What is influence? And why is it important?
The word influence has lost its meaning over the last 8 – 10 years with the rise of social media and yet there is nothing more important for your brand to have.
It’s the power you have over your consumers. The more you have, the more people will buy from you, more often.
It’s about trust.
It’s not about girls in bikinis on Instagram.
I’m talking about brands like Apple. It could launch a car tomorrow and we would probably all buy it because we trust the brand.
In positive news, if you’re winning on influence, you can spend less on advertising.
After all, they say that advertising is the price you pay for having a shit product.
I’ve spent a decade studying influential brands and there are three things that they all have in common and do incredibly well. They are:
You need to be seen and heard by the right people, in the right place, at the right time, with the right messaging. The brands that excel at this understand where consumers are playing and know when they will be considering a purchase. They then target their messages accordingly.
No brand can survive without marketing but it doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s about using creativity to stand out; not relying on big budgets to do the work for you.
Most brands transact and that’s that. To win at the brand game, you need to build an ongoing relationship so that the customer becomes part of your brand family, and become an advocate for you for life. In order to do that, you need to know if they’re buying from you for one day, like a wedding brand, or if they’re going to be transacting with you regularly, like Zoom. Once you know this, you can build your customer experience around that insight.
There’s always a way to have a relationship with your customers, and all businesses can win on repeat business and referrals if they heap love on their customers while the relationship is still hot.
Innovation is all about bringing new products and services to the market. The Big Four – Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon – all do this incredibly well. Innovation needs to be addressing a human need and targeted to consumer trends and how our behaviour is changing.
Everyone can innovate. It’s about finding something of value that no-one else is doing – and doing it well.
If you’re working on building a business, influence needs to be your number one goal.