The NOW Gen

Business

Brands

Advantages of Consumer Relationships

The relationship with your customers is a topic that’s been getting more attention in recent years, and for good reason. Developing strong customer relationships can lead to increased customer loyalty, better customer engagement rates, and higher sales numbers. This article will explore some of the most important benefits of consumer relationships and how they can help your business grow by improving your relationship with customers.

Having a relationship with your consumers is the best way to grow a community for your brand. This is something that the NOW Generation values. Having a community where consumers can interact with each other and brand ambassadors or representatives. The benefits for customers of developing relationships with brands include customer loyalty, better customer service, and positive word-of-mouth promotion. Plus getting to know your segment on a deeper level.  

As a business owner, you know that customer service is crucial to your success. It’s important for you and your team members to be able to provide the best possible service in order for consumers to want to do business with you again. With customer relationship management (CRM), however, it’s easier than ever before for customers and businesses alike to interact with each other in ways that were never possible before.

According to Forbes, CRM’s core function is to collect data that helps businesses understand and communicate with customers. This basic management tool can open pathways to having great relationships with your consumers, and learning about them and how they connect with your brand. Besides increasing business profits. 

It’s important to consider the benefits of CRM in terms of a company’s bottom line. The most obvious benefit is increased brand loyalty, which in turn leads to more positive word-of-mouth promotion and brand awareness. Some companies estimate that customer retention rates can increase by 25% when they implement a CRM strategy.

In addition, having an extended relationship with customers can help you better understand their needs and wants as well as their preferences for products and services, allowing you to better cater to them in the future. When you have a consumer relationship, they’re more likely to stay with your brand and recommend it to others. This is because they feel like they’re part of a community that shares the same values as them. 

According to a recent study on customer expectations, 79% of consumers consider personalized service more important than marketing. Consumers want to be known and treated like so. Especially if we look at minority groups we can find that a feeling of belonging allows consumers to become loyal to a brand. 

When consumers are loyal to a brand, they can make it easier for you by buying from you again in the future. They’ll also be more willing to refer your product or service to others who may need what you have.

Engagement is a two-way street. Customers need to feel like they are being heard, and businesses need to make sure that their customers feel valued. When customers know they’re being listened to, they are more likely to make repeat purchases and recommend the brand. 

In addition to this effect on sales and loyalty-building efforts, engaging with your customer base also has other benefits such as increased employee engagement (for example by sharing positive feedback).

The bottom line is that customer relationships are beneficial to both customers and businesses. Businesses can improve their marketing and sales efforts by engaging with their customers, while customers will receive better service and personalized offers in return.

Blog

Globalization, New Challenges for Brands

Globalization is not a new trend, but it remains relevant because of its impact on the way businesses and consumers interact with each other. Globalization has been present around the globe for a long time, and many brands strive to use it to their advantage. 

Making your brand global is not an easy task. While many successful brands have been able to become globally recognized, the process is not easy, and it doesn’t come without challenges. 

Besides these challenges, the new globalization is here. The fourth industrial revolution, geopolitics, and the escalating effects of climate change are the three primary forces propelling a new chapter in the history of globalization. 

According to an expert panel held by The Drum, these three things have all happened in the past, just not at the same time. As a result, companies are now figuring out strategies, markets, and how they position themselves. 

With the new globalization comes the need for speed. This makes sense because the NOW generation is all for instant gratification, and when it comes to growing a brand in a global market, how fast can it approach new consumers on a local scale.

Digitalization is also taking a big part in this new era of globalization. With the numerous products available to your market, brand culture, lifestyle, and behavior habits are the most helpful in reaching your consumers.

From a consumer point of view, depending on where they live,  people worldwide consume the same products. However, through social and mass media, people find similarities between their consumption habits and those of people on the other side of the globe. This is called glocalization. 

Glocalization is the ability to penetrate various global markets while meeting the needs of each local geography. Even though it is not a new concept, not all businesses with global aspirations have mastered the art of glocalization. Therefore, companies must excel at integrating local resources, modifying procedures, and implementing global technologies to create effective glocalization strategies.

Entrepreneur India shared in an article the importance of acclimating brands to global growth. According to their article, success at glocalization comes from being sensitive to local culture, social norms, and consumer habits. Basically adapting to the area where your brand is arriving.

Even major brands have struggled to bring their business to a new location. “One size fits all” doesn’t apply in globalization. Brands need to consider that the need for their product in different places may not be the same. 

This may be accomplished; many companies have successfully arrived in new markets and tropicalized their brand to the local market. For example, big food chain brands have noticed that just bringing products they already sell and not incorporating anything local to their menus is not as successful as adding an item with a local taste for the consumer. This is how you can glocalize your business.

Another way businesses can adapt to a new culture is by hiring local professionals. Local associations within your company will help your brand access specific insight on a microeconomic scale while remaining globally relevant. This is a big step because once you know the culture, you can find better ways to approach the consumer and provide them with what they need.

Globalization is not about completely changing your brand but about being flexible and willing to adapt to your consumer’s culture. The need to grow is a constant in the current global business environment. However, growth in a globalized world would not be possible without learning from the NOW generation.

Business

The Digital Gig Economy is on the Rise

As the world continues to change, so does the way we work. Noncontractual, short-term, and task-based work is not new, but it has increased in the past few years. For example, many workplaces transformed their operations into a virtual collaboration space during the pandemic. This was a completely new practice and not an easy transition for many. But, at the same time, others with experience in digital gigs found it easy and a great way to keep the economy moving.

The digital gig economy is a clear example of globalization, and its main perk is how it connects companies with qualified talent worldwide. It is growing bigger by the day, and many Americans are turning to it as an alternative to full-time work. In addition, after the COVID-19 pandemic, many job seekers will likely turn to it to get by.

In no way is the gig economy a new practice; its first growth spurt was after the Great Recession. So while many believe it will soon fade away, it has proved to be here to stay and has even evolved into a more digital pathway.

The emergence of the digital gig or platform economy is one of the essential new transformations in the world of work. According to the International Labor Organization, there are two main types of platforms for the digital gig economy: web-based platforms and location-based applications. “An important component of the platform economy is digital labor platforms which include both web-based platforms … and location-based applications (apps).”

The main difference between these two is the kinds of jobs they require. For outsourcing or web-based platforms, the desired results are most likely to be digital products, for example, briefs, creative goods, audiovisual resources, etc., making it easy for people from all over the world to be connected and work together on these digital platforms. 

On the other hand, for location-based gigs, digital platforms are the channel of communication between consumer and provider, for example, deliveries, running errands, etc. In this case, the digital platform allows uncontracted service providers to earn a living while making their own schedule and only working as much as they need. 

A more digital gig economy is an asset that benefits employees and employers equally. For example, job satisfaction, flexibility, remote work, and professional work are a few positive results of this form of work. However, if we look at these benefits, we can find many reasons for the digital gig not going anywhere. 

According to a case study by Brodmin, most gig economy workers are satisfied with their work. “Based on numerous research and publications, there is a general consensus that people who decide to freelance full-time are quite satisfied with the change as well as with their new careers and lifestyle.”

In the last few years, we have seen growth in the freelance worker population, and the flexibility of working remotely is one of the leading causes of this increase. In addition, being able to provide work to someone in a different part of the world, and on the other side, being able to work for a company in a separate geographical area is enticing.

Flexibility has been mentioned multiple times already in this article, and it seems to be with great reason. For example, in their book “Work in the Age of Data,” BBVA’s OpenMind, mentions that flexibility is one of the primary desires of workers because they can obtain professional work from talented collaborators from all over the world while offering a flexible work schedules, pay, or even a flexible workflow. For the Now generation, this is an opportunity to connect with companies and collaborators from around the globe, which encompasses globalization. 

The digital gig economy is on the rise. We believe it will continue to grow and benefit many different markets because of the needs of The NOW Generation. Digital gigs are the perfect way to allow younger generations to work using their talent and skills from anywhere they might be, plus giving them the freedom to grow and explore different ways of experiencing life while working.

Brands

How to gather first-party data in a cookieless world

Twenty-five years ago, a magic tool called cookies that changed digital advertising was born.

Thanks to them, marketers could identify, build a profile based on interactions, and activate engagement through a series of messages. Cookies were also helpful for insight and brand impact. Relying on them seemed like a perfect strategy for gaining customers’ data, but these good old days are over now. The end of cookies is coming in 2022, and brands need to build trust and create unique experiences for their users to gather relevant data organically and under their consent.

As challenging and uncertain as this sounds for the industry, we are on the verge of a new year, and it’s the perfect time for brands to reassess their strategies, let go of depending on one third-party resource for data and strengthen their client relationships. 

Try inbound.

The numbers are here, 94% of customers leave and unfollow brands when they see irrelevant promotions and messages; nevertheless, 93% will buy again at companies if they find a remarkable service, 77% will recommend their experience on socials and reviews. So, to get positive numbers rolling in your marketing strategy and gather first-party data, inbound can be the answer. 

Inbound is a philosophy based on helping people and building relationships with them by guiding them throughout their journey. An inbound practice is built under three pillars (attract, engage, delight). It can be adapted into your funnel into many techniques, such as offering educational and resourceful content that consumers can use or creating platforms or bots to provide excellent customer service for people. Positive inbound can lead to a share of data under the user’s consent, so it’s essential to keep in mind to be as human as possible in your strategy, be empathetic with users through mindful research, have a constant conversation with customers and standardize your communication for consistency.

Trust influencer marketing

Today, shoppers live on social media an average of 144 minutes a day. They enjoy browsing, discovering, and purchasing from an ad or influencers. 

50% of Gen Z shops after seeing an influencer recommendation because they bring a deep sense of connection, and credibility to their audience. Investing in influencer marketing creates a bridge to purchase, so try having them not only for awareness but also across your customer journey and providing them with call-to-actions to direct their users to your shopping basket and gather first-party data. 

If you have a problem picking which influencers are the right ones, try including AI in your practices. Machine learning can help identify content in a way humans can’t, monitor each influencer activity, and help you optimize your budget. 

Give them control. 

Don’t think that you will no longer cooperate with Google or Facebook; they accommodate your objectives, so it’s essential to learn to work with them efficiently. Find strategies that can help gather email addresses and even phone numbers. These data can be shared within these platforms and help create a custom audience within these first-party data ecosystems. Design a Customer Data Platform or Data Management, or acquire them from a vendor and offer ethical, reliable customer-centric experiences that empower users and give them control over their data. 

The road for marketers is still under construction, with many challenges ahead. It’s essential that during these changes, such as the elimination of cookies, you can count on a partner that can make your strategies become a reality in a cost-efficient manner. AT 121, thanks to our Speed Philosophy, we can work with our clients and deliver projects in record time without compromising their budgets. So give us a call, and together we will find the right strategy and tools to make you shine across your 2022 marketing journey. 

Brands

The importance of a solid brand’s purpose

Brand purpose is vital because it demonstrates to your customers that you are more than your products, services, or advertising efforts. You have a goal that is larger than merely making a profit. A new generation of customers wants businesses to stand for something broader than the items they sell. They want businesses to represent an inspirational ethos, have a strong point of view, and take action to influence the world positively. So check out if your brand has the guidelines to earn a check on the purpose section.

Examine your own brand’s purpose as well as the brand you represent

A brand mission is a brand’s reason for existence other than to make money. It’s the ‘Why?’ behind the brand, the spirit of your company — it connects with customers on an emotional level via shared ideals, solved challenges, and distilled meaning. It propels business, helps individuals, and improves society: Is your brand’s motivation for a purpose other than to make money?

Think of your brand purpose manifests itself positively in the eyes of others? Is it capable of fostering emotional attachments and connections? After all, we are all in the same boat, so ask yourself if your brand is improving business, people, and society; most importantly, how do these responses relate to your company’s or product’s brand?

Difference between brand purpose and brand vision, mission, and values

So far, we’ve discussed the brand purpose, but it’s equally critical to define what a brand’s mission isn’t. Your brand’s purpose is not the same as its vision, mission, or values. They are interconnected; each builds on the other. However, if your brand’s vision, mission, and values are the building bricks, consider your brand’s purpose of being the foundation.

Where you are heading is defined by your brand vision. Your mission will determine how you will get there. And your values will determine how you act along the way. They are all inward-looking. They represent you when discussing your brand. They are crucial to identify, but none are as potent as your purpose.

Your purpose—or Big Audacious Meaning—is the overarching explanation for why you do what you do. It should be placed above the vision, purpose, and values to educate and guide them. It is priceless because it is outward-looking, defining the change you will make in a person’s life, a community, or perhaps the planet. Clarifying your mission helps consumers understand how your brand benefits them and their world.

Purpose that sells

The concept of brand purpose is especially crucial when marketing to millennials, who favor businesses that generate social and environmental change, according to 71% of them. A groundbreaking global study analyzing the value of brands with a well-defined “Purpose” shows that consumers are four to six times more likely to buy from those brands, as a Forbes article reveals.

In many circumstances, the contemporary customer is seeking a relationship rather than a product. They do not need to be sold; instead, they must be inspired. What emotions does the brand elicit in them? Is it consistent with their fundamental values and beliefs? As consumers’ interests shift, marketers must interact with social audiences deeper, more personal level than ever before.

To build a strong relationship with your brand, you can apply Keller’s brand equity model and boost your brand’s equity. This tool outlines four actions you can take to create and manage a brand that your consumers will support. Overall Purpose-Driven Marketing is at the core of a previous strategy to achieve more significant customer connections.

At 121, we aim to help you achieve your brand’s objective, not to compete against your creative, strategic, or In-House agencies. We adapt and implement your global campaigns to suit and comply with your outlets’ requirements while also aligned with your brand’s equity and helping you build a clear purpose.

From Social & E-comm content, graphic design, digital implementation to integrated production, 121 will work with you to grow your brand while giving you peace of mind. We genuinely believe that we can play a significant role in your success, for us, the Fastest day-to-day Design and Content Studio for many global Fortune 500 companies.

Business

The future of E-Commerce after the vaccine

2020 was sure a year to remember, not only because the pandemic hit us worldwide, but also because it was a year of transformation. We were forced to stop and take a step back. We started reflecting on what is important to us and realizing that nothing was going to be the same as before. 

Behaviors changed for everyone. We moved from eating out to cooking at home, from partying, to enjoying quality family time and from rushing to the nearest store, to buying online. And we see this behavioral shift in a booming 10 year growth in E-commerce happening in just 90 days.

Nevertheless, vaccination is becoming available, and brick and mortar shopping is, little by little, plunging back to normal, so how are these changes going to affect E-Commerce? Is E-Commerce on the verge of an exponential decrease? 

Not quite. 

COVID-19 has undoubtedly left us with a growing desire to escape from our homes, but we are still wary on doing activities we used to do before, and one of those activities is going to an in-store shopping. 

Due to the safety and convenience E-commerce brings to the table, it is becoming a default activity in our daily lives. In a research done in the UK market, 42% of people surveyed said that they will continue to shop online more frequently, even after the outbreak is over. It’s considered that this behavior will persist, but not to the same degree as last year, and all of this depends on the customer satisfaction with the E-Shopping experience. 

With new opportunities come new responsibilities. 

More and more E-shoppers are appearing every day, meaning there’s a new window for opportunities, as well as challenges that force E-shops to innovate and create better solutions for not only attracting new customers, but to keep the existing ones loyal. It’s crucial for companies to implement strategies that will retain their clients and stay relevant in its growing E-commerce competitive market. 

Time for uniqueness. 

E-Commerce companies have to be on the lookout of solutions that match the needs of immediacy, simplicity and convenience to their customers. Nowadays, people have the total control of their shopping and are continuously looking for E-shops that will fulfill their expectations, so it’s up to the companies to keep up with them. 

Build a robust omnichannel customer experience: – More and more people are turning to mobile shopping. Having your site responsive is a must if you don’t want customers to leave (if a site takes more than 5 seconds, the bounce rates will increase at 22.2%). Cultivate direct shopper relationships in every touchpoint, be active in social media with relevant content, have a quick response when help is needed and a quick checkout process are also effective ways to create retention. 

Loyalty programs at its best: – When it comes to E-shop, 75% of customers will only buy once in the same online store, so having a loyalty program is very important if we want people to come back. From creating a point or referrals system like Sephora, to free delivery and special offers, there are so many ways you can create an original top-of-the-line program in your E-Commerce sites that will keep customers happy and loyal. 

Everything has changed, but we are still optimistic that by giving you solutions such as content and fast up-to-date optimizations for your E-Commerce, we will make sure that your customers have a strong, trustworthy relationship with your company that will perdure in time, even when that time is hard.