The Secret to Turning Customers into Brand Ambassadors
Every business leader and employee hopes that their company will achieve longevity, ultimately becoming a valuable and reliable resource. Generally, companies that do not utilize their audience as a source to further market their brand often fails in achieving this status.
It is vital to have dependable customers that act as your brand ambassadors. Loyal customers have the ability to spread awareness for your brand, services and values to a broader audience through multiple outlets. Social media and trusted review platforms have molded into our everyday lives, heavily impacting consumers’ decision making process. Recent studies have shown that people are more likely to use a company’s services if they were recommended by a friend or a reliable source, rather than seeking services or products from an unfamiliar brand. In fact, according to the New York Times, 65 percent of new businesses can be traced back to personal and social referrals.
In a world with so many options you need those customers who are going to act on behalf of your company.
The question is how do you retain, engage and motivate loyal customers to the point of selling your brand and services to others?
You do not require a million dollar budget to develop loyal brand ambassadors; all you need is effort and an incentive that brings them a sense of value. People want to not only be sold products or services, but also a lifestyle. Providing consumers with essential tools that help them build a deep connection with your brand brings them the sense of purpose they are seeking. Building a trustworthy relationship by fulfilling a consumer’s needs and wants drives them in becoming devoted to your company.
For example, Lululemon is a “lifestyle and athletic” brand that sells apparel for yoga, running, dancing and most other sweaty pursuits. Their mission is to create a healthy, “feel good community” across the world, connecting comfort and fitness with living a healthy and happy lifestyle. Lululemon’s followers connect with the brand’s values and promote the positive vibes it represents.
TED, the renowned non-profit Sapling Foundation, is another great example of connecting individuals to their brand worldwide. Every year, TED holds conferences that have grasped the attention of the world since its beginning in 1984. Its mission statement outlines free thinking and sharing innovative ideas to inspire others to create change within themselves and the world. TED’s loyal following has transformed the extraordinary foundation from a single event to a full-fledged brand, generating more than 1,400 talks that are viewed around the world at a rate of 1.5 million times per day; that is 17 views per second!
The first step in retaining a brand ambassador audience is engagement. The brand is tasked with making consumers feel as if they have been chosen specifically. Creating dialogue and listening to what your customers want from your services is the key to building a trusted and loyal relationship.
Customer loyalty programs are a valuable tactic that increases engagement rates with desirable and fulfilling incentives that drive customer’s loyalty further. These programs are tailored to appeal to a distinctive audience, creating more frequent opportunities for a company to connect and communicate its message effectively. Loyalty programs allow you to express appreciation for your customer’s involvement with your brand. Providing continual encouragement in promoting the positive values your company offers will assist you in reaching and retaining a wider audience.
People rely on others for recommendations. Taking the impact you have on your audience a step further and transforming them into reliable sources that promotes your company in a positive light is a valuable method in retaining a broader audience. Seeking assistance from a loyalty marketing provider can only enhance your overall reach and motivate your brand ambassadors in staying loyal to your company.