How to Create Brand Evangelists
How to Create Brand Evangelists: A Guide for Business and Nonprofit Leaders
You don’t have to hang around marketing circles for very long before you hear the word brand. It’s been one of the hottest industry buzz-words – and concepts – through the first decade and a half of the 21st century. Everybody wants to be branded. Everybody wants their brand to be noticed. But exposure is only part of what branding is all about.
The biggest part is developing loyalty toward your brand in the marketplace. Think of these loyalists as brand evangelists. They’ve connected, and they’re ready to sing your praises.
All successful brands have connected with consumers in a way that makes people want to be part of the show. The culture, the lifestyle, the promises, the benefits – everything a brand stands for resonates with its followers and becomes woven into their lives. That’s the definition of a successful brand. Developing such a brand with loyal adherents who will champion it is a challenge faced by all small businesses and nonprofit organizations.
When we say Nike, Apple or McDonald’s, you get an instant picture in your head of the swoosh, the partially eaten apple and the golden arches. Those are brand symbols, and in and of themselves they don’t mean a whole lot. The reason those symbols have such power is because of how they make people feel.
If you want the undying support of your prospects, leads and customers, you must be what you say you are. People love fulfilled promises, but they’re quick to turn on an organization that fails to deliver. Your brand is established by the protocols and policies you’ve set down for serving those who do business with you.
Loyalty comes when consumers perceive significant benefits in a brand. “What’s in it for me?” is a question all companies and nonprofits should keep in mind when designing their brand image and related marketing. Nobody knows exactly what grade of leather goes into Nike shoes, but they all know the physical and emotional benefits they feel when lacing them up.
The central message of your brand is what you say to the public that’s different from what competitors are saying. Generic messages don’t build fans, much less evangelists. Consumers attach to brands that speak from unique platforms and create distinctive appeal. (Differentiate is another big, important buzz-word in the 21st century!)
A brand can include custom logos, slogans, colors, design, marketing strategies and much more that generates instant visual recognition. You want all your marketing visuals to perfectly represent your brand and tell the full story as quickly as possible.
When you do branding right, you develop followers who will give you the one thing money can’t buy: word-of-mouth advertising. With a cohesive brand, you’ll be using the same secret power they use at Nike, Apple and McDonald’s: brand evangelists who are always ready to tell others why they love you.
Point Taken Communications, a boutique Jacksonville public relations and marketing firm serving brands nationwide, creates engaging campaigns that ignite positive change and move audiences to action. We go above and beyond, ensuring each client gets the best return on its investment. Our team of senior professionals has decades of experience bringing bold, creative ideas to life to help companies and nonprofits grow and evolve. At Point Taken, our clients inspire us to fuel progress for your organization, your industry and our world.