Originally posted at: ZuberRants

Forget Aspiration in the years ahead… the new challenge is to give customers INSPIRATION for your brands and products.

I’m not suggesting we throw away our sales and marketing goals (aspirations), just that we give more value to the concept of INSPIRING our customers as a valid marketing tactic.

If your organization’s internal focus is on easily-measurable metrics, that’s the message that will leak out to your customers – that each customer is just another number toward your goals. If your focus is instead on INSPIRING your customers, they will feel that difference and want to engage with your brand and your products.

I state this as a challenge because it is not easy to inspire someone, especially when the digital atmosphere is overloaded with competing messages now that brands can so easily share their messages through social media. Your brand needs differentiators now more than ever, but if you can INSPIRE your customers, you will get – and keep — their attention.

Inspiration doesn’t just happen, and is even more of a challenge because it requires a different focus and skill set than most metrics-based achievements do. In order to inspire your customers, you need to provide the following:

1. Authentic relationship. You can’t assume that just because you have a good product your customers will be excited about it. Inspiring your customers requires your ongoing enthusiasm and creativity, but even more importantly, your attention and interaction with them around what they want and expect from your brand.
2. A fantastic customer experience. You need to have a great product and fantastic customer service and use social media to actually engage with your customers. Customers can afford to be picky, so you can’t afford to give them anything less than a fantastic experience.
3. Trust. Trust happens when you do exactly what you say you will do, and when all messages and actions and conversations associated with your brand are consistent, timely, and genuine. Without trust, your customers won’t have confidence in your product or your brand.

So why put all this effort into inspiring your customers? Because inspiration naturally wants to be shared … so inspired customers make powerful brand advocates. They are the customers who want that experience again, and can’t wait to tell their entire social network about it.

Take the INSPIRATION CHALLENGE – your customers will love you for it!

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