KYC or Know Your Customer guidelines exist in the realm of financial transactions and boring bank details for most of us. The term brings to mind a bunch of dry-as-dust paperwork that you and I did with our banks at some point in time – CIP or the customer identification program as we Americans generally refer to the process. But in marketing parlance, KYC can be vital! This exercise can be a key to understanding customer mindset, behavior, and buying patterns — a genuine way to give your brand a competitive advantage.
You can learn from unhappy customers.
There are very good reasons why you want to get to know our customers really well. This helps you identify your target audience, what they expect from your brand, and why they are loyal to your brand. When you know about their income bracket, age, standard of living, gender, and so on, you can cater specifically to their needs. You can improve and refine and tweak your product to become what they want.
When you can create a more personalized experience for your ideal people you effectively demonstrate to them that you care about their feelings and expectations. Knowing your customers will also help you create targeted marketing schemes and ad campaigns to reach and communicate with them effectively. So for instance, your marketing strategy for urban millennials living in New York is going to be very different than if you were selling to senior Floridians.
Creating a brand is not the same as selling a product or service. When you’re inviting people into your brand you’re actually working with stories and emotions. You’re building relationships. Brand loyalty goes beyond buying for utility, it is about buying because of the way that a particular brand makes them feel.
It isn’t enough to know only about their age, geographical area and so on. It helps to get some more granular data about your ideal audience. Find out what they care about; issues close to their heart. For instance, are they worried about buying products with earth-friendly packaging, interested in good schools for their kids or worried about retirement savings? Find out about their aspirations and dreams. Are they looking to save or spend? Are they interested in classic design or trending stuff?
It is a good idea to try and gauge their ideology or political affiliations as well in these polarized times – mainly so you know not to ruffle any feathers with your brand messaging. The cancel culture is a reality! Their pet peeves, their annoyances, and their worries and apprehensions are also good to know – for instance, you don’t want to use Gen Z verbiage with the solid, middle income, middle-aged demographic. If you’re setting up shop in new territory the local taboos, cultural preferences and sensitivities are also vital to know about.
Being aware of all information about your ideal people is going to help you understand where they’re coming from, and help you to become more empathetic. You can let them know you care about their feelings. You want to make them feel special, cherished by doing your best to cater to them.
Watch this episode to know how you can accomplish all this; what advice I give to my clients to really get to know their customers. There are some great examples of brands that really listened to their ideal audience and made relevant changes to their products and communication strategies. Brands like Airbnb, Dove, and others did this really effectively, as I explain in my latest episode of Inspiration to Millions. Watch it now!