Customers Talk when Brands Listen Event – Jakarta, 2016
By Kurt Thompson · 17 November 2016 · 3 minute read
As we come to terms with the huge surprise of Donald Trump becoming the 45th President of the United States it seems only apt to begin this piece with a quote from one of his predecessors. The 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, once said “It takes a great man to be a good listener.” Well, we couldn’t agree more and in turn we believe that in order to be great, a brand needs to be a good listener too. With this in mind ABN Impact and Vision Critical recently hosted a high tea event in Jakarta where clients heard how leading brands use insight communities to listen, engage and learn from customers. As the proof of the pudding is in the eating we also heard from insight community members in person as to what it actually means to them to be listened to.
Noel Jelsma, Vice President Sales, South East Asia of Vision Critical commenced proceedings by discussing how customers are the most important people to any business and that continuous engagement with ongoing and meaningful two-way conversations builds relationships and in turn increases brand loyalty. Customers are more loyal to brands they’re invested in, personally and emotionally. And they spend more than twice as much as average customers on the brands they are loyal to.
And did you know that it can be seven times more expensive to find a new customer than it is to retain one?
The key to all this though is that the conversations must indeed be two-way and brands need to acknowledge and actually do something with what their customers are saying to them, i.e. they must prove they are really (really) listening.
So how do real brands that are using insight communities to listen and engage with their customers benefit from these conversations? Midea, the world’s No. 1 home appliance manufacturer, has a solid base in China but is mainly operated as an OEM business elsewhere. Their vision is to become a real force in overseas markets and it uses its Insight Community in Indonesia to understand customer lifestyles, needs and attitudes so it can develop products that meet and surpass customer needs and expectations. Jodie Wang, Head of Consumer & Market Insights believes “this community is not merely a window to reach out to crowds, but truly an exciting means for a new brand to engage consumers.”
But what do customers themselves think? We invited a group of Midea Community members to join us to share their experiences. Hearing, in their own words, why members felt compelled to join a community in the first place and then how their relationship with brand has developed as a result of being listened to by the brand brings us full circle as to how important it is to a business to properly and effectively engage with their customers:
Why did you join the community? “Initially because I was curious, but upon participating in several activities, such as the recent forum and the earlier surveys I’ve become interested in the range of products Midea creates. I’ve come to learn about new technology, quality and also been informed on the market price of certain products. Participating in activities is not only a one-way thing, but an opportunity for me to learn and contribute.”
What do you think about Midea now? “I want Midea to be a competitive brand and I want it to succeed because it’s a brand I’ve become associated with through participation in their research activities. I want my opinions to make a positive difference to the brand and its products.”