November 7, 2013
NEW YORK - Thirty-eight percent of connected consumers post brand-related photos every day, while 31 percent post branded-related videos daily, according to executives from Expo Communications and Geometry Global at ad:tech New York 2013.
During the "Nurturing Brand Advocates" session, the executives explained how 25 percent of consumers are brand-connected consumers (BCCs), who post to and about brands at least once a week, shop more frequently and with bigger carts than others and have brand interactions that influence the decisions of ordinary consumers. Four steps were outlined for brands looking to harness and leverage the latent power of BCCs.
"BCCs are the innovators," said Ken Madden, head of digital North America for Geometry Global, Dallas, TX. "They really want to know about the latest technology, they are adding to the repository of information to satisfy their own needs, but are also known in their social networks as the go-to people.
"Their expectations are that brands are listening and that brands are going to acknowledge their posts," he said. "Simple engagements matter and they matter greatly."
The Nurturing Brand Advocates session discussed how consumers are not only eager to interact with brands, but also expect brands to seek out such interactions.
Eighty percent of BCC's feel that it is important for brands to acknowledge their posts on brand pages, while 70 percent believe that it is important for brands to be acknowledged on their personal pages.
Forty percent of consumers will buy more from a brand when satisfied with an exchange. One in four consumers dissatisfied with an online exchange will stop buying from a brand.
Furthermore, 70 percent of consumers will stop buying from a brand when a post venting a dissatisfaction goes unanswered. Surprisingly, 56 percent of complaint posts receive no response.
"Nurturing Brand Advocates" at ad:tech New York 2013
Mr. Madden stressed that consumers who have had positive interactions are significantly more likely to buy from the brand in the future.
Additionally, these interactions reverberate to other consumers and influence their paths to purchase.
"When researching, consumers are very moved by people giving product experiences in unbiased and unprompted ways," said Daphne Kwon, CEO of Expo Communications, New York.
"It's important to keep your eye on where they leaving the information," she said.
"Luxury consumers are super low-hanging fruit. They are making decisions because of the brand and brands should be tailoring their apps, offers and rewards to them."
Embracing the community
Ms. Kwon described four steps that brands can take to cultivate their community of BCCs.
The first step is identifying how these consumers can add value to the brand. Finding innovative ways to showcase the opinions of BCCs on brand Web sites or social media pages can create a more authentic atmosphere.
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Secondly, creating value for the BCC, whether through recurring reward programs or sustained interactions, will maximize the participation of loyalists.
Thirdly, brands must ensure that they are structured for sustained engagement, which does not mean having an isolated contest every now and then. Instead, this means that brands should build a culture that not only fosters but also anticipates future engagements.
Finally, brands should celebrate BCCs whenever possible. Rather than awarding prizes, loyalists prefer recognition on a deeper level such as through being authentically listened to and incorporated into branded efforts.
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Ms. Kwon ended by encouraging brands to take this strategy global.
"BCCs want to talk to brands and engage with them," Ms. Kwon said. "They view brands as a person. BCCs are not a small majority of extremists, they are a large group of people who spend money on products.
"They want to help you," she said. "You already have a relationship with them and have the your power to ignite and get this energy out of them."
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York