One of the least understood parts of branding is advocacy. When discussed in marketing circles, more often than not, it’s referred to as loyalty. But loyalty really just means repeat customers. Advocacy offers a multiplier effect. Advocates refers other customers to the brand.
In social media circles advocates are called influencers; people with social media followings who often shill for products. They are Posters (not Pasters) who others look to for advice about hallowed brands. Social media has taken advocacy and renamed it and tarnished it, in my opinion. They have overly commecialized it.
A personal friend or acquaintance, with a Jones for a restaurant or brand of hiking shoes, is way more believable as an advocate than is a social media promoter.
Advocacy accounts for a shit-ton of sales. Word of Mouth. Peer to peer. Personal recommendations. Whatever you call it, advocacy does a lot of heavy lifting in the sale process. When you look at Steps-To-A-Sale models, the most famous of which is probably AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action), you can see how a face-to-face advocate can collapse those steps in a matter of minutes.
It’s important to develop your brand strategy claim and proof array that works for advocates. One that constantly gives them new fuel to help in their work. Advocates for your brand that sound like broken records burn out.