Get Customers to Binge on Your Brand

Unless you’ve been completely disconnected from the online world, you know that Netflix released season three of the political drama House of Cards this past Friday. Maybe you even binge watched a few episodes yourself.  

Binge watching should be a rather coveted concept for marketers. After all, what brand wouldn’t want to have the number of eyeballs Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright drew for hours on end? And while nothing is as addicting as watching countless hours of your favorite program, here are my four tips for getting customers to binge on your brand.

Leave consumers wanting more.

Remember ABC’s drama Lost and how every episode ended with a mind-blowing, what-the-heck-just-happened moment? It was these moments that caused fans to throw their I’ll-just-watch-one-more-episode logic aside and completely enrapture themselves in the castaways’ lives for hours.

While it’s hard to replicate the edge-of-your-seat intensity created by TV dramas, marketers need to find creative ways to create their own captivating moments for consumers that’ll lure them back for more. Sometimes, this is achieved through storytelling. Take the daredevil excitement of the Red Bull Stratos jump, for instance, or the what’s-going-to-happen-next feeling generated by Bud Light’s “Up for Whatever” Super Bowl campaign. Other times, marketers can use timing to keep consumers’ attention. Think of the long lines around Apple stores when a new iPhone comes out or the buzz around Starbucks’s seasonal drinks like the Pumpkin Spice Latte. It’s up to each brand to figure out how they can create their own magnetizing moments and then capitalize on those moments to drive engagement, purchase, and even loyalty or advocacy.

Make it easy for them to find you.

After I returned from a recent trip to Europe, I immediately hit the couch to catch up on my favorite TV shows that I had missed. And whether it was through an app, online, or repeat airings on TV, I was thankfully able to find my not-to-be-missed programs and catch up quickly. 

Marketers should take the same multichannel approach when it comes to their content and campaigns. After all, consumers are on their own schedules—not the brand’s—and marketers need to take an always-on approach and be available wherever and whenever consumers are ready to engage with them.

Create a sense of community.

One of the best things about watching a show is the sense of community it creates among viewers. Some shows even have names for their devout audiences, like ABC’s The Bachelor‘s “Bachelor Nation”—an association I am proud to be a part of. Having places where people can talk about the show, such as through social media or viewing parties, drives word-of-mouth promotion and deepens their connection with the show.

Likewise, it’s important for marketers to have places where consumers can talk about their brand freely, whether it’s again through social media, events, or forums. Doing so, again, generates word-of-mouth marketing, as well as engagement. It can also help brands identify who their true advocates are. However, it’s important for brands to make these places a true breeding ground for organic conversations. Deleting comments or restricting conversations—other than ones that go against social networks’ regulations—can make it seem like a brand is trying to have too much control and make consumers feel like their real opinions aren’t being heard.

Incorporate some consistent elements.

As much as people love a good plot twist, people watch shows because they consistently deliver certain qualities. For instance, when I watch The Bachelor, I expect to see a lot of crying, marvel over unrealistic dates, and hear the words “journey” and “amazing” in every episode. But, hey, that’s what I love.

Similarly, I hold the same consistency standards with my favorite brands. For example, I expect my burrito bowls at Chipotle to be mouthwateringly delicious every time I order them, and I expect to receive two free checked bags every time that I fly Southwest Airlines. Consumers become loyal to brands for a number of reasons, whether it’s their customer experience, the quality of their product, or their convenience. Whatever the reason, it’s important for brands to pinpoint why customers are loyal to them and continuously deliver upon those expectations. Failing to do so can make consumers question what the brand stands for and tune it out for good.

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