Everyone has their favorites, brands that they trust in certain situations. Maybe it's a certain kind of bread or peanut butter or oil filter or the like, a brand name that's been with the user since childhood or even beyond.
Maybe it's an old family favorite – Grandpa's brand of root beer or brand of perfume – that reminds those who come in contact with the brand name of better times, times long forgotten, or just happy times in general.
A recent study from JWT / OgilvyAction and EXPO took a closer look at the kind of impact customer interaction with brands online can have, and discovered that shoppers have a lot of engagement when it comes to brand names.
The cooperative study between JWT / OgilvyAction and EXPO showed that 80 percent of shoppers who responded to the survey, backed up by the results of fully three separate focus groups, were engaged with brands in some fashion online.
Some consumers in particular, called Brand Connected Consumers (BCC (News - Alert)), were particularly well-connected with brands, and as such, had a disproportionately large impact on both public opinion and on brand sales as a whole.
The BCCs in question are of particular note to retailers and brands – or should be – because of their sheer connection to those brands. They represent about one in four consumers, and engage in specific activities to denote their status; they look for new information at least once a week, like messages, videos and pictures, and also take their opinions about certain brands to other locations, talking about these brands on blogs, similar websites, or social networks in general.
BCCs that are satisfied with their digital interaction with brands are more likely to recommend those brands to others, which commonly results in improved sales for those brands. But dissatisfied BCCs are a threat to the bottom line; when negative comments from BCCs go unanswered – which is the case just over half (56 percent) of the time – seven in 10 shoppers will stop buying.
EXPO's vice president of marketing, Jessica Thorpe, explained how BCCs can impact a company's bottom line; "The BCC is truly a 'brand journalist' in the online space. Their ability to share helpful, and often positive, information about a product or service to thousands of peers not only qualifies them as a brand advocate, but also demonstrates the extent of their influence."
So what should a company do in response to this information? It's actually fairly simple: engage the consumers, whether they’re full blown BCCs or just regular customers. The more customers hear about their own issues, be they complaints or compliments, the more likely they are to stick with a certain brand and tell others about it.
Brands are the things that people invite into their homes most often. If the brands treat them well, customers are more likely to spread the word, and word-of-mouth advertising is at once the best and hardest kind to get.
It's unsolicited, it's unsanctioned, and it's wholly reliable; no one suggests a certain brand after a bad experience with it. People suggest brands because they have good experiences with those brands, and believe those to whom they suggest the brands will have similar good experiences.
Being better focused on the customer, sufficiently so to answer their comments whether good or bad, is a great way to encourage more customers to purchase a particular brand. That's a great step in the right direction for any company, especially those looking to shore up their bottom line.
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Edited by Braden Becker