"Brands Connected Consumers," strategic for online customer service

By January 23, 2013
keyboard with "comment" key

Online shoppers are using blogs and social networks to view and create content about their shopping experiences. Some consumers are more effective about creating feedback and creating connections with the brands they are posting about.

Brands are finding it more and more crucial to have a significant presence in social networks. A US study conducted by marketing firm JWT/OgilvyAction and EXPO showed that 80 percent of consumers interact with brands in some way in the digital sphere. But a subsection of consumers are more connected, influence public opinion more, and have a greater effect on brand sales. The study refers to these consumers as “Brand Connected Consumers,” or BCCs, who act differently than Internet customers in general, and have cultivated more digital clout than that population.

Staying on the good side of Brand Connected Consumers

BCCs make up about a quarter of consumers, and conduct specific online activities at least once a week. They look for information about brands, such as searching posts, images and videos, or create content about these brands and post them on their own or brands’ blogs, websites or social networks. According to Marketing VP at consumer-generated product video network EXPO, the BCC is a “brand journalist” in the online space. They often take the role as brand advocate, or at least influential consumer due to “their ability to share helpful, often positive, information about a product or service to thousands of peers.”

Wide usage of social media makes consumer care vital within this channel

With 91 percent of online US adults using social media, the potential for BCC influence is considerable. Since there is so much competition within the online space, the shopping experience is an important way for brands to differentiate themselves. They can do very well in responding in a timely manner to BCCs, who recommend brands when they have a positive experience, but when they have a negative experience only receive brand response about half the time. 7 in 10 shoppers stop bying the brand's products when their requests remain unanswered online. Building rich relationships with consumers has a very real effect on future sales, as customer expectation of engagement continues to spread.

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