What You Can Learn from BCG’s Brand Advocacy Index

Nowadays, many companies know that word-of-mouth is very important. Recommendations from consumers- brand advocates- can have a huge positive impact on sales. Still, companies are struggling to actually measure brand advocacy in the market, and to demonstrate its impact. For that reason, the Boston Consulting Group created a tool called the Brand Advocacy Index (BAI), which measures brand advocacy with precision, displays a strong correlation with top-line growth, and helps companies identify actionable steps to take to improve brand advocacy.

So, how does this tool work, and what makes it unique? For starters, the BAI helps companies understand the segments, countries, regions, and populations in which their brand is weak or strong, and why. Companies then use these insights to craft a brand strategy that can proactively positively influence the way that they are seen in the marketplace.

The index also reveals what really motivates people to become brand advocates, and looks at actual advocacy- not intention. The tool takes into account what people actually say and do, instead of asking hypothetical questions. The methodology measures up to 12 industry-specific factors—both rational and emotional—that influence recommendations and people’s willingness to advocate for a brand. While there are some factors that tend to remain at the top for importance across many industries, once companies mature and master these factors, an emotional connection can separate the most recommended brands apart from the rest.

The index also polls both customers and noncustomers to get a full picture of who is talking about the brand and what they are saying. BCG has found that many companies have a blind spot, as they only take into account what customers are saying about the brand, and not the public at large. In reality, noncustomers are also important to take into account, and can be especially influential in certain industries in which consumers purchase products and services infrequently, or that have only a small number of consumers that purchase. Leading brands are able to create an aspirational feeling around their brands, to the point that even noncustomers will be attracted to the brand.

Here are some key findings:

  • The revenue growth of the brands with the highest advocacy levels is far above the industry average.
  • Positive advocacy tends to be higher in industries whose products or services evoke consumers’ greater emotional involvement.
  • Positive advocacy is much more common with very visible purchases and purchases that involve significant money or time.
  • Negative advocacy tends to be much higher in service businesses, such as retail banking and mobile telecommunications.
  • Value for the money was consistently among the three factors that most influenced recommendations.

In conclusion, this tool was designed to help companies better understand where and why their brand is being talked about, and what really goes into motivating people to become brand advocates. Still, actually executing the brand advocacy campaigns can remain a challenge for some companies. That’s where Fanzee comes in. As the complete social media advocacy platform, Fanzee streamlines the process of executing a social media advocacy campaign, helping companies to fully take advantage of this powerful marketing strategy.