If businesses were pop stars, Super Consumers would be the groupies. They are the people who love your company’s products and brands, the people who not only buy from you in vast quantities but regularly gush about those purchases to their friends, family, and Twitter followers.
They are the people who camp outside your shops on the eve of a new product release. They are the iSheep, the Potterheads, the Fandroids, the Gleeks.
Super Consumers make up about 10 per cent of your customer base, but they are responsible for 30 per cent of your sales, 40 per cent of your growth and 50 per cent of your profits. They differ from Heavy Users (who buy a lot of your company’s product) because as well as frequently buying from your brand, they frequently engage with your business.
They are loyal, price-insensitive and completely ignored by most marketers.
Here’s why that’s a huge mistake:
They Are The Bellwethers Of Your Customer Base
Super Consumers differ from regular customers regarding how much they buy, but not on why they buy. Consequently, the better you engage Super Consumers, the better you engage the market as a whole, according to an analysis by consumer insights firm Nielsen.
Harvard Business Review studied several business case studies, and concluded that listening to the feedback, insights and complaints of Super Consumers is a sure-fire strategy for growing sales and margins across all segments.
They Are Brand Ambassadors
Marketers often pay celebrities millions of dollars to endorse their product. Super Consumers do it for free. Considering that most Super Consumers are highly active on social media, their promotions have the potential to reach a huge audience.
A study conducted by America Girl, a dollmaker, found that in areas which contained a lot of Super Consumers, regular customers spent a fifth more than average.
They Have Big Growth Potential
Too many marketers assume that Heavy Users, including Super Consumers, have already reached their buying limit and therefore aren’t worth targeting. This couldn’t be further from the truth – Super Consumers can almost always be persuaded to buy more of a product, particularly if they are presented with an updated feature or new use for it.
Better yet, these customers are already bought into a brand, meaning few extra marketing dollars need to be expunged to convince them to up their purchases.
They Help You Make The Most Of Your Brand
Because Super Consumers love your product so much, they tend to be very innovative in the number of uses they can find for it. Savvy marketers who hunt down these alternative uses are rewarded with tried-and-tested strategies for broadening the appeal of their product.
For example, Kraft discovered that its Super Consumers were mixing its Breakstone’s sour cream with Greek yogurt to make a healthier spread. So, Kraft released its own version of the combination. The Super Consumers were, unsurprisingly, delighted, but the product turned out to be wildly popular amongst regular shoppers too. Within a few months, the Greek Style sour cream could be found in 60 per cent of US supermarkets.
They Are A Fantastic Focus Group
Sitting in a room discussing mayonnaise isn’t most people’s idea of fun. Hence the need of many businesses to bribe the participants of their focus groups with goodies or even cold hard cash. What a wasted use of resources, when their Super Consumers are falling over themselves to test out new products, make suggestions, and have their voices heard!
Engaging your Super Consumers in discussions over the future of your products produces a double benefit: it keeps them invested in your brand, because they are being listened to and valued, and it provides you with suggestions, ideas, and feedback from people who know your brand inside and out and care about the future of your company. And Super Consumers know what they’re talking about: MIT recently found that 80 per cent of the breakthroughs in scientific instruments came from Super Consumers.
Beth Leslie writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate jobs are currently available. Or, if you’re looking to hire an intern, have a look at their innovative Video CVs.