You would not have to spend a fortune on marketing if you can turn your current customers to brand ambassadors. It is possible for brands to make their customers recommend their products and services. It is a far more effective marketing technique because the majority of consumers trust the recommendation of their colleagues and loved ones.
In fact, according to one study, 83 percent of all consumers are more willing to make a purchase because of the endorsement of a peer compared to seeing an ad. An ad, therefore, is not just less effective in convincing consumers to buy compared to traditional advertisements. It also does not cost a thing.
The challenge is, how can businesses make their customers their brand ambassadors?
Create a Pleasant Community
Building a community around the brand is beneficial for the business. It leads to success because it encourages loyalty and creates brand ambassadors out of customers. In addition, people crave feelings of belongingness. One survey from 2018 revealed that almost half of all American adults feel isolated and alone. They want to be a part of a community more than ever.
Consumers, therefore, become more willing brand ambassadors if they are part of a community made up of supportive and like-minded people. The popular dating app Bumble, for example, has an ambassador program called Queen Bees, where the users help promote the app within their own networks. They even host in-person meet-ups with influencers and thought leaders to create a community, not just sell a product. It has been successful. Bumble had over 25 million users within just three years.
Although face-to-face interactions are the most effective antidote to loneliness, socializing digitally also works. Brands, in the past, used Yahoo! Groups, but the platform is now dead. Luckily, alternatives to Yahoo! Groups have popped up all over the internet. Brands can use these platforms to create a community and produce brand ambassadors.
Ask for Their Participation
Customers will feel incentivized to become brand ambassadors if they are involved in new product launches and in improving the company.
The community being first to try new products or features will make customers feel like insiders. They provide relevant feedback and, when the feature is launched, help in promoting it.
A good example is a campaign by Snapchat. Users were able to turn their personal posts into advertisements for the social media platform. Posts had company names and taglines that made user-submitted content look like a sponsored ad. Overnight, users became brand ambassadors for Snapchat, Hallmark, and other companies that were included in the campaign.
Provide Excellent Service
How will your customers become brand ambassadors if they were unhappy with a transaction they had with your business?
To turn customers into brand ambassadors, the company must go above and beyond to accommodate their concerns and demands. A customer who is pleased with the service they receive is more likely to recommend the company to friends and family. With social media, pleased customers will share their positive experiences with strangers on the internet who will base their purchasing decision on one glowing and viral post.
Take Zappos, for example. When the shoes of a best man were delivered to the wrong location, this company instantly sent another pair using overnight delivery to make sure that the pair arrived at the location of the wedding in the morning. The story went viral, and Zappos gained some brand ambassadors.
Values matter, especially nowadays. Young consumers make purchasing decisions based on the values a brand upholds and whether it aligns with their own. However, identifying these values will not convince consumers to become loyal followers and brand ambassadors. Instead, these values should be reflected in the company’s decisions, the products that the company introduces into the market, the way the company treats customers, the company’s processes, and other aspects of a business.
A company that fails to uphold its own values will drive customers away. No one wants to become a brand ambassador for a company that mistreats its employees or prioritizes profit over the planet. Consumers will only feel comfortable being brand ambassadors if the company they represent does good things.
It is not easy to turn customers to brand ambassadors, but there are plenty of ways to make them pleased enough with a product or transaction to recommend the company to their friends and loved ones. If you create a positive and supportive community, engaged with customers, provide excellent customer service, and be authentic, customers become more likely to become brand ambassadors.