In our Retailer’s Guide to Brand Advocacy, we looked at a range of brands and their ability to generate and capitalize on digital word of mouth through their advocates. Of the brands we looked at, JCPenney scored the highest in two key areas — Deep Engagement and Advocate Retention. Here’s a look at how they did it and why it’s important.
Deep Engagement: Driving Word of Mouth
Brand advocates are an asset locked in many digital communities. Engagement from members of that community, like shares and comments, allow brands temporary access to those advocates that is essential to capitalize on. Averaging 560 shares per post and 425 comments per post, JCPenney enjoys the highest number of deep engagements per post than any of the brands we looked at.
Rather than rent out an influencer’s network to drive engagement, the brand’s content has offered JCPenney a real opportunity to connect with its actual, engaged customers who are already spreading the word. These advocates care enough to offer their advice, share brand offers, and submit original content they created. With averages as high as that, hitting the “reply” button and engaging back with these fans is the best thing the brand can do to further separate itself from the rest of its competitors.
Retention: Building a Core Group of Authentic Advocates
Not only are members of the JCPenney brand community engaged, but they are also loyal. They’re returning to comment at a rate well above other department store brands, with a 26% Advocate Retention rate. That number is a full 5% above the category average and 12% over some of its top competitors.
Advocate Retention is the mark of a community that is engaged, increasing word of mouth, and focused on building real consumer relationships. Fostering that base of advocates throughout 2015 will be imperative to the continued growth of the JCPenney community, and ultimately, the success of its digital efforts.