Sharing the magic of discovery
One of the greatest drivers of recommendations is that people enjoy sharing the magic of discovery.
Discoveries can come from anywhere, including, price, deals, promotions and service innovation. Brands would do well to help customers find the confidence to share when there is something new and exciting on offer.
As one research participant noted: “I recommended Woolworths car insurance to my mum and a friend. I have been impressed with them. Mainly I like the 10% off groceries I receive every month. It really makes a difference to the budget and at least I am getting a good insurance policy to go with it.”
Homework and bragging rights
There is a category of customer that is a choice nerd. These people love doing comparisons and are hellbent on finding the best deal. They pride themselves on superior homework and feel a sense of competition with the system. They like to feel they have won.
Our research does not tell us how big this segment is but this audience is extremely influential. They don’t just do their homework to get a better deal but to tell everybody about it. Some people act as family advisers on price or consider it their duty to inform others of the best solutions. It would be invaluable for companies to find these customers and speak to their needs, as they are extremely useful advocates.
A choice nerd in our research told us: “I don’t make any decision lightly. I really delve into research to aid me in making choices in all areas of my life/household management. Due to this, I feel like my friends and family often come to me for advice, so I recommend brands and companies frequently.”
Surprising deals and offers get people talking. Everyone wants to pay less and sharing a great discount means people get the thrill of sharing their own joy.
A thrifty participant in our research said: “I have recommended Aldi mobile to my sister. I’m not sure whom she is with, but she is paying something ridiculous like $80 a month, whereas she could have the same, if not better, service through Aldi for $25 per month.”
Surprise and delight can also come in other ways, like surprise rewards, exciting new product stories, and a chance to interact in a fun way.
As another participant told us: “I belong to their Woolworths Bunch group, where I get given free products once a month – at least one or two products. The other day, I was granted a free four-pack of blueberry muffins. In return for Woolworths Bunch, I provide a review of the products I receive. With Woolworths, I also have their Everyday Rewards app on my phone, and right now, as the app is turning two, to celebrate, they’re inviting me to spin the in-app wheel for a surprise offer every week for three weeks.”
Another participant said: “Of course, it really helps if there are discounts, free items or [if the brand is] continuing to release new, exciting products to pique my interest. For example, a brand like Mecca has a loyalty program, free items in its Beauty Loop boxes, and keeps its customers interested with new products.”
People tend to recommend brands that share their values. Values are worth talking about and a brand’s behaviour can become a way to advocate what you stand for. Being environmentally friendly isn’t the only thing that moves people. For example, people will spread the word if brands are seen to be empathetic and in touch with topical issues like the cost of living for families. If brands are seen to be helping their consumer in a way that moves beyond the business, it is talk-worthy.
One research participant said: “Kathmandu is an expensive brand. However, they are proactively trying to improve conditions for workers throughout their supply chain. When it comes to hiking gear, I talk about Kathmandu for these reasons.”
Some people get excited about apps and judge brands on their innovation. Software is worth talking about, especially with other tech-focused people.
One tech-savvy research participant said: “I talk about The Iconic for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, they constantly consult with customers to update their website and app. They introduce new features based on that feedback.”
Proven track records
Finally, a history of quality and trustworthiness are important. Brands that have never let anyone down are easy to recommend. These brands get recommended even if they don’t have the best deal or the cleverest idea.
So how can you put all this to work for your brand? Think about the benefits of your brand through the lens of someone who might recommend you. What are they recommending you for? Focus on finding and appealing to that customer base and get ready to reap the rewards.
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