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Building a Brand That Drives Passion – What Marketers Need to Know (#Infographic)

Most marketers would agree that brand advocacy programs are a good idea.  The ultimate challenge is finding and nurturing customers that are so passionate about your brand that they become your brand’s strongest and most vocal advocates.  They are literally your biggest fans and are not shy about actively touting their opinions to their network.  Imagine the Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen from Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, all rolled into one individual.

Social media has made it easier than ever for brand advocates to share their opinions about their experiences.  It’s as simple as a Tweet, Pin, Facebook post, blog entry or product review on a shopping site.  But what truly drives people to express their passion for a brand is still largely a mystery.

The new Global Advocacy study from Social@Ogilvy used data from Visible Technologies to delve into the topic and uncover the key drivers of brand advocacy.  The Ogilvy study analyzed 7 million mentions of 22 brands and 8 feature films across 4 countries (China, Brazil, UK and US).  The findings include insights that true passion is rare, brands are largely failing at driving advocacy in social media, and that a high volume of advocacy is surprisingly driven by everyday experiences such as being delighted by a great product feature, an exceptional service experience or a good deal.

The Ogilvy study also shares some recommendations for brands committed to creating brands that inspire passion and advocacy.  I have also added some additional thoughts based on Visible’s work with fortune 500 companies.

Building a Passion Brand:

  1. Find and understand your brand advocates.  The first step is to identify your brand’s evangelists.  Who are these individuals that go out of their way to promote your brand?  What makes them unique?  Where are they talking about your brand?  Visible Intelligence makes it easy to identify your brand’s key influencers and advocates so you can begin to build a profile of who they are and what matters to them.  This group can also become a great sounding board when creating new marketing programs or product features.
  2. Identify advocacy drivers.  Do you understand what drives advocacy for your brand?  For example, the Social@Ogilvy research found that Holiday Inn’s breakfast drives more advocacy than other hotels; in comparison, Kimpton’s bars are more often cited that those of other brands.  Social analytics can help you identify what topics or features are driving positive conversations about your brand.  These types of insights are great starting points for creating and monitoring advocacy programs and often drive creative/campaign messaging, improved audience targeting, and even product or service improvements.
  3. Analyze and leverage your brand’s differentiated advocacy drivers.  Examine your brand and your key competitors to determine what differentiates you.  Two of the highest advocacy brands in this study were Kimpton Hotels and Kiehls.  However the passion drivers differed for each when compared to category averages.  For Kiehls, it was all about the product features, while for Kimpton, its benefits and customer service are key differentiators.
  4. Encourage and enable advocacy everywhere.  There are a variety of tactics that can help encourage advocates to create content about your brand, as well as to substantially amplify the reach of advocacy mentions when they do so.  In general, make it easy for advocates to spread the word with friends and family.  Make them feel special when they do so – show your appreciation with a thank you or special offers.  Using social monitoring tools can help you find those positive posts by continuously monitoring and bringing them to your attention with alerts or automated reports. 

Brand advocacy translates into real business and financial value for brands.  Amplifying true, organic word of mouth is a powerful endorsement from consumers’ most trusted source for information – their friends and family and their collective network.  The data collected by Ogilvy suggests that “social shares drive action at a rate that’s as high as 10x of paid impressions”.  Brands that fail to inspire advocacy relative to competitors will essentially need to pay more to drive the same reach.

One of the key findings from the Ogilvy study is that few brands are driving true passion.  Most brands are driving very low social advocacy from their satisfied customers. It’s estimated that less than 5% of satisfied customers advocate publicly for the brand on social channels.  This “social advocacy gap” represents a huge opportunity for brands and the individuals who manage those brands.


Tags : social media

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