Brand advocates are highly satisfied customers. They talk well of you and your brand, product or service, and recommend you to others. In other words, they do the work for you. According to research from Zuberance and Forrester Research, 94% of consumers trust brand advocates, while only 14% of consumers trust advertising communications.
Additional research shows that brand advocates:
• are 5X more valuable than average customers
• spend 3X as much as average customers over the lifetime of their relationship with a company or brand, and
• reach 150 people in social media every time they advocate for a product or service.
All are powerful incentives to develop your own brand advocates.
A brand advocate is someone who is or has become loyal to your brand. They have experienced your brand’s promise in ways that makes them trust it will deliver on their expectations.
Brand loyalty is their emotionally charged decision to buy your brand over and over again rather than others because it fills a functional or emotional need in their lives. Once they perceive or experience that unique value, they become committed to your brand, are prepared to pay more for it and promote it to others.
Below is a five-part strategy you can use to begin building brand loyalty. It’s a progressive, cumulative and on-going activity that begins with delivering the basics like responsive service, quality products, continuous improvement, good value, etc., and moves on to building relationships and doing good in the world you share with your customers.
If you can get the first steps right, you’ll have a brand that starts building loyalty. If you can get all of it right, you’ll have a great brand that will receive maximum return on the investment you make in branding by way of advocates who’ll do your marketing work for you.
To see how brand advocacy can translate into actual ROI, review these 10 case studies.
Gassig, Migs, March 27, 2013, “US Consumers Trust Online Reviews More Than They Do Advertisements and Direct Marketing Messages,” Review Trackers Blog.
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