Does this sound familiar? “Our company has trusted customers that have been buying from us for years.”
Like many brands, your company probably has several long-standing customers. These are your key product purchasers who you’ve gotten to know so well that you start to consider them as much a friend as a customer.
These are ideal business relationships built on trust and mutual benefit. But nothing lasts forever – especially in business – and this is where the importance of brand awareness comes into play.
Why Brand Awareness is Important for the Long Haul
Consider one of your key customers. Over time, it’s natural that your business has begun to rely on purchases from, let’s call him John. John calls you up when he needs something, and you chat for a moment before getting down to the details of the order he needs filled.
John has been your customer so long that he would never even consider going elsewhere to buy the widgets your business provides. But John has worked tirelessly for decades, and – one day – he calls you up to let you know that he’s finally ready to retire.
He tells you all about his plans to spend more time with his grandkids, and thanks you for all of your help over your numerous years of doing business together.
After you hang up, you’re a bit stunned, but genuinely happy for John and knew at some point this day would come. Then, reality begins to set in.
With John retiring…where does that leave your customers loyalty? You suddenly find yourself hoping John has time to pass on the value of your business relationship onto the next purchasing manager.
Will your new contact appreciate your commitment, or consider a few of your competitors that sell similar products?
Prepare Your Business for the “Tribal Knowledge” Drop-off
How can you be sure your brand’s next generation of customer is aware of you? The answer is somewhat simple: get to know them before they are in their new role.
With nearly 76 million people born between 1946 and 1964, the baby boomer generation currently has the largest population of eligible workers in the United States.
However, many baby boomers are also nearing retirement age, and that means there are plenty of people looking to transition from their roles as business executives to more relaxing things like traveling, vacationing, and (essentially) doing something other than buying from your company.
If we assume that many baby boomers began working after four years of college, that means each would have accumulated nearly FORTY YEARS of tribal knowledge.
When they step away from their careers, how much of this earned expertise is being passed on to the next generation?
For Example, Farming and Agriculture
According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), 99% of all American farms were still structured as family farms as recently as 2015.
So, as the children of the baby boomers (Generation X) grow older, they begin taking on more active and/or executive roles in the business.
They also tend to look at things that are “done this way because we’ve always done them this way” in a different light and often consider alternative methodology, upgrades in technology, and cost-saving measures.
For long-standing business relationships, change can come swiftly and decisively…and not always for the better.
Time is of the essence to have consistent, meaningful interactions with your current customers, as well as potential new ones.
How to Keep Getting Your Brand Noticed
The correlation between social media and brand awareness among the younger generations cannot be overstated.
According to Marketing Sherpa, 85% of U.S consumers are active social media users, but only 35% of those over the age of 55 actually follow brands on the social platforms they use.
This is a major contrast to the younger age bracket of 18 to 54-year-olds, of which 85% or more follow brands on social. These younger generations are those that will one day be buying from your company…some sooner than later.
To ensure that tribal knowledge is handed down from one generation to the next, specifically in regard to your brand, why not begin the process of relationship building now? This way, when the business baton is passed, they already know who you are.
Quick Marketing Tip – Instagram
That’s hardly a ghost town. Why? Instagram is a highly visual and engaging social media tool for reaching younger demographics, boasting a whopping 800 million active users.
Since we’re based in Wisconsin, let’s revisit agriculture as an illustration. In a recent search performed by our very own Bryan Giese, over 54,000 posts encompassed the hashtag: #dairyfarming.
That’s pretty substantial! And while Instagram may not necessarily lead to the direct sale of one of your products (although it might), what it will do is increase top-of-mind brand awareness and warm potential leads for your sales team to close down the road.
It’s all about communicating who you are and what you have to offer.
Interested in Learning More? Just Signal for Help!
Using Instagram to interact with future executives is just one of many ways to address generational brand awareness and knowledge gaps in your client base.
At Signalfire, we help brands determine the best strategy for their distinct companies/organizations. We call this being Guides and Outfitters.
Not two businesses are identical, so why would your marketing efforts be the same as anyone else’s? Let’s talk through your brand, competition, and state of your industry in order to come up with the best plan of attack for you – all over a cup of coffee.
It’s on us. Just tell us when and where.