Your most powerful brand influencers might be right under your nose

retail branding

Brand ambassadors hidden in plain sight.

Influencers have become the newest weapon in the super competitive battle for brands to stand-out. Finding the right celeb or online tribal leader to espouse the benefits of your product has become the new holy grail for brand marketers swimming against the tide of challenges facing brands across all categories. But your most powerful influencers could already be connecting with you – your biggest brand fans.

Nicole McRonney-Apaw is one such brand fan. McRonney-Apaw walked into a US store of global retailer Lush and walked out with $80 of products and a significant brand crush. After collecting more than 300 Lush products, becoming a walking talking advocate and even flying from the US to the UK to pick-up some product not available in the US. McRonney-Apaw’s passion saw her email the CEO of Lush to share her enthusiasm and views on how the brand was going about their social marketing. To Lush’s credit the business took note, translated her passion into a sales assistant role in one of their stores before recently moving her to a communications role where she’s currently the star of a new body scrub campaign.

Kudos to Lush for seeing what many brands miss – the value of their most passionate fans.

Five ways to leverage you brand’s biggest fans.

Many brands have these kind of fans inside and outside their business, people who know more about your products than you do, love what you do and identify closely with you. But how many businesses have the mindset of engaging and empowering these brand fanatics?

Your brand fan engagement could take the form of:
• Developing products just for them;
• Developing a platform for them to access;
• Involving them in the development of marketing campaigns and activities;
• Employing them as brand ambassadors; even
• Creating an Advisory Board of brand fans to help guide the business.

Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years of experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Pic courtesy Lush

2 Comments

    • Hi Caroline, as with every aspect of branding, the subtle differences between different organizations in different categories makes all the difference. What works powerfully in one scenario, may not work at all in another. With that in mind, consider putting together an volunteer advisory board to meet quarterly, help your organization with product development, testing of marketing strategy and activities, etc. Reward them in a way that money can’t buy with inside the business experiences. Once a year invite them to lunch with an aspirational group of staff/board members/supporters. Make the positions for one year vacated annually to bring in a fresh group of volunteers/fans. Hope that’s a valuable thought. Cheers, Dave.

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