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Marketing Matters: Understanding the Power of G2G

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: October 14, 2008, from the May 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

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One of my personal girlfriend-to-girlfriend beauty sharing stories is the philosophy® pure grace fragrance. When I smelled its perfectly clean, “I just crawled under fresh white sheets on a summer’s day” scent, I was hooked. I called my friend Jane to tell her about it, right from the cosmetics counter at Nordstrom. Within one week, my friend Jennifer, who is two friends removed from Jane, called me to tell me she heard I would love this new scent by philosophy. The magic of G2G works.

Why Measuring Matters

Companies should measure the willingness of a customer to recommend beauty products to someone else. If you can identify and track the number of real brand advocates you have, meaning those consumers who serve as evangelists, you begin to track your brand health and power. Growing your beauty brand is much more than just increasing sales dollars and getting repeat purchases from the same customer. The real win is for companies that can so delight their customers that they are willing to come back for more and also tell their girlfriends to buy the products.

In other words, these brand advocates are willing to put their reputations on the line for you. They will be the most effective part of your marketing department, and you don’t even have to pay them. They multiply their own purchases and provide referrals. They are your magical brand advocates. These women bring new customers into the company at no charge to you.

Positive word-of-mouth is the ultimate beauty brand growth engine.

Blazing Word-of-Mouth Trails

The Benchmarking Company’s research shows a direct correlation between a woman’s purchasing behavior and her willingness to recommend a product to her girlfriend. On average, 63% of women who repeatedly purchase a beauty product are extremely likely to recommend that beauty brand to a girlfriend. Our research has uncovered a few beauty brands that command the highest percentage of magic brand ambassadors, meaning that customers choosing those brands had a repeat-purchase propensity that correlated directly with their willingness to recommend the product to others.