Understanding your customers’ feelings and beliefs towards your brand is everything. That might seem obvious, but what’s going on here, exactly? Why should you prioritize deeply engaged audiences?
Because understanding the feelings and beliefs your audience holds about your brand can result in:
The above are some convincing reasons why a brand should invest in understanding its audience at an attitudinal level, and they are backed by the psychology behind the Normative decision theory, which identifies that most decisions are emotionally based and then rationalized later. Regardless of the transaction, B2C, or B2B, it’s just how people behave.
So, how does a brand incorporate such a complex theory into its marketing strategies? We wanted to answer that question, so we built a solution for it. It’s called the Brand Advocacy System, and here’s how it works.
The Brand Advocacy System consists of three main parts.
BAS reveals your audience’s attitudes about your brand, which we identify using our primary research tool, CEQ™. It uncovers 3-5 specific feelings and beliefs that help guide strategic recommendations across the customer experience, identifying everything your brand should say and do. CEQ™ is an output that is deeper and more dynamic than NPS (Net Promoter Score) and is not only a measurement but part of a prescriptive approach to marketing strategies and tactics.
Cult Brand Principles
To further inform the strategies and tactics that your CEQ™ outcomes have determined, we look to Cult Brand Principles, the common characteristics the world’s most admired and well-known brands display. These eight principles, outlined below, are prescriptive, mission-focused brand categories and our CEQ™ research help to identify which 1-2 beliefs and behaviors will impact your success most.
Remarkability. Too many businesses have commoditized offerings and must shout or bribe to be noticed. Cult Brands create products, services and/or customer experiences that are actually worthy of people’s attention.
Higher Purpose. Every business exists to generate profit, but Cult Brands also live by a noble brand purpose. Audiences often care more about what a brand stands for than what it sells, so cult brands have mastered how they weave their desirable ethos into their audience engagement strategies.
Inspirational. Cult brand leaders understand that no company can become beloved externally if it’s not first beloved internally. So they prioritize culture and redeploy marketing resources into a host of properly executed internal engagement pursuits.
Co-Creation. Mediocre brands emphasize transactional relationships via creative messaging and media plans, whereas cult brands have learned how to shut up and listen. Cult brand leaders systematize how they solicit customer input and gain actionable insights.
Congregate. Cult brand leaders find creative ways for their fans to assemble, virtually or physically. Whether supporting 3rd party-initiated activations or developing desirable destinations for followers to partake in elevated branded experiences, they make it easy for followers to gather and revel in their togetherness.
Rites & Rituals. Cult followers want to feel like insiders, knowing things and enjoying access that others don’t. So cult brand leaders spend less time creating marketing communications and more time creating lexicons, traditions, symbols and privileges that help their best customers feel like valued members of an exclusive club.
Relatability. Cult followers treat specific businesses like close friends and seek out brand personalities and value systems that align with their personal preferences. As a result, Cult Brands perfect how they personify human attributes and consistently bring their relatable persona to life across all aspects of the customer journey.
Pick a Fight. Cult Brand leaders target the alienated and intentionally appeal to those who want to separate themselves from the mainstream. Many cult brands provocatively challenge market leaders and attempt to derail the establishment that is more comfortable playing it safe by trying to please everyone.
Brand Experience Modeling
Equipped with your audience insights and brand principle recommendations, we now know how your brand needs to show up and the messaging and tone required to engage your audience. So, the only thing left to identify is the “where,” which is exactly what the final piece of our system uncovers.
Where do we put these messages? Is this a job for digital or traditional? Where does paid media fit it? Where can we find the greatest possible impact on marketing returns and overall business performance? All of these questions (and more) are addressed through Brand Experience Modeling, essentially expanding beyond marketing KPIs into guidance and prioritization based on high-level business outcomes.
In summary, the Brand Advocacy System identifies:
- What your audience expects of you
- How to deliver on those expectations through brand communications and customer experience and
- How to prioritize marketing budgets and placements to achieve the best possible business outcomes
The Brand Advocacy System is a robust approach to the challenges marketers face today. Our clients have experienced great success incorporating the individual pieces and the entire solution into their marketing efforts.
If you want to learn how to prioritize marketing budgets and achieve the best possible business outcomes, complete our form below.