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How to Turn a New Bern Customer into a Brand Advocate

Do you know how a brand advocate differs from an average customer?

The brand advocate freely markets your business through word of mouth to other people. The advocate can be a wide range of people, such as:
  • Customers
  • Business partners
  • Employees
  • Online influencers 
Advocating for a brand is a form of “peer review,” one of the most authentic and powerful forms of marketing—an honest recommendation from a trusted person (friend, family member, colleague). Are you actively working to identify and nurture those customers who willfully recommend your business to others? Read on to learn more about how to turn your New Bern customers into lifetime brand advocates.

Know Thine Advocates

The first step is to identify exactly who is an advocate. For example, maybe you know someone who likes a particular t.v. show. How often have you heard them recommending that t.v. show using such language as “you have GOT to watch this program!” That is a brand advocate—the brand being the t.v. show. The show resonates with them, and they identify with it. To find your brand advocates, simply send out a survey to your customers and ask a straightforward question: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our business to your family, friends, or colleagues?”  The customers who answer a “9” or “10” are your ideal brand advocates, and they are the type of people who would instantly recommend your business to other people. Here are five tips for nurturing and fostering the relationship between your business and your brand advocates:

Start a Referral Program

Referral programs provide your advocates with yet another reason to promote your business. Not only will you gain new customers, but you could also wind up creating even more brand advocates.  Ensure that you reward both the advocate and the individual they referred. This will help set the stage for a life-long relationship between your business and the new customer.

Give Them a Gift

loyalty programReceiving an unexpected gift often invokes the law of reciprocity—wherein the recipient feels they owe something to the person who gave them that gift. If you’re short on gift ideas, consider branded promotional products. While you can have a few calendars printed up and distributed to your best customers—it tends to be a bit tacky in this day and age. Instead, opt for a more expensive item, such as a Bluetooth speaker with your company brand imprinted on the front. Your customers will subconsciously associate the high-quality promotional product with the level of service and care that your company offers them. In other words, a customer for life.

Create a Loyalty Program

When it comes to loyalty programs, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on fancy credit card reading machines to track the promotion. Consider the average coffee shop that has business cards printed up and passed out.  Every time the customer buys a cup of coffee, the cashier stamps out a hole. After a certain number of purchases, they get a free cup of coffee on their next visit.   Consider running two simultaneous loyalty programs—one for your regular customers and one for those who are your brand advocates. Give the advocates a bit more of a reward and make sure that you encourage them to tell a friend.

Get Online Reviews

Online reviews allow potential new customers to gain a sense of trust in your business and allow Google to rank your website higher in the local search results. If you want an easy way to get a flood of good reviews about your business, your brand advocates are the best people to ask. Either print up a postcard or send out an email and give them a link to the review site of your choosing.

Under Promise and Over Deliver

As you go about your day, try to under-promise and over-deliver. This is a great way to increase the number of brand advocates. For example, let’s say that you own a bakery. Give your customers your standard two-week estimated lead time and then deliver in one week. You’ll be surprised at how happy people get when you under-promise and over-deliver.

Branding and Marketing Help in New Bern

With just a little bit of hard work, time, and effort, you can identify and nurture those customers who are most likely to recommend your products or services to their friends, families, and colleagues. If you need marketing or customer retention help, contact the marketing experts at AlphaGraphics of New Bern. We will sit down with you, listen to your goals, and then develop a game plan that will put your business on the right track for success. To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of New Bern can produce and design your next project, you may email usrequest a quote, or call us at (252) 633-3199.

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