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Brand Fan Fake Out
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Every brand wants to be loved. It not only makes them feel all happy inside but proves to be great for business. Brands that are loved are brands that are successful. And what brand wouldn’t want that? More important is how this love started. Is it true love or simply fake puppy love? It makes a difference. Maybe not at first glance, but when digging deeper, customers need to see a brand’s true love, understand the benefits of the relationship, and determine if they want in on this loving brand. So it’s better for a brand to have true honest love than a negotiated, paid-for relationship.

Where is all this love talk headed? To the topic of brand ambassadors, of course. It’s not enough for brands to simply have these die-hard enthusiasts; they must truly be authentic. Customers want to trust the advice of others — friends, bloggers, and even Joe Schmoe — to make sure that when a brand is recommended it’s done out of pure excitement for the brand. Not because of dollars paid, incentives earned, or trips compensated. So as much as every brand wants to have a host of brand ambassadors, it’s extremely important to have quality over quantity.

Many brands bask in the glory of brand enthusiasts. They let these “customers” speak and reap the benefits of new followers, increased sales, and overall success. But consumers are smart; they take notice and they won’t let a brand get away with a fake relationship. Customers want to hear and listen to true brand ambassadors. Those that aren’t paid, those that aren’t given fancy gifts, but instead those that are truly giving an honest opinion. So brands, tuck away that brilliant idea to create a paid relationship with one blogger in every region. It’s just not worth the dollars anymore.

Customers want to know that brands didn’t buy their way into a love relationship. They want to hear the truth from a true-loving customer. It’s rather simple, actually. If it seems tricky, then it’s probably not what a brand should be doing. Brand fans should be authentic, they should be real, and they shouldn’t be paid to say loving things about a brand. That’s not true brand love.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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