Picture this. Your brand is in SERIOUS NEED of a boost and you need to do SOMETHING to move it forward. Let’s be fair here, not everyone has the budget to rope in an A-lister celebrity to endorse your brand.
So now what? What do you do? How do you get people to endorse you?
Start with baby steps, i.e. with your existing customers. You need people to trust your brand, and a good place to start will always be your existing customers. Especially the ones who make that repeat purchase.
They are the fans of your brand. They will tell you how much they love you and they show it by buying the products you’re endorsing, many a times neglecting things like the price or even their own personal requirement. Your product is their want and not necessarily their need.
For example: Those Apple customers that buy the latest iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhones, iPods and anything and everything that has ‘i’ in it. Whether it’s time to change their existing gadgets or not, they are right there, buying the latest piece of technology that Apple has to provide.
But as Steven Knox from Proctor and Gamble said, “Victory in marketing does not happen when you sell something, but when you cultivate advocates for your brand”
Brand advocates are those people who have no gains, no incentives, no motives, all in all, no reason to sell your brand to others. They will praise your brand for no personal gain and sometimes even without being a loyal customer. And THERE lies your most important resource.
For your brand to use the oldest marketing technique in the world, which is mouth-to-mouth marketing, you need to convert these existing customers into your brand advocates. And there are 2 very important reasons to do that.
Advocates are a brand’s best friend
As a brand, you definitely will encounter retractors, specially today, when everyone is so verbal and vocal on social media. But before you have thought of a counter-attack and stepped in, there are already people defending your brand with passion. They have retaliated and done everything in their power to shoot down these retractors. They are your besties without benefits and that will always speak volume for your brand, sometimes better than you stepping up and clarifying.
All gain, minimum cost
And they did it for NO BENEFITS. No big fat cheques were given away and no incentives provided (yet). You did not have to break your FDs and piggy banks for the cause. THIS IS YOUR WIN-WIN SITUATION, WHICH YOU NEED TO GRASP WITH BOTH HANDS.
All this is well and good, but how do you make these God-sent people to endorse you?
Numbers ain’t everything! Retain your customers with good service as well. They’ll thank you then, and remember you later. Especially when talking to others. And voilà! Your job is done!
Offers & incentives
We all like free goodies, don’t we? So do your brand advocates. They won’t ask for the free stuff, but they are definitely happy when they get it. This will make your brand stay in their mind and keep cropping up in conversations.
Don’t always focus on your potential customers, your existing customer is where the real gold lies. Nurture them to help you grow and reach the bigger market. After all in-house, no-budget influencers are every brand’s dream and all you need to do is get them is get into the vigilante mode.