Before talking about premium product funneling, you need to understand the customers’ purchase pattern of behavior. This will be the foundation of your funnel marketing. The first and the most important step in purchase as regards customer behavior is need.
Recognition of a Problem or Need
Customers’ buying process starts with an identification of a need. People don’t just buy products or services for fun. They buy it for needs. They pay because they expect the products or services to solve certain problems.
For instance, a potential customer may just realize that all her shoes are old. At that point, she has identified a need. She needs new shoes. Her shoe-buying process begins from that point. Whether she will go for some affordable shoes or she will go for premium brands like Chanel and Christian Louboutin, is a different story entirely.
Searching for Information Stage
Once a need is identified, the potential buyer moves to the next stage in the buying process and that is the searching for information stage. She wants to know where to get the best shoes at the lowest cost possible. And if she would rather go for premium brands, she will also check the shoes available in the stores of premium shoe brands.
She may ask friends for reference and recommendations, she may read online reviews about different shoe stores, she may visit physical stores, and she may carry out online search on Google and other search engines.
The Comparison Stage
The search will definitely lead to the emergence of several options. So, potential buyers will evaluate their alternatives and make a choice. She can decide to patronize a particular store because there is an attractive promotional offer going on or patronize another store because they offer the best prices.
She may be able to make a decision quickly because it is about shoes. If it was about buying a car, the comparison will be more thorough and comprehensive and it will include the comparison of different financing options.
Decision and Purchase Stage
After thorough comparisons, she will make a choice and follow it up with an order. In other words, she will choose where to buy her shoes and then she will go there to make the purchase. However, both do not always happen at the same time. Buyers may place orders days or weeks after they made their decision.
If you think buying process ends after purchase has been made, you are dead wrong. Customers’ post-purchase attitude is equally as important as their pre-purchase attitude for brand building. If a buyer gets what she wants from what she bought, she will come back for more and also recommend your brand to people.
On the other hand, if she is not satisfied with the product, she may request refund, post negative reviews on your brand and badmouth it everywhere. She may even go as far as recommending your competitors to people.
Having discussed the important stages of buying process, now here are the important details of what goes into premium product funnel. They can also be described as the major funnel stages.
The first stage of premium product funnel is to create awareness about the new premium product. People can’t ask for what they don’t know exists so you have to invest heavily on creating awareness and marketing. Since it is a premium product, it is better to begin the awareness creation before the product is launched.
All the people who stumble on your marketing campaigns will develop interest for your product, dislike it for some reasons, or be indifferent. It may take further marketing campaigns for the last two category of people to also develop interest. In other words, only the people who are interested in your product will move to the next stage.
After your awareness and interest, some potential buyers may select your product for consideration. This means that they may compare it with other brands. Based on how effective your marketing is, some buyers may skip this stage and select your product as their preferred option without comparing it with others. This depends on the success of your marketing efforts. Apple devices usually don’t encounter the consideration stage.
After comprehensive comparisons, potential buyers will pick one brand as the preferred brand. As mentioned earlier, some brand have been so good with their marketing that buyers just picked their product after awareness. No, consideration or comparisons was made. To those buyers, that particular premium product lacks competitors.
This stage is self-explanatory. Once a buyer picks a particular premium product as his or her preferred choice, the next step is to purchase the product. Before now, the funnel would end here but now marketing funnel does not end after sales. There are two more stages left.
The next stage is loyalty. However, you need to understand that your product can only get to this stage if the buyer enjoys the product. He or she will come back for more. Gradually, the buyer will become loyal to your brand.
If you get it right with your premium product, after the stage of loyalty, the loyal customer will become an advocate. She will post positive comments about your brand and she will also recommend your products to her friends, family, and colleagues.
In conclusion, it is necessary to remind you that funnel technically ends at the purchase stage. This is because buyers will only move to the next two stages if they are satisfied with your product.
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