In Part-1, It is discussed: Who are the Brand Advocates? What does make them behave so?
In Part-2, It is discussed: Why should a company enlarge its Brand Advocates base? How can a company do that?
In this final part, I’m going to discuss various misconceptions associated with the concept of Brand Advocates. How are they different from Brand Influencers?
Based upon the strong reaction and behavior pattern towards a particular Brand, the customer can be classified into four different categories, as shown below:
- Brand Loyal: They are the regular buyers of a particular brand. They are so satisfied with the product and pleased with the service level, that they don’t even want to look for the other options available. They actively engage with the brand and keep updating themselves with the latest launches of new products.
- The distinguishing features of loyal consumers are: They keep the information to themselves only. If asked for advice, they can share the information and recommend a choice, but they’ll not push you to make the decision.
- They like most of the posts at the brand’s social media page, but don’t feel like to share. They are happy users.
- No matter how urgent it is, they can always wait for the latest product launch of the brand. They are even ready to pay some premium to get the latest edition of the product.
- Apple Users, who have never even tried other options, are the best users of loyal consumers
- Brand Advocate: They are the satisfied consumer for whom it is very important that other people should also purchase the same brand because the brand has a personal connect with them. They may or may not be loyal to the company, but they are loyal to the brand. They may or may not go for same product again and again, but they want other to buy the same brand every single time.
- They not only like most of the posts at the brand’s social media page, but they share them as well.
- Many a times, they invest a lot of their time, just to get the approval of other person for their brand. They literally push you to place the order they want.
- They are very serious and connected to their brand. They defend it as if they are defending themselves. They just can’t see their brand letting down.
- Brand Ambassador: They are believed to be both– a) loyal to the product and b) an advocate of the product, as well. Most of the time, they are paid a good amount to promote the brand. Most of the sportspersons and film industry celebrities vouching for a particular brand, fall in this category.
- The company, during a new product launch, wants to reach as wider consumer base as possible. By giving their product a face, having very large fan following, larger audience, the company can introduce their product and penetrate in the market within a few weeks.
- For most of the growing brands, it becomes very important to give their product a face, unlike the well rooted brands, where the brand is itself a face. For Example, Vivo Smartphone company, a new brand in India, required face of Ranveer Singh, even Samsung also required Shahid Kapoor unlike Apple, where the brand launches its products itself.
- Having a wider audience reach doesn’t necessarily mean that the product will do good. It just signifies, how well a product is introduced. How it will sell depends on many factors, Brand Advocate is one of the many.
- Brand Detractor (Negative Brand Ambassador): They are the customer who doesn’t like a particular brand and vote against that brand. It may be due to the product features and specifications of the brand are not so good, or they have some personal grudge (bad experience) against the brand. Whichever is the case, they simply oppose the brand. They don’t want their friends to buy any product of that particular brand.
- They are happy if you buy any other brand, but not that particular brand. They write negative reviews based on their personal experience, might be how bad the service delivered was.
- They can cost company a huge amount, if their grievances are not addressed properly in the shortest time possible. The companies do take these people seriously. The earliest damage control is the best buy that the company can make.
- Depending upon the number of followers of the Brand Detractors, any negative review against the brand can be made to spread like forest fire.
- If the product quality is not good, the detractors can write the true reviews on their blogs which can directly impact the sales.
- The number of stars, a movie get after a week of its launch, can fairly forecast how well or worse the movie will perform.
Now, after going through the classification, I believe anyone can answer the questions, having an element of doubt, given below:
Do brand advocates also have to be loyal to the brand? Are Brand Loyal and Brand Advocate synonymous terms? How can a Brand Advocate work against a particular brand? Do all companies need Brand Ambassadors? Why do actually a company need a Brand Ambassador?
One question, which is yet to be answered, is: What are the differences in between a Brand Influencer & a Brand Advocate?
Brand Influencer is also a Brand Ambassador whose followers needs not to be very large in numbers but definitely way larger than a Brand Advocate.
A brand influence has a very large audience but not very strong influence, whereas a brand advocate has very strong influence over small audience. The former needs not to be strongly committed to the product or the company, whereas the latter has strong conviction in the brand. (Source: Convince&Convert)
Advocacy & Loyalty:
In crux, it can be concluded that, A 21st Century Market can not ignore Brand Advocates any more. especially when we are living Digitally!
~ This marks the end of the series of articles on the concept of Brand Advocate.
~ Thanks for Reading!
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