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Part 2: Brand Boarding.

In Part 1 of this series, I wrote how to ignite the love of the brand starting with the CEO and trickling down to the employees.  The employees + the product/service is the foundation on which everything else stands.

Ok, so you’ve got passionate employees, you’ve got a killer product/service…how does that passion and love for the product translate to the customers?  How do you get customers on board to be an extension of the brand?

1.  Influence marketing is a phrase gaining traction among marketers.  In this culture we’re in, having the endorsement/support from people of influence is the catalyst for producing sales and for brand boarding customers.

Here’s a personal example.  I’m subscribed to a handful of fashion/beauty/health blogs. Being a loyal follower, I truly respect and listen to their opinions about certain products, health regimens, etc.  Just recently one of the beauty bloggers praised a type of face moisturizer…the way she talked about it, I just knew I had to have it.  Sure enough, I bought it and btw I love it.  She was right.  But, see, she influences me and her 1 million subscribers on YouTube.  She’s built a reputation and a following.

Influencers are used as conduits to the entire target segment.  Who are you trying to reach?  Who are the people in that space that have a voice?  The first step in influencer marketing is to identify influencers specific to  market segments.

So I think the question is posed – how do I reach these influencers to get them on board? My strong  recommendation:  use social media tools to find them based on keywords or those that belong to specific industry verticals.  YouTube, Instagram, Vine, and Twitter are perfect for this exercise.  Search by hashtag – see who’s talking and who has “power” when it comes to your niche.  Engage them.  Show them your product/service.  Prove its value. Get them talking about it.

There are people with clout talking in your industry.  Utilize them.  Fuel the passion.

In my next posts, I’ll explore more ways to get customers on board to fuel the love of the brand:

3   Meet your customers where they are.  Find the proper social channels and be there.  Just because Facebook is the most widely used social network doesn’t mean that it’s appropriate for your business to have a profile.  If you’re in tune with your customers, you’ll find them.  For my company, Twitter and LinkedIn make sense for us – that’s how we reach and communicate with our customers and prospects.

4  Value added services + thought leadership.  It’s not just about offering a product and calling it a day.  Companies have to provide value above and beyond the product offering. It could be in the form of free downloadable white papers, videos/vlogs, blogs, webinars, podcasts…

Until next time!

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