When it comes to branding, one thing is integral to success: what your customers think. With the rise of the Internet of Things and easier access to your customer base, it should be simple to glean the information needed in order to meet customer expectations. However, many brands do not use the consumer data they’re able to access.

Here are five ways to take what your customers say and utilize it to build your brand:

  1. Listen to them

OK, this might seem obvious, but it’s important: Your customers want you to know how you can improve (especially if you’re doing it wrong). Take a look at the conversations that are happening online about your brand. Do you see a common thread? If you see it online, there is a substantial likelihood that people offline are saying the same thing. By picking up on these clues, whether it’s on the computer or the street, you can adjust your brand to meet and exceed your customer’s expectations.

  1. Align your brand

If you’re marketing your new cartoon character bubblegum to 70 year-olds … well… you might be missing the mark a wee bit. Yes, that’s a bit of an extreme case, but it can be a reality for many brands. The other issue is perhaps the market has changed around you; maybe your product used to appeal to 40 year-olds but now appeals to 20 year-olds. It’s imperative to study the analytics of your business to keep yourself relevant. Failure to do so could see you losing valuable business to your competitors.

  1. Follow them

Watch your customers journey from the moment they search for your project until after purchase, and you’ll get a valuable insight into any hurdles or pain points they encountered along the way, as well as what motivated them to buy (or not buy). This information can help you make adjustments to your sales, marketing, and customer service departments, so they can better meet your consumer’s needs.

  1. Talk to Them

There was a time when you couldn’t walk through a shopping mall without encountering a person with a clipboard asking you to participate in a focus group. The reason: it worked. And it still does. Giving your customers the opportunity to participate in surveys and market research provides you with answers on what consumers think of your brand and how you can make changes to help motivate them towards a purchase of your product or service.

  1. Take a Walk in their Shoes

What your customers go online or walk into a store, what do they see? The best way to find out is to take that tour yourself. By personally immersing yourself in your customer’s experience, you can discover how your brand performs visually, and how it stands up the competition. This data will give you a good idea of what your customers face when they are shopping for your product.

Loyalty cards and apps are a great way to create a devoted following, but without a clear understanding of your brand and how it reacts in the marketplace, you could find yourself struggling to catch up to your competitors. Understanding your customers is the clearest way to understand your brand and make an impact.

Need to update your brand? Sharshot can help.