Have you ever wondered, why most of the family members have smartphones of a particular brand?
Why do some people keep reminding you that you should travel from a particular airline at least once? (Or say, Try a particular product for once.)
Who are these people who never forget to share the latest release of a particular product at your Facebook News Feeds? (No! It is something more than being a Geek.)
I believe, you all have answers though you may not have justifications for that.
Let me simplify this, if you are an active citizen of your country who religiously takes part in elections as a legit voter, what does it make so important for you that the others should also vote for the same party you are rooting for?
You are a supporter of that party! NO!, Let me modify it, a bit, You are a ‘die-hard’ supporter of that party! In Marketing World, we call these people as ‘Brand Advocates‘.
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In words of Rob Fuggetta (Author of Brand Advocates):
Brand advocates are highly satisfied customers who go out of their way to actively promote the products they love and care about. A Brand Advocate is 50% more influential than An Average Customer.
John Moore (Author of Brand Autopsy) defines ‘Brand Advocates’ as:
A Brand Advocate is one who believes in the goodness of a company, tells others about the goodness of the company, and is loyal to the company in good times and bad times.
In short, these two definitions when coupled together, sums up the idea of ‘Brand Advocate‘. In above two definitions, two keywords are: ‘Satisfied’ & ‘Goodness of a Company’. The satisfaction can be realized only through a product of good quality and good service level. Without this no brand can even think of, its customer advocating the brand. But it is just one half of the story, the second half which comes to the fore is ‘Goodness of the Company’ or more precisely ‘The Human Connect the company can make’. In this competitive era, where there is very thin margin for continuously development of distinguished features, it becomes essential for a company to look out for other options. It is when the story becomes interesting!
Let me explain with the help of an example: Watch Samsung India Video (At times, one must go further for the sake of relationship. We’ll take care of you wherever you are.)
Did you like it? Do you think it is worth sharing with friends? Do you have any experience with a Samsung electronic equipment? Did you feel some sort of resonance inside you? When the girl opened the door, or when she rang the bell and children started coming in, how did you feel?
(This was a huge success for Samsung, 208 Million + Views, is more than extraordinary. Any number above 5 Million views, is considered big in Marketing Arena. Remember Dove Real Beauty Sketches Ad, it is around 8.2 Million. You can compare.)
Suppose you want to buy a TV and you don’t know much about technical specifications, you compare some options and decide to buy a Samsung TV. After a month, you find, you are happy with the product and service provided. Then, one day, you watch this ad on TV, there is something very heart-warming about the ad that you share the link with your friends on WhatsApp. You go to the company’s website and write a 5-Star rating review, sharing your experience, maybe with your photo as well. Then, one of your friend replies back and says, ‘This TV is expensive, exactly same set of features are available with a TV of another brand. You should have researched more.’ What you do is, you again tell him how your TV is ‘different’ (Even if it is not), why he should buy, what the other benefits are that your friend is unaware of (You were also unaware of till the time you searched it then!). Finally, you convince him after spending (investing) 3-4 hours of discussion. He places an order and You breathe a sigh of relief and a certain sort of accomplishment!
Now, the obvious questions are: Why did you do that? Were you paid by the company? (Hell! No!) Why was it so important for you to win the argument against your friend? Was not the other TV really that good?
Yes, I know You were quite satisfied with the product. But what really pushed you was, the human connect. It means, you’ve become a Brand Advocate.
To make you realize the gravity of the term, ‘The Human Connect’, let me present some more examples:
Obviously, you’ve to be a satisfied customer first!
Watch Hyundai: A Message to Space Video, (71 M+ Views) If you are a father to a daughter or a daughter herself, did you feel some connect? Will you go to the same extent defending this brand, the extent to which daughter went to deliver her message to the father? Isn’t there is something cool about the cars writing ‘Steph Loves You!’? Isn’t the company making you special by focusing on your story in its tag line: ‘Your Stories Inspire Our Innovative Thinking’? You get some answers, don’t you?
Watch Nike: Want It All, (8 M+ Views) A journey of a child, from practice hours to becoming a champion, all those efforts, never saying never attitude that pushes the child to make headlines some day wearing Nike is the dream for many. If I as a child win my school race wearing Nike, and come to watch this video, I’m sure, I’m going to defend or promote the brand, no matter what it takes. Nike will remain my first choice. That is the resonance of a soul with a brand.
Watch Stay Started with Nescafe, (8.9 M+ Views), Have you ever felt, no matter how hard you are trying there is something standing in between you and your target? You are tired of trying but you don’t want to quit. You know, or you have faith in yourself, that someday you will. If you wake up early or go to bed very late, you feel this sip of Nescafe is going to work for you someday. And, one day miracle happens, I’m sure, Nescafe is going to be your friend forever. You’ll surely prescribe this to your friend going through the same phase. Is it about luck? (Decide Yourself!)
In all these examples, one thing is filtered out very clear: Brand Advocates don’t promote the brand for money! They do it for themselves, for personal gratification. When we help someone or we think we are helping them, in both cases, we feel good. That’s the crux. We feel good, that’s why we do it.
~ Thanks, for reading Part-1: Who are the Brand Advocates?
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