For some businesses, 2020 was a terrible year. But other companies were able to thrive in a changed marketplace fueled by online demand.
2021 has seen a slow return to some semblance of normalcy, which means that many mid-sized businesses are looking for ways to either reverse the setbacks of the previous year and re-grow their market or continue to build on the successes they’ve enjoyed.
How can your company close out the year on a high note and continue to expand and succeed well into 2022? Here are a few areas of focus that will help you to create winning growth strategies moving forward.
Increasing Customer Retention
With so many opportunities to shop in-store and online these days, consumers have no shortage of options for goods and services. While there are always going to be certain consumers that flit from one brand to the next, most buyers will gravitate toward the familiar — unless you give them a reason not to, that is.
Increasing customer retention starts by providing superior products or services, but it also requires companies to create positive and engaging experiences. Customers today want to be wooed, and this goes way beyond a “customer is always right” mentality.
Offering added value could come by designing a customer loyalty program, publishing original online content like how-to articles, or encouraging brand interactions via social media contests or challenges, for example.
You also want to follow up on sales, recommend products customers might like based on their shopping history, and provide exceptional customer service at every turn.
The long and short of it? You need to give customers every reason to return instead of looking elsewhere.
When you understand what consumers want and how to woo them, you can increase retention along with your brand reputation and referrals, fueling growth.
Offering New Products and Services
Sometimes, expanding your business requires diversification of the products or services you offer. You’ll want to create new offers that not only speak to your current consumer base but also draw in new customers.
A bagel shop, for example, might be known for breakfast, but by offering pre-packaged boxed lunches to go, they stand to increase purchasing potential and open a market for people seeking food for picnics, school lunches or field trips, corporate meetings, and more. This simple tactic has the potential to double sales by bringing in a lunch crowd.
Granted, this example relies on repurposing an existing product, but any time you can offer something new and increase the value of a product without spending a dime, you’re making a good business decision.
Investing in Creative Marketing Strategies
Satisfied customers can act as brand ambassadors to a degree, referring family and friends and writing online reviews that encourage others to give your company a try. However, this is not an entirely reliable source of growth.
This is why marketing is so important when it comes to reaching a new audience and convincing them to choose you over competitors. Your campaigns should be designed to grab attention and compel action, without the hard sales tactics that tend to repel consumers.
If you want to stand out, there are several ways to get creative with your marketing. You can personalize the message to your audience, showing that you understand their problems and you’re ready to solve them.
You can launch a campaign designed to let the customer do the talking for you, calling on satisfied consumers to participate – after all, consumer reviews tend to be more trustworthy than traditional advertising.
You might also turn to influencers to promote your brand to their audience as a trusted source. You could even play on a rivalry with another brand, like Burger King did when they launched an ordering app and advertised one-cent Whoppers for anyone ordering within 600 feet of a McDonald’s location.
Expanding into New Markets with Proven Growth Potential
If you see competitors succeeding in other markets, there’s no reason you can’t use the same tactics to grow your own business. It can be risky if you don’t plan and prepare accordingly, but when it’s been done before, all you have to do is find a way to do it better.
Focus on Differentiation
You don’t necessarily have to fall into a small niche to grow your mid-sized company – leave that to small and boutique businesses.
However, you do have to differentiate if you want to stand out from your competitors. If your products and services are similar to others in the space, focus on what makes your company unique – your inclusive culture, diverse staff, superior delivery, or outstanding customer service and support, for example.
When you set your sights on increasing customer retention, expanding your product/service lineup, marketing creatively, breaching new markets, and differentiating from competitors, you have the best opportunity to grow your brand and take your mid-sized company to the next level.
Looking for additional tactics to drive growth within your business? We’d love to chat. Connect with Todd to learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org