Secrets to Turning Loyal Customers Into Brand Advocates
By Space Coast Daily // May 5, 2022
The corporate game of marketing and advertising has taken a new approach as companies have begun to gain a stronger understanding of what makes a consumer tick. There was once a time where it came down to out-advertising the competition – the bigger the better. Obviously, this is still a very common approach.
However, there is a growing trend that lends itself to a more stable customer base. Simply put, trust is behind this change. Companies have realized that the strongest connection that exists within the corporate world is that of the loyal customer. These are the people who believe in a product or company to the point where they are continuing purchasing from that company.
Furthermore, because these people are such big believers, they speak highly of the company or product to those in their social circle. Positive brand awareness is always a good thing, especially when those receiving it are doing so from a trusted, personal source. This change comes with sound logic as put by Jay Baer, the founder of Convince & Convert, “Consumers are disappointed by brands.
Trust in brands is lower than ever and the flipside of that is just as important, that people are trusted more. The reason people are trusted more than advertising is that there is no financial stake in the outcome.”
Seeing as loyal customers can be a proverbial goldmine for growing a business when they’re utilized as brand advocates, it is crucial for the business to understand how to go about this. Below you will find the secrets for turning loyal customers into brand advocates.
Alex Chavarry is the Managing Member of Cool Links, a brand offering cooling towels. He believes that incentivizing people to engage with a brand is a sure-fire way to cause them to discuss a company positively.
“It’s easy to forget that loyalty is a two-way street. Customers will likely be as loyal as you are to them. The average customer is far more aware of how they are treated and viewed by a company than in decades past. I’ve found one of the quickest ways to build this bridge of loyalty is to offer a reward program to those people who continue to utilize your company. From discounts to free items, there are many things you can do to show your customers you appreciate their loyal business. Essentially, be good to them and they’ll be good to you in how they talk about you.”
Maxine of Hollywood specializes in women’s swimwear and sportswear. Their VP of eCommerce, Karim Hachem, suggests making efforts to connect with consumers regularly.
“When people use the word sensitive, it tends to have a slightly negative connotation in a lot of cases. But this shouldn’t be the case especially when we’re thinking about a customer’s feelings about our company. Some, not all, customers believe they feel alienated from a company if they don’t hear from them regularly via social media or direct content such as email. There is nothing wrong with feeling sensitive towards being just a number in the system. So, be consistent about communicating what’s going on with your company or products. People will naturally turn into brand advocates because they feel they’re engaged and that’s exactly what’s happening.”
Ask for feedback
There are few things more valuable to a company than the opinions of their clients. CRAFTD is a business providing high quality jewelry for men. Their Managing Director and CEO, Dan Potter, considers it necessary to realize.
“You can pick any type of product and I assure you; we can find endless examples of companies failing to heed the advice of their customers and spiraling into oblivion. With many of these examples, I don’t doubt that these companies had great hypothetical ideas they attempted to put into practice. This method forgets the customer. Asking for feedback is a double-edged sword, not only does it help you meet the needs of your customers, but it also causes them to feel like a contributor. When people are part of something, they talk about it. It’s as simple as that.”
Be good at what you do
Gia Marie Jurosky is the Director of Communications of RoseSkinCo, a brand offering hair removal handset & other beauty tools. She advises others to be straightforward and strive for excellence.
“The nature of business and consumer demand is a bit like milk in that there’s a separation where the cream, or in this case, businesses, rise to the top. Consumers have this way of finding the best available products as well as the competition products. When it comes down to it, it’s up to them to decide what best suits their needs. If your company is good at what it’s attempting to do, people will take notice and do things that make others do the same. There’s truly nothing that beats a quality product.”
Nourishing Biologicals specializes in clinically proven, and sustainable skincare products. Their Director of Aesthetics, Natália Sadowski, believes giving people opportunities for personal gain paired with active engagement is a wise practice.
“Everyone has been part of an email list where a company sends them a promotion stating something along the lines of, ‘Refer five friends to our company and receive x item in return.’ There’s sturdy reasoning to support the common use of this brand advocacy tactic – it works. You’re killing two birds with one stone here as you’re communicating with people who already have some level of interest in your company and you’re making outsiders aware of who you are. When done right, the costs of whatever you offer in your referral program should be offset by the introduction of new customers.”
Make a splash
Brand advocacy and public discussion go hand in hand. AdQuick is a business providing an out-of-home advertising platform. Their Head of Growth, Chris Gadek, proposes keeping this in mind when trying to make use of current consumer’s opinions.
“Social media campaigns can be found in every industry and on every social media platform. While some may call them artificial conversation since it was generated by the company being discussed, good press is good press. Basically, you’re looking to give people reason to discuss your company by making a splash of some form. This can be anything from a product announcement to a comedic advertising video. The internet is a funny place and people will talk about anything if you give them reason to.”
Make yourself aware
Karl Hughes is the CEO of Draft.dev, a brand offering technical marketing for software startups. He cautions others not to ignore the importance of keeping track of data related to the thoughts of the consumer.
“Technology has brought so many opportunities to the world of business that we tend to overlook some of the things available right at our fingertips. In this instance, I’m referring to the analytical tools that allow companies to keep a sharp eye on the public consensus of their status within a community or globally. By making themselves aware of who is talking about
Create a community
Mad Rabbit specializes in tattoo aftercare products. Their Co-founder, Selom Agbitor, considers bringing together interested people to be a thoughtful plan.
“The joke about vegans being incredibly vocal about their dietary choices carries some truth that businesses should pay attention to. Why are these people so vocal? Because of the sense of belonging and togetherness that comes with being part of a movement or community. I’m not saying your efforts to build a company will result in the strength and popularity of something even close to veganism. However, if you can find a way to create a community of people who have demonstrated enthusiasm for what you’re doing, that organic response to being in community will take place.”
There are numerous routes to go down when seeking to turn loyal customers into brand advocates. The vastness of options here can cause people to feel overwhelmed
. The impact brand advocates can have on a company is immense so it is critical to remember the words of Caroline Jory, the sales and marketing director at Qubist, “People want to read reviews and recommendations from trusted sources and will make informed choices based on those recommendations from their network. That is friends, family, and peers. Word of mouth has always been the most powerful form of advertising – the current shift is that it is now tech-enabled.”