Customer Needs are, by definition, what each target market group will subconsciously want to obtain as a result of a relationship with your brand.
In today's Customer Empowered Social Media environment, understanding Customer Needs is increasingly important.
Understanding Customer Needs will deliver an "Emotional" differentiator from your competitors. This differentiator is built over time by building trust with your customers. If you are looking for sustainable competitive advantage, this is an important element.
As your customers move up the loyalty ladder (Suspect, Prospect, Customer, Advocate) they will start to talk about you in an increasingly favourable light.
However they do not do this out of the kindness of their hearts, they do it because they are feeling good about themselves as a result of their association with your brand.
The Emotional element of your brand is the "What does this buying decision say about me?" "How will my peers feel about me?" "When I talk knowledgeably about Gucci, does that enhance my status as someone in touch with fashion?"
So people will start to recommend your brand because they believe it will enhance their status, in the eyes of their peers. So imagine how upset they will be when you let them down. You have not simply let them down as a customer, you have made them look stupid in front of all the people they are trying to impress.
"I have been a customer of this bank for 30 years, what do you mean I cannot have a loan?" Do you remember when people used to show off about how big their credit limit was on their credit cards? Banks were credible and if they trusted you it said something about you. It turns out that the banks could not be trusted, so people are not just upset, they are angry. This is why.
When we started building your website, using the Marketing Planner tool, our initial positioning was about allocating product features and benefits to target markets. They were your best guess at the time and given the available information.
These are "Rational" differentiators.
"Emotional" differentiators sit above upon the rational interactions and, where positive, will build trust over time.
So as we move towards the final step on our ladder "eVolve Website" we should start to consider our levels of trust and the ratio of rational to emotional relationships with our customers.
When the phone starts to ring with new enquiries and you are not sure where the lead came from, then your marketing has moved from a rational to an emotional position.
At this point your website can start to talk about aspirations and customer success stories, invitations to events to meet those sucessful people, and can begin to move away from a pure price / benefit positioning.
You may also want to start using some more sophisticated webtools, members areas, document management, payment processing, scrolling marquee etc. See eVolve Website section