in the marketplace, sales and marketing work hand-in-hand to address these patterns and demonstrate a promising return on investment for the entire organization.
Likewise, promoting brand awareness and educating potential clients and customers about the value your business has to offer is a must for your company to make it in the field. Below, 15 Forbes Business Development Council members share strategies that can change people’s perceptions about your specific products or services.
1. Understand The Customer’s Perception Before Trying To Change It
Perception is the co-pilot to reality. Business leaders need to understand how their existing and potential customers perceive their company and describe their products or services before they try to change customers’ perceptions. The journey to change customer behavior patterns starts with the company culture that prioritizes customer outcomes and incentivizes desired behavior through loyalty programs. – Tirtha Chavan, Salesforce
2. Prioritize The Customer’s Interests In Every Interaction
Prioritizing customers’ interests in every interaction will help build trust and differentiate your company as a true partner. Investing in the relationship without expecting immediate payback, helping create personal and professional wins for individuals you’re calling on and adding value during every interaction will make your company stand out from the competition. – Ray Makela, Sales Readiness Group
3. Give Customers A Trial Offer
One way to change customer behavior patterns and perceptions is to give them a trial offer. Let them try your product or service for free or at a discount. When people experience something good firsthand, they often change their minds. A good trial can show them why your brand is worth choosing and can change how they see and use your product. A free trial of a service also gives you deeper insight into how you can help them. – Michael Fritsch, Smarter Operations
4. Tailor Your Approach To Each Customer’s Specificity
A way to change customer behavior patterns is to show value and ROI—especially in 2023 when every dollar is scrutinized by more stakeholders and senior executives, delaying sales processes. A tailored approach to every customer’s specific context and use case is vital. In addition, a detailed understanding of customer pain points, challenges and ambitions becomes mandatory. – Alex Llorens, Contentsquare
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5. Demonstrate The Brand’s Positive Impact
Highlighting testimonials from happy customers, sharing a picture (because it’s worth a thousand words) and providing credible evidence of the positive impact of your product benefits on customers and society—along with a good marketing communication strategy—can go a long way. Consistent and personalized engagement of the customer is also necessary. – Folasade Femi-Lawal, FirstBank of Nigeria Ltd
6. Share Stories Consistently Through Authentic Engagement
One effective method to alter customer behavior patterns and perceptions regarding a brand is through consistent storytelling and authentic engagement. By sharing the brand’s values, and the positive impact it aims to create, we may resonate more deeply with our audience. Engaging with customers directly, through social media, fosters trust. This interaction can certainly shift perceptions. – Marek Niedzwiedz, aeXea Group
7. Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences By Leveraging AI
Finding ways to consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences (CX) across all of your channels is crucial to connecting and engaging with your customers. This can include building AI-powered chatbots that can quickly and accurately respond to a customer’s requests or route to an agent if needed. A positive CX can have a direct impact on a consumer’s brand perceptions. – Brian Hannon, TELUS International
8. Stay Committed To Addressing Your Customers’ Needs
A true perception change isn’t driven by words or strategies alone but by a deep commitment to adapting to our customers’ evolving needs. Our century-long journey has seen us transform from a leading lift truck company to a provider of intralogistics solutions through our extensive dealer network. Our pledge to purpose-driven innovation and growth has made us a customer-centric industry leader. – Jim O’Brien, The Raymond Corporation
9. Exceed Their Expectations
Today, it is all about the customer experience. We change perceptions with the unexpected reality that is repeated again and again. We are always looking to make the customer the center of our design and ensure that we exceed their expectations. – Julie Thomas, ValueSelling Associates
10. Highlight What Makes Your Brand Different
Research competitor value, then communicate an aspect of your product or service that is singular among peers in the market. Evangelizing your company’s differentiation not only moves customer perception but can also impact the way future products are developed. – Vijay Sundaram, Zoho Corporation
11. Envision Your Brand As A Person Not A Product
Envision your brand as a person—someone who listens, understands and truly cares. Personify empathy, listen deeply and care profoundly. Connect with customers on what matters to them. Build loyalty through heart-to-heart conversations, fostering meaningful interactions and cultivating sincere, respectful perceptions—becoming more than just a product. – Ashu Goel, WinWire
12. Implement Focused Group-Oriented Marketing
Implementing focused group-oriented marketing is key. After categorizing the market segments—based on the demography and geography—a field survey from the segments is the critical methodology for big data analysis for their product or service. An active voice in each segment would be essential to acknowledge better branding perceptions. This vivid interaction between the market to the BD team should be weighted. – Gyehyon Andrea Jo, MVLASF
13. Arm Your Biz Team With Valuable Industry Insights
We have worked to help all of our sales team members become industry consultants. We consistently arm them with valuable information and insights about the industry that they can use in the field. This has transformed our image from simply being a low-cost supplier to being a valued asset and resource for customers. Our people are our brand. When we elevate them, we elevate our brand. – Mark Clark, Modern Optical International
14. Gather Feedback Regularly From All Business Levels
Perception is one of the most important key drivers in customer acquisition. One way to ensure client and potential customer perception is aligned is to constantly gather feedback from all levels, including your team that interacts with them daily, and adjust as needed. This will help guide you through any needed changes. It may also unearth ways you’ve never thought of to improve your business. – Richard Lindhorn, VivoAquatics Inc.
15. Review Target Audience Research And Data
Changing customer behavior patterns requires enhanced customer experiences that are personalized and relevant. To this end, focus on backend research and data collection to learn about your target audience. Create a meaningful brand interaction that leaves a positive, emotional mark. If done correctly, it will be difficult for consumers not to react positively to your product or service. – Scotty Elliott, AmeriLife