Marketers have long known that word-of-mouth recommendations from consumers—“brand advocacy”—is important, but they have struggled to measure it in the marketplace and take action.
BCG’s Brand Advocacy Index is a strategic metric that measures effective advocacy behavior in favor of or against a brand, as well as the drivers of recommendations and criticism. The results can be used to improve customer experience and drive advocacy and growth.
Recommendations have more impact on sales than any other source of information. The Brand Advocacy Index helps companies understand advocates and critics among current and former customers, and their underlying reasons for taking their positions—for a full picture of customer experience.
Improving Customer Experience and Advocacy
The Brand Advocacy Index is a proprietary metric that gauges word-of-mouth recommendations and has a proven link to growth. It helps companies in any industry understand the segments, countries, regions, and populations in which their brand is weak or strong—and why. And because it’s less affected by cultural factors, it is better suited for international comparisons.
The Brand Advocacy Index has been battle-tested in more than 35 industries, on more than 1,000 brands, and in more than 25 countries—with well over 1 million responses in our database, and counting. Brands with high levels of advocacy significantly outperform those that lack advocates or encounter consumer criticism. Marketers that tap into this powerful phenomenon—by understanding why consumers recommend or criticize a brand and developing strategies to improve advocacy—have a formidable tool for driving growth.
The index supports decision making meant to build brand strategy and allocate resources appropriately. It has four primary uses:
Where the brand is weak, the Brand Advocacy Index allows companies to set customer experience improvement priorities and allocate investments wisely in order to lift sales as high as possible.
Where the brand is strong, the Brand Advocacy Index helps deepen relationships and build advocacy with customers.
The Brand Advocacy Index helps improve the targeting of customers and noncustomers and allocate resources accordingly.
The Brand Advocacy Index measures performance and drives sales at the store or branch level.
The Brand Advocacy Index opens the doors to advocacy improvement. Recommendations and critiques are the best indicators of customer experience and advocacy—and of a brand’s growth. The Brand Advocacy Index provides the following:
A strong correlation between customer experience and growth
A simple, intuitive, and holistic metric
The measurement of effective recommendations, not intent—without interpretations
The inclusion of customers and noncustomers
A direct snapshot of the factors that shape the experience
Results that are less affected by cultural factors and better suited to international comparisons
Translating Insights into Action
For companies to manage consumer advocacy effectively, they have to work on multiple strategies at the same time.