In 2015 the sports scene in Greater Cincinnati expanded to include a professional soccer team, FC Cincinnati. Professional soccer is the world’s most popular sport. When FC Cincinnati’s leadership made the decision to bring soccer to the Queen City they knew it would take a strategic plan to build brand loyalty here in Cincinnati.
FC Cincinnati’s owner, Carl H. Lindner III brought on Jeff Berding as the President and GMto help create a winning formula for building a soccer brand that would put Cincinnati on the map. Jeff was kind enough to sit down with us and share his secrets of success that any brand manager can use to turn would-be customers into dedicated fans.
- Create a Winning Team – Many small business owners tend to wear multiple hats. However, if you are looking to grow your brand it is important that you develop a team mindset and enlist a variety of subject-matter experts to help you in your quest. As your business grows these individuals will be an invaluable asset that will allow you to service the needs of your customers. FC Cincinnati believes their club also belongs to their fans and developed a Fan Council to give fans the opportunity to weigh in on a variety of club initiatives.
- Increase Your Visibility – Community engagement is a huge part of FC Cincinnati’s strategy to remain visible in the Greater Cincinnati community. In order to create brand loyalty, your customers need to know that your values align with theirs and that you are working to enhance the community at large. FC Cincinnati does this through after-school initiatives and their recently-added futsal program through a partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools.
Of course, part of the formula for success includes having a product or service that does what it sets out to do. FC Cincinnati’s professional soccer team has positioned itself in the Greater Cincinnati landscape by winning soccer games and giving fans an up-close sporting experience like no other. Your business must consistently deliver the products and or services that you offer in order for customers to remain loyal and continue to support your business.