Thinking Social / Value

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Building a Passion Brand: Key Findings and Insights from our 2013 Global Advocacy Study

“All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire” - Aristotle

When we think of how people express passion for a brand, do emotions trump reason?

We know brand advocacy is hugely important to making marketing more relevant and effective.  And advocacy via social channels is especially valuable because of its tremendous potential to scale.

But what really drives people to express their passion for a brand through advocacy in social media?   Our newest Social@Ogilvy research – the most comprehensive study of global social advocacy to date – analyzes millions of social brand mentions to help us better understand advocacy for brands online.  The data – which includes about 7 million mentions of 20+ brands and 8 feature films across 4 countries including China, Brazil, UK and US – provide us with insights and clues on how to build brand advocacy.

Here are some key findings:

1) Brands are largely failing at driving advocacy in social media.  Most brands are driving very low social advocacy from their satisfied customers. It’s estimated that less than 5% of satisfied customers advocate publicly for the brand on social channels.  This “social advocacy gap” represents a huge opportunity to improve marketing’s efficiency and effectiveness.

2) Practicality trumps emotion.   Overall, advocates in all four countries were more likely to talk about product features than benefits, cost (or deals/savings), customer service or ads.

3) True passion is rare.  For most brands, the majority of mentions were casual. In the US, only 2 brands had over 50% of mentions falling in the most enthusiastic advocacy category (love, excitement, must-do or buy). And these 2 brands had even more enthusiastic advocacy than blockbuster movies like The Avengers and The Hunger Games.

Based on these findings, we’ve come up with 5 key recommendations for brands interested in tackling the social advocacy gap. Take a look through our study to learn more about how brands can turn advocacy into passion.

A special thanks to Mark Bonchek at Think Orbit, for providing some invaluable suggestions on an earlier draft of our study.