The following strategies are changing the way companies design products and services, interact with customers and are managed internally. Don’t miss them if you want to make a difference.
To allow customers to adapt a product or service to their tastes and needs. Customization can be a feature intended by the company (for example, choosing between different options), or it may be a product modification conducted by the customer, with the consent of the company. The company gives the customer some control over the product.
An example of a company that applies customization is Local Motors, an automotive manufacturing company that enables customers to participate in the design and production process.
Companies communicate openly with the customer and expose their activity. In this way, customers know what products are used, what is the manufacturing process and are informed of any event or incident. This strategy aims to build trust.
An example of a company that uses transparency is MacDonald’s Canada, with the campaign “Our food, your questions“, where MacDonald’s answers the customers’ questions about their products, in order to mitigate its fast food image.
03. Content Marketing
The use of social networks, especially blogs, to share valuable information with the customer. This information can be presented in different formats, as articles, news from the company and customer support. The goal of content marketing is to obtain customer loyalty through reputation and prestige.
An example of a company that applies content marketing is Pinterest, whose blog is used to share best practices, communicate news and explain how to make the most of their services.
Implementation of the three basic principles of design (functionality, aesthetics and user experience) to all the activities and products of the company. Apple is a prime example of this business strategy, applying design to their products, packaging, store customer service, website and presentations.
Integration of a product or service with products and services offered by other companies, allowing customers to manage everything from a single place. The aim is to enhance the product and service and getting closer to the customer.
Integration is a very common strategy in Internet companies. An example is Box, an online storage platform integrated with Microsoft Word and Google Drive. The integration with social networks to share content is also very common.
Outside of the Internet, an example of integration can be found in the German soccer league, where the ticket to see a match can also be used as a transport ticket to move to the stadium.
06. Continuous Improvement
Continuous improvement may comprise the regular offer of new products and services, the implementation of new features and benefits and ongoing improvements in the performance and efficiency of existing products.
An example of a company that applies continuous improvement is LinkedIn. Unexpectedly, you may find that your professional profile or your company page can include new information, images or videos, being thus more interesting and appealing.
07. Social business
Social business are those companies that allow customers to communicate with each other, creating a community. The most typical examples are Twitter and Pinterest. The proof that this strategy is becoming increasingly important is that LinkedIn has begun to apply it, allowing users to mention other users.
An example of a company that is moving to social is Paper, a drawing app for iPad, which includes the possibility to share drawings with other users.
08. User Experience
To sell an experience instead of a product or service to attract customers. This strategy responds to the fact that the customer wants to feel special when buying, owning and using a product, taking for granted the quality.
An example of application of this strategy can be found in Drexel University, through their site Get Going, whose aim is to offer a lifestyle, although, implicitly, they are selling a title. Nespresso and Apple also apply this strategy through its stores, creating a luxury experience.
To actively contribute to the social, economic and environmental improvement. Beyond its positive impact, responsibility is a marketing strategy, given that neglecting this aspect can generate a large rejection from customers.
An example of a company that applies this strategy is Nespresso, protecting the quality of life for coffee growers and communities through its sustainable quality program.
10. Group leadership
Organizational strategy based on reducing internal hierarchies to encourage employees’ innovation and loyalty. The number of executives is reduced to enable all members of the organization to work collaboratively, providing their expertise and skills.
An example of a company that uses this strategy is W.L. Gore & Associates, an American manufacturing company specializing in products derived from fluoropolymers, repeatedly named as one of Fortune’s 100 best companies to work.