Courtesy of Garron Nicholls
What is indulgence?
It is the ability to act according to one’s whim and fancy, whenever and wherever one feels like it. It is the availability of multiple choices which offer varied sensorial experiences, steeped in delicious decadence. It is about being able to savour the moment, untouched by the ravages of life.
Without an agenda or plan, indulgence is like a serendipitous walk in the park, meandering along whichever path we so desire to take. There are many diverging routes which one can take, offering exotic sensory experiences which may either resonate emotionally or intellectually with us. The one which we eventually choose usually offers a magnitude of benefits which are irresistible to our recreative spirit.
As marketers, we should be mindful how the profusion of leisure choices affects our consumers. With such a plethora of brands available to them, consumers are voting each day with their feet (hands and mouths), discarding the old and boring while offering their time, money and energies to the new, hip and exciting. All it takes is one unpleasant encounter and away they go.
The solution? Indulge them. Draw upon the potential of pampering one’s customers and make the entire process pleasurable, hassle free and unforgettable.
Discard the outmoded and utilitarian approach to marketing which treats customers like robots, packaging them into neat demographic or psychographic categories. Instead focus on PROCESS – the one P which rules them all – and map out the entire consumptive experience from start to finish such that every step of the way is good.
This means infusing your campaign, counters, and customer associates with all the goodness that you can afford to muster. From the first salvo of advertising or publicity which reaches your customer’s eyes or ears to the after sales experience. With so many roads to take, you must pave yours with gold in order to continually capture the attention and affection of the ever elusive customer.
Examples of how you can indulge your customers include redesigning websites to be painless to navigate, offering “eye candy” and pleasurable tactile experiences at your shopfronts, reducing the queues needed for payment, and making it easy for them to become a member of your club by filling up the forms for them. Indulgence also means being there when they look lost or in need of help, but quietly fading away when one’s presence is perceived to be overbearing.
If your customers have to wait, make it enjoyable for them by offering a drink, a massage or a good book. Be sensitive to their unspoken needs, and anticipate them as far ahead as possible. However, don’t make it seem like you are controlling or leading them, since that would be the surest way to break the spell.
Have you indulged your customers today? If not, why not start now?