Brand Advocates are a small but highly engaged, influential and trusted group of your brand’s customers. In today’s social media-driven landscape, Brand Advocates have become more important than ever:
- With customer distrust of Brand Advertising rising across the globe, independent Brand Advocates are increasingly being turned to as credible, enthusiastic, self-motivated sources for making informed brand choices.
- Despite their relatively low market presence (typically 5%-10%), today’s digital and social tools readily provide Brand Advocates with the ability to quickly and effectively amplify a brand’s reach and messaging.
- This amounts to “Free PR” through word-of-mouth actions.
But how can you actually identify your Brand Advocates, and once you do, what do you do with that information? There are three essential components required to quantitatively identify a Brand Advocacy target:
- Passion for the category: identified through response patterns to customized attitudinal statements
- Advocacy Behaviors for the category: identified through a structured determination of what they have done to advocate (e.g., introduced someone to a restaurant, told someone about a menu item, brought someone to a restaurant, posted something about a restaurant)
- Brand Advocate Reach: Identify influence through determining how many people they reach via social media, blogging, posting to online forums/bulletin boards, post YouTube videos
Brand Advocacy research is highly actionable. Just to highlight a few, it can be utilized to:
- Measure and identify advocacy levels for your brand
- Determine if your advocates will share and how they prefer to share
- Explore brand opportunities via your brand advocates
- Assess the level and nature of competitive brand advocacy
Borrowing a marketing concept with a long history, Brand Advocates are heavy users that have gone at least one step further in engaging your brand, and for that reason, can be a great resource in helping to continue to build it.