Brand Champions are some of the most valuable assets a business can have. You know the people that love love love you, tell all their friends and family, maybe they write a blog post, tweet, or share photos of your brand or product on social channels.
And that – that is HUGE. A digital Brand Champion who is willing to stand on the digital rooftops and share about you are is more influential than all your paid advertising. See, as consumers, when we are look at new things to buy, we trust the recommendations of our friends more than the paid advertising spots.
Do you even know who your Brand Champions are?
If you haven’t already, look at who is opening, sharing, and forwarding your email newsletters. Keep a list. Look at who is tweeting, @mentioning you, and sharing your posts. Keep a list. Look at who is sending you referrals on a regular basis. Keep a list.
How do you treat them?
Do you say thank you? Do you retweet, repost, or @mention them on occasion? Do you offer them specials or VIP access to things? Maybe send them some swag? You should. They are fan-freaking-tastic. The influence they have on your potential new customers is priceless.
Want more Brand Champions?
See above. The point is, if you cultivate relationships with the people that are your biggest brand advocates, they will keep doing it. Passion is contagious. Ever notice on Facebook the one thing that 16 people shared? One person was passionate about something enough to share it. That passion compelled another person, and so on and so forth. So, in the big picture of things, if you cultivate the relationship of a few Brand Champions, you can exponentially increase your reach to many.
What went wrong?
If you’re thinking – “People used to love my company. What went wrong?” I ask you, how did you treat your Brand Champions? What did you do when your biggest brand advocate had an issue or a problem? Did you go out of your way to make it right? Or, are your britches so big that you said – “Eh, so what? It’s one account, one sale. So what if you go to my competitor?”
I had this happen to me twice in one day! Two separate companies (that don’t pay me or give me anything, yet I regularly give them digital love) both said “Nope that’s the rule, I won’t budge.” I was shocked.
Here’s the thing – if a client is willing to give you a chance to make it right, take it. Most will just leave. If you do make it right, the love they have for you will increase. If you don’t work with them to make them happy, you’re not losing a just a customer. You’ve lost a Champion. Think about that. If they go to a competitor and your competitor is good to them, your competitor didn’t just get a new customer. They probably got your Champion to root for them now.