1 August 2011 16 Comments

How To make targets lifetime star advocates

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Brands thrive just because there are consumers of what the brands’ offer. Without brand consumers no brand will exist. It has also be proven no brand survives just having a one time buyer  but having  depth of relationship which transcend just one night stands.Brand advocates, star advocates, brand loyalist, idea

Brand custodians know it is easier to maintain a happy customer than to invest in recruiting new ones. Maintaining sustainable relationship with brand’s consumers may be easy today through varied available platforms that can help brands remain in constant touch with its target, but as we know attention span is an issue today. Choices clients have today also have broken the walls that used to be.

In the midst of all these, brands still have untold opportunity not only to make customers lifetime friends but also star advocates. No one say it is going to be an easy walk through though, but a consistent dedication to this cause has greater returns on investment. To do this with ease, here are some routes brand custodians could take:

First the determination: Every brand needs to sit down first and consider what kinds of customers they want. If the priority is on having many customers who just buy once and move on to the next big thing or they want a lifetime clients who remain loyal throughout their existence. The kind of energy and investment these kinds of clients require varies. Most lifetime relationship goes beyond just one time communication, cultivation and sustenance. As we know, it takes different approach to maintain just an ordinary friend, a long standing friend and a spouse. Even though the above cited examples are form of relationship, it takes different energy to sustain each. What kind of customer/client do you want? What will it cost you to maintain such levels of relationship are part vital determining factors.

Be a trusted advisor: trust is a scarce resource now on the planet earth. That does not mean trust is dead. Nobody wants to continue strong relationship with a brand that cannot trust. They want a brand they can trust. Customers want brands that will not place utmost priority on what it intends to gain. Being brutally honest will count when a brand is considering making its target star advocate. Be willing to offer advice even if that appears to hurt your brand sustenance. If the brand cannot handle something, never say it has inherent capacity. It is better to drop a competitor’s name whose service can do it than to lie. Cover up is a matter of time in this age of conversation.

Continuous improvement on service delivery: How are you doing it now? What are the changes that are taking place in the industry? Are there better way to improve, ease the use of brand services? Have I asked question from anyone what they think will make the relationship work better? Is there anything we are doing that you have a suggestion on ways to improve it? Many brand custodians think there is enough pressure on the time of their clients and they would not want to add more by asking question. What we do not know is that people want to offer solicited advice. Recently I asked a question on my Facebook ‘what people think make a great weekend?’ I think people will say you should know. But I got two relevant advice: one, unwind, stop loading the weekend with official jobs, take time out with family and two, a lady said ‘money for shopping, and attending a function’.

When a brand strives to make its clients lifetime advocate, it spends less on customer recruitment, reduces cost of marketing, brand’s bottom-line increases. Brand custodians must never forget their continued existence will be better sustained when their targets become lifetime advocate instead of just ‘passer-byes’.

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