Enthusiast brands powered by passion, personal connections

Tood-Steen-tnBy Todd Steen, Executive Director, Business Development

Brand enthusiasts are a growing group of power purchasers whose loyalties stretch far beyond buying the same brand over and over again.

Brand enthusiasts are influenced by their passions—a hobby, a sport or a favorite pastime. Studies show that these consumers spend 13 percent more, on average, per favored-brand purchase than other customers. And they’re significantly more likely to purchase based on recommendations from the brands themselves. That’s because enthusiast brands consistently solicit feedback and their tribes appear eager to provide it.

Whether off-road racers, hunters, golfers or surfers, each time they tell the story of wheeling in the mud, following a deer through the scope, or connecting with that perfect swing, they’re reliving that moment. A personal connection begins to form between the brand and the consumer, and trust continues to 2012-loorrs-round-8-racing-utah-691build through information sharing and from the brand asking for input.

Brand enthusiasts often reside in a niche marketplace, but reaching them still requires that you follow the first rule of communications and that is to know your audience. Start with who you’re trying to reach, determine where and when your brand’s enthusiasts can be found, develop tactics to reach them, and choose the vehicles best suited to communicate with them.

A level of authenticity begins when the correct content is offered through social, digital or traditional media channels that allows the enthusiast to relive his moment, or offers aspirations to experience, as not everyone has surfed the largest waves or stalked the largest elk.

In terms of reaching these passionate groups, email was found to be the most effective method for driving action among adults, with 51 percent of brand enthusiasts reporting that their last purchase was prompted by email communication, according to a recent report by StrongView, a global company that provides engagement programs for almost 700 leading brands in retail, financial services, automotive, publishing and travel.

With regard to social media, the StrongView report showed that 44 percent of brand enthusiasts have liked a favored brand on Facebook and 20 percent have followed a favored brand on Twitter. Additionally, almost 40 percent of brand enthusiasts have recommended a favored product/service via social media, according to the report.