Brand Evangelists areyour key to outstanding of Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing. These are the people that will go forth and spread your marketing message. They are your early adopters and the last customers standing behind your business. They have the following characteristics;
- They are vocal, they spread the word – they are usually the most active people in forums and online. They will be the first to claim a great victory and the first to be crying over a great loss. They are the first to pass along information and help make it become a viral sensation. Evaneglists will be the first to call foul also, and their cries should not be dismissed.
- They are loyal – Betamax became Betacam because the product was high quality and the following was strong. Apple fans purchase products that are higher priced, and often with fewer features for the sames reasons.
- They are the first to try your latest products. They are early adopters.
If you can capture this key, valuable, segment of your market, they will spread the word for you, and act as an unofficial marketing force. Here are the steps you should take to engage this part of the market.
Create for one segment of the market. Target your largest, or most valuable, portion of the market and create a product specifically for them. There is nothing that dooms a product or service more to failure than something that tries to be everything to everyone. Find out how, where, when and why they use your current products. Use this as a model for your next product. Get your key segment to test the product and get a first look at it. Allow them to try it out for free.
Create a Culture. A culture is made up of traditions, heroes, shared experience, symbols and rituals. Think of all the Rocky Horror fans or the dead headers. Artists are great at this because they always project something that their fans can grab on to. Companies can create a culture by giving customers more than just a service. Customers will become proud followers of a company that shares experiences. If you are selling a product, who uses that product in a unique way? Which of your customers deserves to be recognised?
Empower your customers to spread the word. Social networking has helped companies to spread the word to their immiediate followers. Allowing them to spread the word is the next step. This goes beyond t-shirts and free golfing umbrellas. This means inviting them to exclusive events, so they can tell all their friends.
Create something unique. It does not have to be the best, or the brightest. It can be the most functional, the most interesting, or even something in a different colour. People want to buy the hole, not the drill bit. However people will fall in love with a drill bit that never breaks, or that glows in the dark so you don’t lose it.