No business can grow without people. Whether they’re buyers, employees, or those your organization serves, people are central to every brand. That’s why we’ve created a framework to understand your Ideal Advocates™.
Ideal Advocates™ vs. Buyer Persona
The Ideal Advocate is a crucial aspect of our signature Brand Impact Assessment and adds a few layers to the traditional approach of buyer personas or target audiences. To truly grow a business or organization, you need people advocating for you. Sure, you need people buying your product or contributing to your cause, but your advocates are the ones who will ultimately create the concentric circles of growth.
An advocate is an echo chamber for a brand. It’s someone who tells others how great you are regardless of their direct involvement with you. It’s the customer who bought your product ten years ago and is still talking about it. It’s the volunteer who has since moved away but still sends people to serve with you. It’s the neighbor who may not even utilize your services but knows your talent and work ethic and doesn’t hesitate to recommend you.
It’s also your customer, your employee or your board member. But it’s so much more.
What makes an Ideal Advocate?
An Ideal Advocate:
- Has a personal connection to your business or organization
- Has shared experience with what you do
- Is prepared to share your work
When it comes to buyer personas or target audiences, the first two are easier to come by. What evolves someone from a buyer to an advocate is preparation to share with others, and knowing how to do so.
Through our Brand Impact Assessment, we guide our clients in crafting Ideal Advocate profiles. These advocates range from customers to employees to friends and cover a wide spectrum of ways newcomers might hear about the brand. The profiles include everything from a person’s likes and dislikes to whether they’re more likely to be reached by phone or Facebook.
Who’s it for?
Once your Ideal Advocate profiles are refined, they provide a lasting framework for decision-making and growth. For example, if someone on your board has an idea to host an event, you look at the profiles and ask, “Who’s it for?” If the event serves four of your five profiles, that’s a good return! If it only serves one, it forces you to consider if it’s worth the resources. The profiles can guide you and your team in making decisions that will most greatly benefit everyone involved.
At Fervor, we took our own advice a few years ago and put ourselves through the Brand Impact Assessment and took a close look at our own Ideal Advocates. The year after we implemented our own strategy, we had the best growth year in the company’s history. The result was new ideas, better recruitment and the focus to pursue clients who we could best serve and who would most benefit from our approach. Now that’s impact.
Discover your Ideal Advocates
From small businesses to major corporations, the process of discovering your Ideal Advocates is not only impactful, but it’s fun. Use this worksheet to get started. Our advice? Just start with one. Coming up with your perfect five or seven profiles can be overwhelming, but don’t let that stop you. Try one, and see what happens. And if you want to take it a step further, we’re always here to help.