Moms. They juggle careers, run households and control trillions of dollars, all without flashy capes and spandex bodysuits. Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching, and whether it’s in greeting cards or flowers; Americans will spend around $19 billion on it this year, according to the National Retail Federation. But that figure only hints at the true economic significance of moms. The truth is, moms (and women, generally) are more powerful than we often acknowledge. They are the real Avengers. They’re also your potential brand champions.

Did you know that…

  1. Women control more than $20 trillion in worldwide spending (yes, trillion with a T). Of that, $7 trillion alone is just in the US?
  2. Women make 85% of all consumer purchases?
  3. 70% of moms own smartphones?
  4. 50% of products typically marketed to men are purchased by women?
  5. Women make 80% of the travel decisions for their family?

Forget about cards, flowers, a handmade macaroni necklace, bouquet of dandelions or a burnt toast “breakfast in bed” – the gifts women really crave are about time — ways to find time, save time and free up time. And when women find a product or service that meets those needs, they’ll respond accordingly. They can become your brand champions!

So how can you build your own viral network of brand champions?

Listen. Make it easy for your customers to reach you—whether it’s by phone, social media, e-mail or in person. Then listen. If you truly listen to your customers, you won’t need to look far for your advocates.

Free online tools like Google AlertsSocial Mention and Technorati are great ways to actively listen to your customers, wherever they’re talking about you or your business. These tools can help ensure you hear your customers’ comments, so you can understand their experiences with your brand. The best brand champions are those who want to participate, and those who love your product will speak up.

Embrace. Customer input matters—whatever the sentiment—so don’t shy away. Embrace the opportunity and engage in the conversation.

If you get positive feedback, let your customers know it’s valued. If what you hear disappoints you, your response is even more important. With the appropriate actions, you can turn a negative situation around. Or at least bring it to a satisfying resolution.

Empower. Once you’ve established relationships with your brand champions, empower them to share their passion. Give them the opportunity to create a connected community, lead conversations and tell their brand-experience stories.

Build. Big, small or in-between, your business can benefit from brand champions. And your best brand champions may already be singing your praises, so listen up, embrace them and empower them to share even more. That connection is one easy, affordable way to grow your business, your brand and your reputation.

To all of the genuine superheroes out there – and we mean our moms – Happy Mother’s Day, and thank you!

Dawn Agacki

VP/Chief Operating Officer

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