Energizing the groundswell is extremely successful for people rely more heavily on word of mouth when they are considering making a purchase. It “is a powerful amplifier of brand marketing” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 130) because it is believable through personal testimonials, self-reinforcing through multiple consumers’ experiences, and self-spreading for if it is worth using then more people will continue to talk.
When looking to use energizing to strengthen your organization there are three techniques that could be used to help connect. The first technique is to “tap into customers’ enthusiasm with ratings and reviews” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 134). This allows customers to give their honestly opinions about products and talk about their experience with them. People are able to read these and connect. Recently at Crate & Barrel I was buying some bowls and I wanted to know if they chipped easily, so I logged onto a computer in the store and was able to see comments on the product and a five star rating scale. I chose to buy the bowls solely off of reading others experiences with them. The second technique is “create a community to energize your customers” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 134). This is where forums are set up for customers to communicate with one another on similar issues, answer questions, and showing support. The third technique is to “participate in and energize online communities o your brand enthusiasts” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 134). This is done through creating ambassadors. Ambassadors are people who are informed by the company of new products and share it with the public online or in person. Jillian Harris, known for her show Love It or List It Vancouver is an ambassador for Pier 1 Imports, along with numerous clothing brands. She writes blogs and utilizes her Instagram to let followers know about deals and new products that have come into the store. It is a great way to get people excited and interested in products.
Energizing is both powerful and risky because you are allowing people to freely talk about your brand (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 147). It gives you less control over peoples comments yet has the ability to transform you company. The base of energizing is your most enthusiastic customers, but you will not be successful if you do not listen. People want to know that they are being heard and when they are giving suggestions that they are actually being acknowledged and considered. People will stop talking if they feel they are being unheard. Through energizing an entire online R&D team is formed generating innovative ideas and a connection to your consumers. Energizing is moving away from traditional marketing to focus on embracing customers to get them enthusiastic about your organization and what it has to offer.
Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Massachusettes: Harvard Business Review Press.