Energize the Base: Encourage, Embrace And Energize the Groundswell.

Energizing the base. What is that? Think of it as a political rally. Gathering all your supporters and getting them all rattled up and excited to spread the word about how the product you are selling: you. When you energize people and get them to share what you are all about, it creates a powerful and free marketing tool to sell your brand. Word of mouth is a powerful and honest asset, which Li and Bernoff (2011) stated has the following benefits:

  1. It is believable: it cannot be faked and are more creditable than other forms of marketing, with consumers believing it over everything else.
  2. It is self-reinforcing: with multiple referrals the creditability increases.
  3. It is self-spreading: it is almost costless for companies but the reach can be massive.

If we look back at the social technographics ladder, the effects of word of mouth energizing can trickle down pretty much the whole ladder to reach all kinds of customers. By having creators write about your product or by having critics review it, then having spectators view; it creates a world-win of energy about your product (Li & Bernoff, 2011).

Energize Through Ratings and Reviews

Use your customers. Get critics and creators to influence the spectators into your product. Of course there will be negative reviews. BUT they can also add value to your company. Having negative reviews makes positive reviews seem more believable and creditable. They can also reveal a flaw in your product you did not know you had and can fix it. Here are the facts: 96% of customers use reviews to help them make purchases and of those highly reviewed products were bought 49% more often (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Word of mouth and more specifically, reviews are fairly cheap compared to other forms of advertising. Many times the ROI can easily double your investment, spend a little now to receive a lifetime of future income.

Reviews generate more purchases.

Energize Through Communities

Create a home for your customers. A community creates referrals and referrals create a lifetime revenue stream; that is what a community can do for you. Of course starting or joining a community will cost a buck now, but the future return from the massive reach of word of mouth is endless. Like previously mentioned, Sephora has a community page where people share beauty tips and share what products they are using. Those other users, critics, creators and spectators are all seeing this and are like “Oh I need that too.” And there you have it, that lifetime ROI.


So you want to energize your customers? Li and Bernoff (2011), applied 5 techniques in order to do so:

  1. Figure out if you want to energize
  2. Check the social technographics profile of your customers
  3. Ask yourself: “what is my customers problem?”
  4. Pick a strategy that fits your customers’ social technographics profile and problems
  5. DO NOT start unless you can stick around for the long term

Encourage your customers. Energize your customers. Embrace your customers.

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA, United States of America: Harvard Business Review Press.

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