2 Strategies for retaining customers in the 21st century


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The 21st first century customers are spoilt for choice. The only way to keep them is to constantly excite them and innovate. That is why brands organise gigs, renew offerings, redesign packages, create extensions and new categories, add new format or ingredients here and there, and reposition as often as possible.

The majority of the consumers today were born in the 70s and 90s – periods when technology was gathering pace. They have been trained to embrace change, transformation, speed and innovation as seen in the journey of Microsoft and Apple. That generation were bred and quickened by the competitive tech and digital landscape that dominated their formative years. As such they have grown to expect constant excitement and tweaks from manufacturers and service providers that serve them

However, more than the folks born in those digital transformation eras, the generation born from the year 2000 are even more finicky and demanding. They are an improvement on the tastes and desire of the immediate generation that preceded them. That is why Coca Cola, MTN, Pepsi, GTB, and many other establishments are constantly sweating, looking for new opportunities to innovate and engage with the market. In sum, for any brand or business to thrive it must adapt as consistently as possible to changing trends.

If an organisation can lead change that is fine; but if it cannot, at least it must adapt to new tastes and desire as quickly as possible.

Here are the 2 strategies:

a. Create excitement by engaging your customers across every facing – Your customer will become bored if you don’t spice up your offerings constantly. Like a boxed specie, they will look for a way to escape from you. Virgin Airlines tapped the desires of the generation that loved to be excited until it sold out to Singapore Airlines. Generating excitement onboard and through Richard Branson’s unending PR stunts (whether riding into Time Square in armour tanks or dressing in female garbs to a large event) was how how it withstood the frontal attacks from British Airlines especially.

b. Make innovation your brand energy – Sustainability and scalability is tough. The only way to do that successfully is to consistently find out what is the next thing the market wants. Yes, find out what is the next big desire! Zuckerberg and Jobs’ ingenuity was merely locating what buyers want next such as connection,relationship, image and beauty. Meanwhile you don’t have to change the whole product or brand proposition; just add, remove, or improve something from the usual product and brand concepts. Sometimes, the innovation can come from artistic designs, new pricing strategy, speed or servicing. Like Nike would say, ‘Just do it”- do something, don’t remain the same in a changing world.

Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka writes with simplicity and insight. He aims to enrich the Nigerian small business landscape. Through Hustle24 he connects entrepreneurs with information about new policies, enterprise solutions and opportunities that will aid their 'hustle'. He has written extensively for CobraReview, a product review portal, and served as a lead project manager for MarketingMix where he consulted as PR consultant for MTN Project Fame and Business Next Titan etc.


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