How small businesses, associations, and other B-2-B organizations can embrace brand advocates

With the explosion of social media, more and more consumer organizations are successfully taking advantage of brand advocacy to promote their brands. For small businesses, associations, and other B-2-B organizations, this may seem a bit more challenging—as tangible products more easily develop the level of fanaticism necessary to cultivate advocacy. But that doesn’t mean that brand advocates don’t exist for this market—or that they are any less important. They just might be a bit harder to identify. However, understanding the six brand advocate archetypes, and the best ways to embrace them, can have significant benefits for your organization.

Brand Ambassador: Elite customers that spread passion for the brand in ways that naturally align to their daily activities and interests.

  • Create a role for them that harnesses this naturally-occurring passion and gives them the right tools and motivation to spread the brand experience.

Brand Activist: Individuals motivated by the brand to spread passion “out in the world.”

  • Motivate them to participate in the brand experience through events and other buzz-building activities.

Marketing Partner: Advocates encouraged to contribute ideas and be part of business innovation.

  • Provide a public platform for them to make contributions in the form of product and marketing ideas (and beyond).

Licensed Informant: Advocates who have particular expertise (that may or may not be coupled with influence) and are willing to use that knowledge to guide others.

  • Work with them in an official context to support peer-based shopping and buying.

Reputation Manager: Individuals who feel comfortable and inclined to defend the brand in times of crisis.

  • Proactively rally them in anticipation of or in the face of a crisis. Enable them to defend the brand by providing exclusive and critical information.

Customer Service Rep: Advocates recruited to augment a company’s sales force or fulfill a particular business need.

  • Incentivize their formal involvement in supporting some form of the brand’s customer service efforts.

Upon reviewing these six archetypes, you may now realize that you already have a group of brand advocates working for you. The key is creating the right role or platform to engage them, an outlet for them to continue the conversation, and possibly find ways to reward them for their passion.

Are you doing everything you can to encourage and nurture the brand advocates for your business or association? Consider the benefit that a solid social media strategy can have on your brand. Want some help getting started? Give us a call—we’ll help you explore fresh new ideas to get the most our of your efforts.

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Stevens and Tate
Stevens & Tate Marketing is a full-service advertising agency offering award-winning, on-strategy creative; integrated message development; and cost-effective media planning and execution. The team creates targeted solutions for brand consistency, converting leads to customers, and web design and development. To learn more about how Stevens & Tate can help Make Things HappenTM for your business, call (630) 627-5200.