I can’t remember the last time I saw a Tesla ad. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one.

But I see Teslas everywhere.

And if someone asks me to think of five different car brands — you can bet theirs will be one of the first that comes to mind (I should point out that I don’t drive a Tesla and this is not a Tesla ad).

So… why should you care about all this?

Brand advocacy. The single most potent selling tool there is.

When your customers become brand advocates, they’ll literally sell your products for you (no, we aren’t talking about a pyramid scheme).

And while leading B2C brands have perfected the process of turning buyers into brand advocates, B2B is lagging behind.

In this blog, we’ll show you how GoPro and Tesla have nailed the brand advocacy challenge — and how you can, too.

Power to the people: how GoPro built a community.

What makes a GoPro different from a conventional camera?

It’s designed to capture immersive, personal experiences, acting as an extension of your body. It’s all about the user.

So, GoPro made themselves all about their customers.

How? By…

  • Going big with their online community: GoPro are super engaged with their network across their social channels, nurturing and building relationships through idea-sharing, problem-solving, and highlighting great content made by customers.
  • Embodying the ‘show don’t tell’ attitude: GoPro don’t need to run ads telling you what sets their gear apart. They show you by promoting user-generated content. ‘Our cameras can let you capture exciting events’ is far less compelling than ‘watch this video of a GoPro customer mountain-biking at 100 miles an hour’.

Every brand in existence says their customers are valued. GoPro show it. And this simple truth has helped them build an army.

Electric fanatics: the insane growth of Tesla.

It takes a looooooooooot of effort to build brand equity in the automotive industry. In fact, some of the greatest ads of all time promoted our four-wheeled friends.

So how on earth did Tesla compete against brands that had existed for decades?

By figuring out the kind of people who would buy their product — and making them feel special (alongside some hefty thought leadership work and the odd publicity stunt).

In 2008 — merely 16 years ago — the first Tesla Roadster hit our, well, roads. It was the first highway-legal, serial-production all-electric car using lithium-ion battery cells.

And, because it was different, it attracted trendsetters. Trendsetters are gold dust because, as their name suggests, they start trends by influencing others to follow suit. An innovative product, combined with Tesla’s work to cement themselves as trailblazers, sparked a revolution. In a very short amount of time, people were thinking of themselves as “the kind of person who would drive a Tesla” — and the sales followed.

But Tesla didn’t just rely on the natural pulling power of trendsetters, they incentivized them. By introducing a referral program, buyers were engaged after the sale. This deepened their relationship with the brand and encouraged them to spread positive word-of-mouth.

How to turn buyers into brand advocates.

Tesla customers probably wouldn’t refer friends, family, and colleagues if the car was crap. And GoPro wouldn’t have built a dedicated community if their camera footage came out more blurry than a Puddle of Mudd.

You have to start with a great product.

And then you have to show the right people how your great product solves their problem.

That’s how you get buyers. For many B2B marketers, the journey ends there. But not us.

Here are three things we’ve learned from B2C about brand advocacy:

  1. You’ve got to engage buyers and users of your products after the sale.
  2. By doing this, you’ll be able to build deeper, more meaningful relationships.
  3. But that’s not all, you’ll also be able to learn how to improve your products and services (from the people who use them the most).  

If you get those bits right, you’ll find gold. Or, as we call them, Forever Customers. That’s what happens when buyers become brand advocates. Always subscribing to your next release. Buying into the thing that makes you, you. Sharing your story with everyone they know.

And that translates to customer lifetime value.

At Ledger Bennet, our marketing approach revolves around turning buyers into Forever Customers. To find out how we can help you do just that, get in touch.