We examined brand advocacy across 23 brands in 4 categories. We looked at over 7 million mentions across China, Brazil, the UK and the US. We wanted to understand what drove brand advocacy – what do people really talk about when they share about brands. This is all found in the Social@Ogilvy Brand Advocacy Study: How to Build a Global Passion Brand
And there were some surprises along the way. Apparently there is a broad social advocacy gap for many brands. For all the “brand satisfaction” racked up by hotels, for example, they are only driving 1 in a 100 customer stays to an actual brand mention. Most brands have a lot of work to do to close this gap.
Know what people love
One of our key findings surprised us. In the US especially, I think we all believe people talk about advertisements a lot - especially the funny or provocative ones. And people clearly do share about ads.
“We looked at advocacy mentions of ads, benefits, features, costs and customer service. In all markets, features (e.g. the characteristics of skin cream) were the most often mentioned. In comparison, mentions of ads/commercials typically garnered the fewest mentions.”
It turns out, there are big differences across countries, product categories and individual brands in terms of what people are most likely to share about.
The table compares discussion breakout vs. category averages for the two highest advocacy passion brands: Kimpton and Kiehls (US only).
Kimpton Hotels over indexes in the hotel category on benefits and customer service. Conversely, they under index on advocacy associated with the more rational based features and advertising. Conversely, Kiehls over indexes in the skincare category for Features.
The value of brand advocacy is becoming clearer everyday. Intuitively we believe in the positive mentions and the passion people share about brands they care about is key to purchase decision and loyalty. The evidence is mounting that our belief is well placed.
“Brands that do not generate substantial advocacy will need to pay more for reach and consequently have costs substantially higher than those brands that drive high advocacy. In an environment where costs to reach consumers continue to escalate, this advantage could make the difference between a company with outstanding shareholder returns and one that fails to perform.”