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January 31, 2017
It’s Also Important to Know What Customers Don’t Want
Agencies and clients spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out what their current and prospective customers want. However, it’s just as important to invest in determining what customers don’t want. That way, brands can best deliver products and services that are most relevant to their target audience.
So how would you go about figuring out what consumers don’t want? Here are a few suggestions:
  • Ask them – via online survey, focus group, while actually interacting with your brand
  • Talk to your frontline employees about customers’ needs and wants
  • Document and track patterns in customer complaints
  • Review consumer commentary on your social media channels
  • Study your competitors’ marketing materials (websites, social outlets, product packaging, etc.)
  • Test different offerings to see which ones customers like and dislike

By understanding the motivations for what might encourage people NOT to buy from you, or not to buy from you AGAIN, you can develop a better brand experience. These insights might inform your product design and features, packaging decisions, service selections, website content, advertising messages, social media posts, employee training protocol, and so much more.
So the next time you set out to do consumer research, you may want to keep the following dichotomies in mind when trying to gather insights into your customers. It’s worth noting that you should do research like this on those that are you best customers — not just anyone that has purchased your brand once. By understanding your best customers’ un-wants, you will be better able to acquire more people like them.
Here are a few contrasting psychographic traits that you may want to evaluate for your loyalists to determine what they don’t want from your brand:
  • Embrace change vs. despise change
  • Regular communication vs. no communication
  • Planner vs. spontaneous
  • Hugs vs. head nods
  • Enjoy surprises vs. abhor surprises
  • Simple vs. complex
  • Leader vs. follower
  • Recognition vs. anonymity
  • Risk it all vs. play it safe
  • Stand out vs. blend in

Taking the time to learn about what makes your customers happy AND unhappy could lead to a stronger relationship with your brand.

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Emily K. Howarda marketing strategist since 1997, developed her skills at some of the country’s top marketing firms including DDB Worldwide, while working on brands like American Airlines, Pepsi, Bloomberg and Merck. Now as Vice President of Esparza, Emily’s integrated communications approach helps clients find order in marketing chaos. She’d love to hear from you and can be found on LinkedIn or @ekhoward on Twitter.
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