Every marketing manager, business owner, and anyone else responsible for a brand dreams of having an army of brand advocates. In reality, advocates who will spread the message of your products and services through word-of-mouth are difficult to come by. Brand evangelists are people who love your brand so much that they will promote your brand on their own time. Most people have a brand they would defend to the death. Whether that is a brand of running shoes or a web browser, that loyalty was not built overnight.
Today, we will explore some ways in which companies can use moments of influence, market analytics, and much more to create loyal customers for life.
How to Turn Your Customers into Brand Evangelists
Customer Retention Creates Brand Advocates
This may go without saying, but companies must first attain and retain their customers before brand advocacy enters the equation. Studies on brand loyalty show that over one third of customers take five (5) purchases or greater before they consider themselves loyal to a brand. And remember, brand loyalty does not necessarily equal brand advocacy. Customer retention is a tricky business. Here are some high level tips to keep in mind:
- Keeping in close contact via email campaigns, social media reach, and more. Believe it or not, your customers have more important things to worry about than your brand. Developing an automated email campaign is a tried and true method to keep in touch without overdoing it.
- Never neglect the personal touch. Even large companies can benefit from putting an emphasis on the human factor. This might include personalized messages based on prior purchases or even just emphasizing having live customer service reps.
- Respond to customer complaints and/or bad reviews. Bad reviews can be an opportunity for brands to show their true colors. Always respond to bad reviews and extend the olive branch to make things right when possible.
Customers Love Your Product First and Your Brand Second
As we will discuss below, brand strength is essential to drive word-of-mouth recommendations. However, over 55 percent of all consumers are loyal to their brand because they love the product first and foremost. Nike might have one of the most consistently powering marketing campaigns in the past few decades, but nobody would recommend Air Jordans if they weren’t a great shoe. Your products must also be sure to make good on the promise made by your brand’s personality. If your branding promises youthful excitement, your products must follow through. The synergy between branding expectations and product delivery is one of the pillars of customer satisfaction.
Strong Brands Create Loyal Brand Advocates
Have you ever eaten a delicious meal only to later forget the name of the restaurant? This is a common example of a product surpassing the strength of the brand behind it. No matter how great your products or services might be, without a strong brand, you risk slipping out of your customer’s minds. Consistent branding is the building blocks of building a network of brand evangelists.
The Importance of Brand Personality and Brand Identity
As a continuation of this concept, your brand’s personality is perhaps what will attract customers on a, if you’ll excuse the obviousness, personal level. A famous example might be Rogue Fitness. For those familiar with the Rogue brand, you might be surprised to learn that it was founded in 2007. The Rogue brand skyrocketed thanks to its strong brand personality catering to hardcore Crossfit, powerlifting, and strongman communities.
The owners and employees of Rogue started the company because they wanted weights to suit their needs. This sincere approach to high quality products with a “one-of-us” mindset has established Rogue as arguably the preeminent fitness supplier for much of the world. Ask any hardcore lifter about Rogue, and they will know exactly what they stand for.
Using Social Media to Engage with Customers
What could be more memorable for a customer than a direct engagement with their favorite brand? Brand’s social media pages have made them more accessible than ever to the general public and of course to their existing customers. Wendy’s social media strategy has garnered numerous headlines in recent years for being so off the wall that it got people talking. Of course, not every brand can copy paste the “devil may care” strategy of the fast food giant. Know your brand personality and develop a social media presence which is reflective of your brand.
Anticipating Customer Needs Surpasses Expectations
This can also be thought of as delivering proactive customer service. Using a well-organized customer behavior tracking system, it is possible to anticipate and meet customer needs that they might not have realized themselves. Customers who feel that their wants and needs are high priority to your company will be far more likely to spread the word than those who simply feel that your company provided an adequate service.
Clock Tower Insight Solutions Facilitates Brand Growth
Clock Tower Insight helps our clients to build their brands through any means necessary. We believe in using cutting edge research to deliver unparalleled insight and understanding into today’s rapidly changing marketplace. With over 15 years of dedicated experience, our marketing insight has helped organizations including Belle Tire, Nielsen, Orbitz, and Kraft Foods. We are proud to offer a number of services to our clients, including customer experience management, brand positioning in the marketplace, market sizing, market testing, and more.