McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Apple and Walmart have all built their business on continuous, relentless messaging to the market. They didn’t simply announce their opening and then rely on people to remember them for years to come. Even though everyone knows what McDonald’s is, they continue branding because they still want to be the first place you think of when you don’t have time to make supper before your child’s soccer game. McDonald’s wants you to have that immediate recall and a positive association with them, so they didn’t stop branding and marketing when they achieved worldwide awareness. No matter whether you’re in New York, Paris, or Kyiv, you’ll see a McDonald's and think, “That’s familiar to me and I know what I’m going to get there.”
The first time we backpacked in Europe, let me tell ya - we visited a lot of those familiar golden arches. It fit our shoestring student budget, it was familiar to new travellers, and we knew we wouldn’t have to pay to use the washrooms!
So what about you, the local entrepreneur or professional? You’re not likely to have international recognition or global groupies following you, and you don’t need that. But, you can still build and maintain a consistent voice with your chosen market. When you become the one who talks to the market most often, and you do a good job for them, you’ll get people seeking you out more often, and telling everyone they know instead of leaving you wondering why they aren’t coming back.
Think about an exceptional experience you’ve had at a restaurant in your city. You had the absolute BEST burger you’ve ever tasted. The room was hopping, you ran into a bunch of people you know, and the perfectly paired wine gave you a warm and fuzzy glow.
When was the last time you were there? When someone asks you to pick a place to meet for dinner, do you always think of that place, or do you forget about it when someone says “where do you want to go for dinner”? That restaurant has not done a good job communicating with you or you would have likely remembered them.
If your business is silent in the market, those who are making more noise will get picked more often. It’s not your customer’s job to remember you; it’s your job to remind them.
Getting a customer to try you for the first time is the first goal, but keeping them engaged and coming back for the long-term is just as important.