Comment: Getting to the heart of brand evangelism
Brand Evangelism is the ultimate in brand loyalty. It exists when the ardent supporters of your service or product feel so passionately about your offerings that they act as an unofficial sales force on your company¬ís behalf. By James Rose
They are the fans on the terraces, screaming at their team to win and countering any criticisms with only positives. When it comes to your product and service, they are unmovable optimism.
Imagine what the result of achieving something similar could be for your products and services. A growing group of passionate customers, out in the world talking, tweeting, writing and shouting about your brand. Increased footfall, increased sales, increased profits – sustained and growing indefinitely.
For many, the path to creating Brand Evangelists has been easy as they already do much of what is needed, just not in a strategic and planned way.
Often the following tips are a great starting point for creating your own army of Brand Evangelists:
• Listen to what your customers are saying – on and offline. Create conversations that rectify issues and also give hints, tips, guidance and advice, as well as simply showing how much you value them
• Hug the promoters, question the ambivalents and listen to the detractors. This one relates to the Net Promoter Score. Feedback is a key way to understand what the customer wants and needs and therefore what direction you should take your brand in. Your customer is the only route to success
• Reduce customer effort by enabling your customers to receive the information they need without searching for it – either through the maze of buttons to press when phoning in, on your website pages or in store. The quicker and more simply customers can get what they want, the happier they will be to return when they next need something and recommend you to others.
• Reward contributions. Help your customers feel their contribution is of value and that you appreciate them. This doesn’t have to be freebies and discounts. It can simply be that you let them know that their contribution has been actioned and implemented. Perhaps it could be invites to special events, letting them be the first to hear about new offerings and access to news about which they may not otherwise be aware.
• Have someone or a team of people acting as the brand evangelist engagement team and place it at the heart of your business. Funnel all conversation through this team and empower it to make decisions about the responses given and what actions should be taken. Listen to what this team is saying as it is key to your future success.
• Look inside. Always remember that your customers are more than just those people who buy from you. They are also the people who work for you. Make sure that your staff have the resources, tools, knowledge and skills to do their jobs effectively. In this way, the conversations between internal and external customers are evenly passionate and appropriately positive.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and walk around for a bit. How much of what you experience would lead you to feel really passionate about your products and services? The less there is, the more opportunities you have!
James Rose is a Director at Potentio
Don't miss the Retail Bulletin Customer Loyalty Conference, sponsored by The Logic Group, June 1th 2012 in London.The theme of the conference is: Maximising customer loyalty and stability by communicating brand values, building trust and engaging your customers. Confirmed speakers include Tesco Plc, Costa Retail, The White Company, Shop Direct Group, Npower, Orange-France Telecom, Lush, Phones 4U, Joules Ltd, Just-Eat, Topshop, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, The Logic Group, Empathica, Visa Europe. Click here for more details and registration.
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