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Turn Customers Into Brand Advocates

January 10, 2017

In today’s competitive markets, you need as many customers as possible. Unfortunately, it costs more to reach out to new crowds than to appeal to existing patrons. This can make it difficult to grow your company. However, if you can turn your customers into brand advocates, you’ll retain their business and see returns as they advertise for you.

What’s Brand Advocacy?

Brand advocacy is the concept of encouraging customers to share your brand with others. You can essentially turn customers into a powerful (and free) marketing force. You may wind up onboarding some of your most loyal and enthusiastic customers. Brand advocacy is used by millions of companies around the world. When people believe in a product, they can’t wait to show it off and share it with friends – thus creating a positive marketing cycle.

How to Build Brand Advocacy

When your products and services are good, brand advocacy happens on its own to some degree. However, there are plenty of ways to boost relationships and make it easier for people to spread the word about your business.

  • Change customer service. People dislike contacting customer service. Younger generations are less comfortable spending time on the phone, and older ones might not enjoy chatting and emails. If you can make the experience easier for customers, they’re much more likely to spread the word. Nextiva, for example, responds to customer service inquiries with personalized videos that clients can easily show off and share.
  • Build loyalty programs. Customers love to be rewarded for shopping habits, evidenced in all sorts of stores – from gas stations to grocery chains. In fact, the average American belongs to approximately 29 separate programs but may use only 12. The secret to loyalty success is to make it worthwhile. Coupons, discounts, rewards points, and special offers can improve your program and increase the chances of consumers bragging about it.
  • Create referral programs. This is a particularly easy and valuable approach. You simply offer rewards to existing customers for referring a friend to your company. People are more likely to trust a referral from friends. What’s more, referred customers are more valuable than patrons who joined through other methods. They offer higher profit margins and stay with the company longer.
  • Communicate customer values. A great way to inspire people about your products is to promote messages that relate to your targeted demographic. For example, customers interested in organic goods are more likely to spread the word when you promote cruelty-free, vegan, all-natural, American-made products.
  • Personalize the experience. Customers feel connected to businesses when they’re treated like unique and valuable individuals. A fantastic way to do this? Use their names. It’s smart to add personal touches, whether it’s a customized note in a shipping box or simply an email tailored to their favorite products. A simple step goes a long way.
  • Customize shopping trips. The more you let customers tailor items to meet personal preferences, the happier they’ll be. Take Amazon, for example. Millions of products feature dropdown menus, allowing customers to choose colors, sizes, and myriad other options in a matter of moments.
  • Surprise the shopper. Everyone loves unexpected gifts, and customers are no exception. When you give them a treat like a coupon without making them earn it first, the surprise means so much more. The excitement easily translates to spreading the word about your business.
  • Give away shirts/stickers. Who doesn’t enjoy receiving something for free? What better way to inspire someone to spread the word than by providing a shirt that advertises your company? When you show generosity by giving a gift, customers feel more compelled to advertise for you by wearing your company logo.

Brand advocacy is one of the most powerful tools in marketing, but it’s sometimes overlooked. Let your company take advantage of this tactic. You won’t be sorry.

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