How to turn your customers into brand advocates
There is something in marketing known as the ‘Ultimate Moment of Truth’. Sounds cheesy, but this concept is actually extremely important for building a successful brand, because it involves the people that buy from you going from just customers, to brand advocates.
What does being a brand advocate mean?
Being a brand advocate or evangelist means that you’re such a fan of a brand, that you recommend it to those around you. This can also be described as ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing.
Why is this important?
Building a strong circle of brand advocates and existing customers is vital for finding new ones, because the strength of a personal recommendation or referral is far more effective than a company simply telling you how good their product is.
This advocacy, or sharing of an experience, can often be the way that new customers find out about your brand, and therefore must be considered as part of your business model or branding strategy.
How can you get customers to spread the word and become brand advocates?
This isn’t easy, especially as the competition in every market grows fiercer and there are literally hundreds of businesses vying for consumers’ attention online and through advertisements every day.
Here’s some ideas to turn your customers into brand advocates:
- Give them something other than your product
People like brands that they have a relationship with, and that’s not going to happen if all you do is sell to them. Think about what you sell, and what else you can give your customers that is related to your field that can educate or inspire them. This very blog is a great example; providing advice on branding and marketing is a way for us to give customers a wider range of knowledge, instead of just talking about printed bags!
- Provide an incentive
It’s no secret that giving people a monetary incentive or reward for recommending you will help to spread the word, and this is a strategy that many companies like Virgin and Amazon already employ. Offering your customers a discount voucher next time they shop if they pass on a code to their friends is a great way to keep your customers happy as well as provide new business, and is something that can be done repeatedly.
- Own up when things go wrong
There’s nothing worse than a company keeping you in the dark and not apologising for their mistakes. No-one’s perfect, and your brand is bound to slip up now and then; the key is not to ignore it. Don’t just try and erase a black mark from your record, rectify it. Acknowledge the error, explain why it’s happened and offer the customer some kind of recompense; that way, they’re much more likely to buy from you in the future, and will pass on the message to others about how well you dealt with the situation.
- Ultimately, provide a customer experience worth shouting about
You could do all of the above extremely well, but it will amount to nothing unless your product or service is worth recommending in the first place. It sounds obvious, but if you don’t deliver quality goods, service and support throughout the whole customer journey, then nothing else will matter.
To find out more about how we can help build your brand through our quality printed bags, contact us on 0191 268 7555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.