How To Keep Customers Engaged With Ordinary Products/Services

customer engagement in small business
Majority of small medium businesses are imitative than innovative, because they don’t have the budget, resources to try something different, to come up with new product/service and thus they need to differentiate, compete in terms of widely available products/services.

Now the question is what to do, how to compete when what you offer is something that is being offered by million others. Each year around one million small medium businesses start in USA alone, that exclude online start-ups (1)(2). And this is perhaps the biggest reason why most people avoid entrepreneurship, having their own business. 

On surface such reason seems pretty reasonable, but again there must be a way ? right?!

Yes! There is a Way

Let me give you few examples from real life.

Example 1

The video game market, when it got saturated with hundreds of thousands game developers, rolling out games day and night, it became pretty hard for the game developers to differentiate, to stop their customers jump shipping.

since everyone was offering a similar game (imitative business with similar product/service) with nothing new and once Gamers (customers) would finish the game, that’s it for that game, no replay again, no further engagement with the product. 

So what they did, they introduced the multiplayer option in the game, where two, three or four guys would take part in the game, it improved the customers engagement with the product. People used to buy and play the same game, just because they were so much fun, like having family, friends taking part in the game making it much more than just a game.

But again market got saturated with that too, so they came with massively multiplayer games or MMG, taking multiplayer gaming to a whole new level and again that increased the customer engagement with the product. 

Example 2

In my childhood, me and my friends used to buy a particular brand of cookies, not because cookies were really awesome, but because cookies pack used to come with cool cartoon stickers. And sometime just for the sake of those stickers and out of curiosity we would buy those cookies, but whenever we needed to buy cookies it was always that brand.

There was nothing cool about the cookie brand, there were much better brands available and still available, but like I said, most small medium businesses are imitative, so that cookie brand knew how to differentiate, how to target their customers effectively.

Example 3

Let me give you another example, I am using a particular cellular service brand, I really don’t like their service, the service costs me substantially and not just that! Its quality is absolutely zero compared to others, but I am using it.

Why?, because the contact number I am having, is pretty easy one, it is easy to remember, something like “03451000001” so only for that reason I am still their customer and they are doing exactly that, offering easy to remember, to share contact numbers. And these days they are providing customers  "contact numbers" of their own choice.

Okay Got it, What’s Next?!

Well in above examples, what they all are actually doing is offering something that increases value, another product, feature that augments value of the ordinary product/service.

In games example it’s the multiplayer option that adds value (fun with family, friends etc) to the ordinary product.
In cookies brand example it’s the sticker that adds value (cartoon, curiosity) to the ordinary product.
In third example it’s the contact number that adds value (easy to remember, to share) to the ordinary service.

Continuous Engagement

In all of these examples the product/service providers are keeping the customers, their target market permanently engaged with their ordinary offerings.

In games examples it’s because of multiplayer feature variable nature or value variety (which is, sometimes it’s more fun having a multiplayer game and other times its less fun, but there is always fun), that customers don’t get bored with the game, don’t just throw it away, rather use it over and over, buys it over and over, that means continuous engagement.

In cookies example it’s the different sticker every time, the continuous curiosity makes the customer to have permanent engagement with the product.
In third example it’s the ease of remembering and sharing the “contact number” that keeps the customer engaged in the service.

So in a nutshell isn’t that what most small medium businesses want ? Continuous engagement with their target customers through their ordinary offerings ? If not ? How else can you differentiate your offering from million others ?


Remember to engage your customers in such a way that can be sustainable in the longer run, now when it comes to sustainability, offering “multiplayer feature”, “sticker” or “easy contact numbers” isn’t a big issue for those businesses right ?

So in a nutshell, when you are offering something, make sure that it not only engages the customers permanently but also you can sustain or being able to offer it without for as long as you wish.

That’s it, share your thoughts ideas, what else would help small businesses to differentiate, to compete, to retain customers permanently ? Comments box is right below!

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1. Heidi M. Neck, Andrew L. Zacharakis, William D. Bygrave, and Paul D. Reynolds, Global Entreprenurship Monitor: National 
    Entrepreneurship Assessment-United States of America, 2002 Executive Report. 
2. Small Business by the Numbers (Washington DC: Small Business Administration, 2004).

About Publisher Arshad Amin

Certified SEO Professional, Small Business, Start-up, Marketing Expert with ton's of practical, actionable ideas, insights to share, Proud Founder and Owner of and

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