Generating customers is never an easy task for a young company, and retaining them can be even more difficult. That’s why a repeat customer is worth around 10x as much as their first purchase. Typically, the most successful long-term businesses keep their customers coming back for more and develop loyal networks who support their business and share its’ values. However, in today’s business world, it’s growing harder than ever to attract a sustainable customer base, and companies are forced to find new and creative ways online to maintain a steady stream of business. In order to stand out in a sea of endless consumer choices, businesses provide customers with a sense of authenticity and project a set of values that can connect with a specific demographic.

Navigating the Marketing Minefield

It’s paramount for business owners to know what drives their company on a personal level. Understanding why a business does what it does is the first step to highlighting the authenticity that it provides. But results have shown that no matter the cause, businesses won’t generate the necessary traction unless there’s a proper strategy behind it. First and foremost, a major focus is often put on understanding copyright laws and other legal issues. Many times, businesses find themselves in settlement processes. With the right knowledge of this process, it can be a huge asset to a company. Cases like that of Erik H. Gordon provide a glimpse into how a settlement process can benefit companies using media, and provide budding companies with a blueprint on how to conduct their legal affairs. Once the legality of the business market strategy is established, then a business can move on to the finer details of online marketing.

A successful company knows where their customers are and the type of media they consume. For example, online shopping is rapidly taking over the retail marketplace – so companies find the best websites and SEO keywords that will drive people to their online content. They include marketing techniques that show customers what their mission is, rather than what they’re trying to sell. In today’s world, people are much savvier when it comes to advertising – so more of a focus is put on appealing to a deeper, more emotional level to get people interested in a company/product. People are more likely to support a business for the values it stands for rather than the product it sells.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

The general public’s trust for corporations and businesses is at an all-time low, and for good reason. Smaller companies are using this distrust is an opportunity to show people that their business is different from the rest. But in order to do that, they must take action in order to prove to the customer base that they value what they claim.

A great example of a company that acts on their stated values is Patagonia. This company makes outdoor clothing products for climbers, skiers, hikers, etc – and claims to value environmental protection. In order to back that up, Patagonia consistently donates millions of dollars to non-profit environmental causes every year. Their customer base, who are typically avid outdoor enthusiasts, are much more likely to support the company in the long-term because they share similar values. And while it isn’t necessary to donate millions of dollars to good causes every year to build a loyal customer base – minor contributions or even a personal involvement in supporting the local community have shown to go a long way in establishing a business.

Starting a business is naturally a risky and tumultuous endeavor. Successful business owners create their companies for reasons beyond simply making money – and they share those reasons with as many people as possible. Of course, going out on a limb and stating the personal reasons for opening a company is likely to alienate a certain percentage of the public that simply does not agree with the message, but there will be countless others who support it. Those people are the ones that successful marketing businesses focus on establishing a long-term relationship with. Whether they’re attracted to the company online, in print, or in the community – the one central theme to bring in customers usually revolves around a sense of authenticity. People have an innate ability to detect honesty – and having that as a company is proven to be a more valuable tool than any other method of making money.