Recently, I read about Starbuck’s idea campaign that left me wondering if it’s advisable to make customers your brand ambassadors. So I thought developing this idea.
Brands are for customers and customers make a brand. Therefore, I feel it would be great to let your customers speak for you. A lot of companies like Starbucks and GE have involved their customers in the brand, but this practice is yet to emerge as a fully grown trend.
Customer engagement can be done in several ways. A few on top of my mind are – company can let them run a blog on their site or let them engage in replying to the bloggers on company’s behalf.
Companies can largely benefit from making their customers talk on their behalf in both tangible as well as intangible terms.
Tangible: Increases your reach and spreads the word
- One of the immediate benefits of Customers as brand ambassadors is, that your fan base increases exponentially, by giving you an access to your customer’s connections and network.
- Secondly, customer’s voice is not marketing, it is an experience. And people love to hear it and relate to it better and find it more authentic.
- Spreads word of mouth
- Customer voice leads to innovation: People get to demand what they want .
Intangible: Increases brand loyalty and reinforces faith
- Customer advocacy reinforces trust because the recommendation comes from someone real, someone they are open to hear from and someone who is not trying to sell them something!
- Finally this entire process makes your brand more human, which is ultimately what all marketers aim towards.
Of course, while giving a customer a chance to access your marketing channels some caution needs to be exercised in terms of his identity and intent. If everything is cross checked and verified, it is a really cool opportunity with a lot of potential, which marketers can utilize to make the customers to testify for the brand they love and believe in, isn’t it ?