Needle today dispelled long-held misconceptions about brand advocates with the release of its first-ever national advocate study during the 2014 Summit. 

By defining the brand advocate profile with five specific drivers of advocacy, the study estimates that there are 37.5 million adults in the United States who are prime candidates to become brand advocates.

Check out the infographic highlighting many of the findings at:

“We have always believed that advocates are a powerful and effective way to build trusted relationships with consumers – and the fact there are 37.5 million potential advocates in the U.S. really drives home that they are a huge untapped resource for businesses,” said Morgan Lynch, founder and CEO of Needle. “These are the people who are already talking about their favorite products and brands on their social networks and in real life, and pride themselves on being a knowledgeable and passionate. This is precisely the group that companies should be leveraging to provide their consumers with authentic, credible advice and great experiences.”

Recognizing that the industry has a lot of questions about brand advocates, Needle commissioned Y2 Analytics to conduct the study that defines advocacy and examines what motivates advocates to promote their favorite products and brands. The study defined advocacy by examining a person’s relationship with products as it relates to five important drivers; expertise, knowledge, purchasing influence, brand loyalty, and active promotion.

Other highlights of this study include:

  • Two-thirds of advocates say that sharing their passion and helping other customers is their primary motivation, even more so than compensation
  • The average advocate is younger than 45, is highly educated and is social media savvy
  • The majority are employed full-time outside of being an advocate, with 25 percent making more than $75,000 per year

“This study has busted many of the long-held myths about who advocates are and what motivates them, and really validates why they can be very beneficial for businesses who are looking for new ways to engage with their customers,” added Lynch. “With the study, our goal was to create a clear profile for today’s advocates that makes a distinction between paid employees and true brand enthusiasts. Both are valuable, but we now know how and why they are different.”

To further demonstrate the importance of brand advocates, Needle and FierceRetail will be hosting “Needle at the Space Needle” during the Summit on Tuesday, September 30 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., during which attendees will be encouraged to become real-time advocates who will help shape the course of the event experience. To learn more, visit: