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Transformation talks series: How your company’s values and capabilities can help attract new customers

Aug 15, 2022

George Korizis
Customer Transformation Leader, PwC US

Competition for customers has never been fiercer. Consumers have more choices, and they’re moving faster. Technology has accelerated shifts in consumer behaviors, but how people engage with brands digitally can vary greatly among demographics—not only by age but race, ethnicity and where people live.

Suffice it to say, the quality of customer experience is critical. In our recent PwC Customer Loyalty Survey, 32% of consumers said they would stop buying from a business if it provided inconsistent experiences, and 55% said they’d stop after several bad experiences. These aren’t idle threats, as 26% of survey respondents told us they actually stopped using a brand in the past year, and bad experiences—with products and services and/or customer service—were the top reasons.

In this volatile environment, brands should embrace the age of customer attraction. Businesses that aren’t laser-focused on higher customer expectations—what initially attracts customers and keeps them coming back—may not be in business for long. That’s a simple fact, but there’s not a simple solution. In our research and our relationships with industry leaders, we’ve found that companies with strong customer attraction often have a gravitational pull, drawing in a diverse range of customers who are fiercely loyal and advocate for the brand. This attraction often forms when a company’s core values firmly align with their customers’ beliefs and when the company delivers a differentiating customer experience.

What makes up customer attraction

The concept of customer attraction may seem complex, but the main elements fall into two categories.

  • Values attraction: This centers around a company’s mission and values—what it stands for, how mature those values are, how well your stakeholders understand them and your actions to improve stakeholders’ lives. Values attraction requires creating an inspiring company ethos that customers align with and putting it into action through investments and behaviors. Articulating your purpose in a meaningful way can create new social contracts—becoming worthy of engagement by employees, customers and the public. Think of companies like REI, the outdoor equipment company that has been in business for more than eight decades, as well as newer businesses such as household cleaning and personal care products company Method and apparel company Bombas. Measuring values attraction internally and externally helps define digital empathy, future optimism and sustainability, and insight and inclusion.
  • Capabilities attraction: This is how most companies organize assets and capabilities to help deliver those values and serve loyal customers. It’s also how a company understands where customers are shifting and working to deliver a consistently positive employee experience. The evolution of tech giant Apple is one example of a company investing in deeper customer engagement, while the Wegmans supermarket chain and fast-food chain Chick-fil-A have built strong reputations for employee experience and customer service. Defining capabilities attraction creates value equation, life/work experiences and service mastery at leading companies.

Many companies focus more on capabilities attraction, which can seem more tangible to business leaders accustomed to managing hard assets. But an effective customer attraction strategy—one that helps drive long-term growth, loyalty and brand value—hinges on balancing values with capabilities. Bringing that focus on values into the ongoing consumer experience conversation can be crucial to unlocking sustained customer attraction.

Taking action on customer attraction

Here are five actions you can take to develop and execute an effective customer attraction strategy that will help drive measurable outcomes and impact.

  • Reimagine your products and experiences to be human-centered and personalized to your customers needs.
  • Create brand values that align with what your customers value, and develop an investment plan to put them into action.
  • Digitize your businesses to help meet market demand and drive sustained growth.
  • Integrate industry leading technologies and capabilities that can disrupt your industry and create a competitive advantage.
  • Harness data to help drive customer insights. Through consumer behavioral modeling and research, your company can better know what customers think and want, as well as predict how they’ll react to your future moves.

Learn more about what drives consumer behaviors and customer attraction in the PwC Customer Loyalty Survey 2022.