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Marketing is about building customers and creating brand awareness, however great marketing is about building a relationship and creating raving fans. Loyal fans will spread news of your brand through word of mouth advertising. Creating these fans will require creativity and innovation.

Consider these 7 ways to convert customers to raving fans:

Have Your Clients Do Some of the Work
Build A Bear is an excellent company to demonstrate this concept. Children will receive so many stuffed animals during their childhood, but none of them will feel as special as the one they built themselves at a Build A Bear workshop. If you can create a sense of ownership in your brand, you will create fans.

Try to brainstorm ways to personalize their experience with you. WebMD has done this through the Symptom Checker which is an interactive display allowing you to narrow your specific symptoms and see what could be the cause. Vista Print allows its customers to create personalized business cards, magnets, calendars, mugs, pens, and other stationery and marketing materials for business or personal use.

Exclusive Offers
Customers like feeling accepted, especially into an exclusive group. This group can be based on hobbies, interests, industry, niche, or any other category that will help define your customer. By offering an exclusive offer or club for a chance to work with you on a limited time basis, you will create urgency and value. People want what they cannot have. If you make yourself a little less accessible, except for those within your exclusive group, you will create fans of your brand.

Cultivate the Mystery behind Your Brand
There is a difference between being transparent and telling all your brand’s secrets. American Express is a widely known company, however it offers a product that is shrouded in mystery to the majority of cardholders. The product is the American Express Black Card and some are not sure it even exists, let alone offers the benefits the rumors boast.

American Artists and Writers, Inc. (AWAI) is another company that offers a product that is seldom seen to the public eye. When this program is offered it is for a very limited time and only opens to new memberships once or twice per year. This program is similar to the Circle of Success program, but offers all of the programs for one price. It is a major opportunity for customers to get thousands of dollars worth of training for a fraction of the cost. The offer through AWAI is coveted and mysterious because customers rarely hear about the opportunity to join.

Encourage Logo Use with Tattoos
It may sound extreme, but some fans are willing to tattoo a fierce logo onto their bodies. To these fans it is not just a brand, but a lifestyle. To encourage logo loyalty, design a logo that is the heart of your brand. You can use your logo on apparel like shirts, hats, jackets, bracelets, and cups to foster brand loyalty.

Go Underground and Build a Culture
It is not just about building a brand; it is about building relationships and a culture. Create an exclusive group for your VIPs and offer events for these customers only. The VIP group will feel honored to be a part of your company’s event and those customers that are not VIPs yet will begin to wonder what they are missing out on.

You will build brand loyalty by offering these VIPs certain deals that others are not privy to. Victoria’s Secret is a great company that has learned the secret of VIP treatment by sending out catalogs and exclusive coupons for certain customers or cardholders.

Create Your Version of Boot Camp
The military is serious about their vision, mission, and goals. One way this is evident is through boot camp. Boot camp is a series of challenges and obstacles put into place to make the recruit stronger and better in every way.

Let your customers know you run a different kind of business. Your business is client-focused and you will do whatever it takes to help your clients become stronger and better. If applicable for your business, offer rewards for clients successfully meeting challenges and overcoming obstacles.

Create an Annual Event or Holiday
There is a reason donut shops celebrate National Donut Day with giveaways and contests. This is a fun marketing tactic that a lot of businesses are taking advantage of now. Coffee houses have a National Coffee Day and pancake houses open early for National Pancake Day. Even if your industry does not have its own national holiday, you can create annual events that people will associate with your company. One biscuit restaurant chain gives away a free truck every year to one person.

The important point to take away from these seven suggestions is to brainstorm marketing ideas to build fans for your company and brand.

Amit_BEST_Pic-Small1Amit V. Agrawal is known as the most sought after Life, Career and Business Coach in the service industry and business community. He is famous for helping his students and clients to rise to the top of their niche in terms of Branding, Marketing, Finance, Sales, Leadership, Delivery and Management. You can follow him on Linkedin, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter

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