All About Brand Advocates and Social Marketing
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Brand Advocacy is increasingly becoming a hot topic of marketing conversations, though people have slightly different definitions of a “Brand Advocate.”

Here at Zuberance, we live and breathe brand advocacy. I say the term, “Brand Advocate” probably about 46 times a day, and hear it from other Zuberance members even more than that. Our official definition is as follows:

“A Brand Advocate is a highly-satisfied customer or other* who recommends their favorite brands and products without being paid to do so.” -Zuberance

*You do not necessarily have to be a customer of a company or brand to advocate it. I recently recommended Hotel Adagio, a Joie de Vivre hotel in San Francisco, to a colleague. I had been there recently, loved the decor, and the location is right downtown, but had never personally stayed overnight. Turned out, my colleague had a wonderful experience there and told me he was looking forward to staying at Hotel Adagio again.

We recently conducted a Twitter Poll with our followers asking them, How do you define the term “Brand Advocate?” Take a look at some of the definitions:

“As someone that’s a ‘fan’ of a brand & takes a sense of ownership in seeing it succeed by evangelizing it to others” –Mack Collier, Social Media Consultant, Author of MackCollier.com

“A volunteer marketer. A customer that proactively uses their time and their social capital to promote a company or cause.” –Jay Baer, Social Media Strategist, Author of Convince & Convert

“I would say a brand advocate is willing to speak positive about a brand without much or any direct incentive.” –Sarah Essary, Edelman Digital, Author of Consuming PR

“A brand advocate identifies with & supports your brand in her everyday interactions by dint of goodwill & natural affinity.” –JD Lasica, Social Media Strategist, Co-author of SocialMedia.biz

“Brand advocate: A person who not only buys from the brand but will act to protect, promote and help it.” –Augie Ray, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research Inc, Co-author of the Forrester Blog

“A BA is someone who needs no incentive to tell others great things about you, and welcomes you making it easier for them to do so” –David Berkowitz, Senior Director at 360i, Author of Inside the Marketer’s Studio

“Brand Advocate = A person who is willing to recommend a product/service to a friend without compensation.” –Travis Murdock, Edelman Digital, Author of Blog Love

“Believes in the goodness of a company, tells others about the goodness of a company, and is loyal to a company in good times and bad times.” –John Moore, Author of Brand Autopsy

“A person who loves your brand/product and tells others about it w/o incentives or recognition” –Michael Brito, Edelman Digital, Author of Social Media Blog

What is your definition of a “Brand Advocate?” Post your comments below!

I tweet, therefore I am.
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70 Comments

70 Responses to 10 Definitions of a “Brand Advocate”

  1. Jay Baer says:

    Fascinating and satisfying that the answers to this were so similar across-the-board. We’re either all on the same page; all sheep; or all totally destined to be wrong and laughed at some day. I’m hoping for option A.

  2. Similar, yes … but also dissimilar. Many of these definitions say an advocate must not be compensated or incentivized. Compensation and incentives can be almost anything from giving a loyal customer a free latte to giving a loyal customer a free test drive of a car. Both of which can spark positive word-of-mouth conversations about a company/brand. There is lots of gray area with compensation and incentives. However, I think 99% of us would say once cash compensation enters the picture, it becomes a quid pro quo advocacy scenario … and that ain’t what brand advocacy should be about.

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  16. Fadra Nally says:

    I think more and more we need to be careful using the term “paid.” Many brand advocates fall under a category of ambassador or evangelist or even advocate to mean: a brand loyalist who is compensated is some way.

    I tend to think “compensation” is a better distinction than payment. And describing advocacy the way that you do, I would consider that a marketer’s nirvana.

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  58. Charles Pascalar says:

    A person who is genuinely delighted with a brand because the product / experience has pleased them so much they want to share that experience….and is willing to do so even if every one else has an opoposing view.

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  63. Kent says:

    Conclusion is, we need to make them love our companies and our products.

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