Real Brand Advocacy Comes From Real People

by Jeannie Walters

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Is brand advocacy for real?

When we talk about brand advocacy, we are not talking about spokespeople, but real people who have a real affinity with your product or company. It’s great to have a celebrity or someone with clout speak on behalf of your brand. That is sure to get you noticed.

Once customers notice you, they will scrutinize.

But really, this is not the 50’s. We are smarter in this age. We are no longer gullible enough to say “Well, if Neil Patrick Harris likes it, it must be good.” We are more likely to say, “It must have cost them a fortune to get him for this.” And while it may help to make some connection to the product, or make us remember it, most of us are not going to believe NPH is actually a fan or a real customer. We see it for what it is.

brand advocacy

What can we do to generate true brand advocacy?

Real brand advocates are hard to come by. And while there is no sure-fire way to get customers to advocate for your brand, here are a few ways we can encourage this behavior.

  • Listen to and engage with your customers. They are out there talking about your brand- what they love about it and how they wish you would improve it. Stay on top of it, respond, and innovate!
  • Develop and deliver on a true brand promise. Your promise should say exactly what you want to do for your customers. They will recognize this promise as a response to their needs and look to your brand for the answer.
  • Give more. Satisfaction is “Meh.” Once you’ve set their expectations, give them more than they expected. Don’t just satisfy. Delight. Inspire!
  • Showcase your customers. Let them know you notice what they do! Encourage them to share what they do with your product and why they love it. Refer to our first Case File to see how Sharpie lets customers know it’s all about them.

Real brand advocates are out there!

They love their favorite products so much that they spend their own time advocating for them. Here are some great examples from YouTube:

Think these are not a big deal? Most of them really are not. But the homemade Lego commercial has had almost 76,000 views! This is what happens when your brand moves past satisfaction toward delight and inspiration.

What are you doing to inspire your customers?


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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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