Cracking the Code: Boost Your Brand Advocacy Strategy with Events

Jill Anonson
Jill Anonson

Person cracking the code on a padlock

In a world of transactions and labels, winning companies are those who deeply connect with their customers. Why? Because these companies know the equation that results in brand advocates. These companies understand and appreciate the ripple effect caused by an emotional connection. They come to the table with loyal customers, and work to convert them to brand advocates.   

Sound like an unrealistic mountain to climb? It doesn’t have to be. Your next event can include elements to support your overall brand advocacy strategy. Let’s first break down the equation behind cultivating brand advocates:

CUSTOMER LOYALTY + EMOTIONAL CONNECTION + KEY TRAITS = BRAND ADVOCACY

Stripping down to the essentials, these three components can translate to genuine and authentic brand advocates.

Suggested: Read more about forging an emotional connection in the ITA Group ebook Brand Advocacy and the Emotionally Connected Customer.

What’s Driving Customer Loyalty?

In today’s fast-paced marketplace, creating and maintaining a loyal customer base can be tricky. A new study from the American Marketing Association looked at customer types—satisfied and committed—in order to determine the factors that drive loyalty. This study identified variables and how their differing degrees of application to a brand could indicate the loyalty group of their customer. Satisfied customers are those who buy regularly and typically are the core loyalty group. The brands with satisfied customers show strong links with dependability and a light emotional connection. Committed customers have a more intense relationship; they are likely to have an emotional attachment with the brand and “can’t live without it.” These brands also are dependable in addition to being better than others, have interesting and engaging online content, and a heavy emotional connection.

Regardless of your type of loyal customer, being dependable and living up to your brand promise is essential.

Make sure to feature this promise in some way at your next event. To build a committed customer base, utilizing social media buzz (and influencers) can make a big difference. Ease of use is also critical, as are emotional feelings to connect and inspire. Your next event is the ideal opportunity to showcase your product in an exciting, photo-worthy way. And for you to gain momentum for your brand advocacy strategy.

Related: 4 Contemporary Trade Show Trends That Offer Big Marketing Value  

Making an Emotional Connection

Creating a genuine, authentic connection with your customers and your employees is possible. And your event is a great way to emphasize it. You want to craft an experience that resonates with your attendees. By knowing them well—especially what motivates them—you are able to build an event that is sure to please. People-to-people connections are organically forged at an event. From kinetic art experiences to virtual reality racing, there are countless ways to get people talking—to each other. With an immersive experience, you have a space to establish trust and bond with your brand. Empower your employees to live your brand message in real time. They can be advocates in their own way, and make an impact on your brand’s credibility.

Group of people talking and laughing at an experiential event making human connections

Don’t Tell, Show 

An event can be the ideal way to show your customers—and employees—the key traits that brand advocacy leaders share. One amazing experience can reset the playing field, allowing you to establish a connection or take a sales lead to the next level. Or your event can ensure everyone at the company is on the same page. Whether you are leading the way in the marketplace or just starting out, an event experience is an ideal anchor to your brand advocacy strategy. 

Related: Want to Generate Brand Advocacy? These 6 Brands Show You How

 

Traits of brand advocacy leaders: on-trend, engaging, innovative, relevant, credible, community-centric, inspiring

 

Here are a few examples of events that checked each box:

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic event marketingAnnouncing a new airline flight route was cause for celebration for Virgin Atlantic. Using an awareness-building event in Seattle, they literally took their message to the streets. Their brand is rooted in connecting customers to employees, so they recruited flight attendants for the event to showcase this relationship. By using actual,  people and real beverage carts, their event made the possibility of travel take flight.

 

Casper

casper event marketingA start-up company that sought to disrupt the mattress industry, Casper immediately gained attention and social buzz. They were able to keep people talking with the 15-city Nap Tour. A brand built on going direct to their consumer, the traveling “Napmobiles” were an innovative way to bring their product to the public. An addition of active, fun social posts brought another layer to their on-the-road adventures.

 

chobani brand advocacy with eventsChobani

Chobani is changing minds and creating live experiences with tasting events, sponsorships and its flagship café. The company recognizes a huge opportunity in the marketplace, with domestic consumers limiting yogurt use to breakfast unlike worldwide trends. Passion for experiential events starts at the very top, with Chobani executive leaders confident that trying means buying. Inspiring people to try their yogurt is the driving force behind experiences, resulting in innovative and community-centric events from coast to coast.

Inspire Customer Connections and Make Brand Advocates

When planning your next event, tap into the opportunity and think bigger. Create an experience that can shift thinking, drive loyalty and increase engagement. Here at ITA Group, we build the event participant journey from start to finish.

Jill Anonson

Jill Anonson

Jill Anonson has over 20 years of diverse experience in event management, incentive travel and sales strategy, and serves as the Events Strategy Advisor at ITA Group. Focused on continuous improvement and challenging standards, she consults clients and team members with impactful strategies and innovative ideas that deliver successful business outcomes. She is a Certified Engagement Practioner, and certified through Pragmatic Marketing.