If you’re in the branding business, there are a few certainties in life (thankfully).
One is, being a market leader today does not guarantee so tomorrow. The barriers to entry for market disruption have never been lower.
Secondly, the best chance of gaining or maintaining leadership is ensuring your brand is relevant to your changing customer’s needs.
Part of the complexity of doing so is the visibility customers have across entire supply chains giving them more choice and greater decision-making power and putting you under more scrutiny to deliver relevant and sustainable products.
So, how do we influence behaviours beyond sheer consumption? We must be relevant to needs, and relevance is formed along three dimensions – presence, affinity, and trust.
You must be part of the conversation surrounding the topics they’re interested in.
You must proactively take a stance that you share on issues they care about.
You can only earn trust with actions, not passively responding to the status quo.
The challenge with relevance is listening to customers and allowing them to participate in your business decisions by telling you what they need. For many brands, this is a challenge.
We’re largely familiar with the staple B2C, B2B, and B2B2C models, which have long been the dominant terms in business and marketing textbooks. These models rely on businesses telling their customers (or consumers) what they need.
It’s all the wrong way around!
A Consumer to Business For Better model (C2B4B) starts with consumers and adapts the business to the needs of consumers. When we start with the consumer and bring that need through the entire supply chain, we create visible relevance across the value chain. This, in turn, creates an affinity and, ultimately, trust.
This all sounds ‘higher than thou’ – how is that applied in real life? Well, it comes down to how you engage with your customers.
For example, here at Magic Pencil, we’re big fans of Lego. We didn’t think that a love of Lego would get us rethinking how we set up our clients for success. Those little bricks have some brand smarts too.
Lego Ideas is a platform where consumers can submit their designs for Lego sets. If a design receives 10,000 votes from the Lego community, it is reviewed by the company’s design team and could be turned into an actual Lego set.
So that’s the customer-to-business bit – what about ‘4 Better’.
The model allowed them to gain better insights into their customer’s needs and preferences, which can help them create better products and services and steer where to establish strategic partnerships – who doesn’t love some Star Wars Lego!
Ultimately listening and responding to needs helps businesses build better relationships with their customers by involving them in the design and development process.
For the consumers, the C2B4B model offers a more personalised experience and the opportunity to have a say in the products and services they use and tell brands what they care about and where they want to see brands doing better.
Simply the C2B4B model allows a brand to create a better business that meets the needs and preferences of its customers.
This is how we run our business – everything we do starts with understanding the needs of our customers. We adapt our business to best respond to those needs joining forces with expert independent partners, giving our customers the best experience possible.
Looking to shape your brand to your customer’s needs?