Marketing & Branding

Brand Advocates: 4 Ways To Cultivate Die-Hard Customers

Die-Hard-CustomersWhat’s one thing all brands want? Die-hard followers. Those evangelists that support your company and not only buy what you’re selling but also tell everyone they know about you.

So how do brands with die-hard customers (think Harley Davidson, for one) build an audience of loyal followers? It’s not by accident, for sure. Rather, they incorporate a number of targeted strategies, according to this article from

In “How To Build A Brand That Attracts Die-Hard Followers,” author Luke Summerfield offers four ways you can begin developing those deep connections every business covets:

1. Brand Your Customers
Summerfield says one of the most powerful things you can do is create a branded term that refers to all your employees and customers, linking this term back to your core business idea. At his marketing agency, Savvy Panda, they have built an exclusive “tribe” of “pandas.” When new clients come on board, they receive a welcome pack with panda apparel, stickers and a stuffed toy panda. (What a great use of branded merchandise!)

2. Random Acts Of Kindness
In addition to traditional loyalty programs, Summerfield recommends identifying your most active and enthusiastic customers and sending them care packages to show your appreciation for their business. “Getting something unexpected helps spark emotions deep within an individual,” he says, and these emotions are critical when nurturing potential brand evangelists.

3. Disconnect From Digital
While digital communication such as email and social media tend to be quick and easy, they just don’t have a personal touch. Even in this digital age, hand-written notes and personal phone calls go a long way to build brand advocates.

Personalized-Calendar4. Personalize
People love to hear and see their own names. Put this power to work and tailor your brand experience around the individual consumer to build strong connections that are the foundation for a loyal fan base.

He mentions finding ways to personalize everything you do—from the products and services you offer to the customer service experience and even the messaging on your website. But you can take this a step further by personalizing some of the branded merchandise you give to fans. Depending on the product, you can add a person’s name to an engraved pen or a printed calendar, for example. Not only does this align the recipient’s name with your brand (literally), it also increases the chance the product will be kept and used—extending the value even further.

However you decide to cultivate die-hard customers, it takes long-term commitment. “The brands that are true to their ideas and are successful in building that emotional connection,” Summerfield says, “are the brands who enjoy the cult-link followers we as marketers all try to achieve.”


How are you developing brand advocates? Branded merchandise can play an important role. Book an appointment by clicking here or call us at 248-538-4700 to learn how. Mention the blog, and we’ll send you some SMART Swag to get the conversation started!