In an age where consumer trust is increasingly hard to gain, retailers can sometimes struggle to find creative and effective ways to engage their target audience. While most discussions focus on digital transformation and data-driven strategies, there’s an often-overlooked strategy for building brand experience: brand ambassadors.
In contrast to the impersonal nature of automated marketing tactics, brand ambassadors offer a personal touch. You can create a distinctive edge in a crowded marketplace by seamlessly integrating these human catalysts into your broader marketing ecosystem. Learn more about what brand ambassadors can offer and strategies to incorporate them effectively.
What is a brand ambassador?
A brand ambassador is an individual who represents and promotes a company or product to the public, usually leveraging their social influence, or knowledge of the brand, to increase brand awareness and drive sales. Their role involves various activities from attending events as a spokesperson to engaging with potential customers on social media to generating buzz through word of mouth.
Brand ambassadors may be influencers or people famous in their own right, or they may be customer ambassadors, who are satisfied users of the brand’s offerings and tapped by the company to be their representatives. Brand ambassadors can play a crucial role in brand management, creating a personal connection between a brand and its target audience.
Benefits of having brand ambassadors
- Extend brand reach on social media
- Enhance credibility and trust
- Increase brand awareness
- Improve customer engagement and loyalty
- Cost-effective marketing strategy
Great brand ambassadors serve as the humanizing face of a company, bridging the gap between a brand and its target audience. Here’s how they play an essential role in a comprehensive marketing strategy:
Extend brand reach on social media
Many brand ambassadors are individuals who have a significant following on social media and use their presence to promote a particular product—whether that’s a clothing company or a mobile battery case brand.
By sharing content and promoting products on social media platforms, they extend the brand’s reach to new audiences traditional marketing might not touch. This type of social media engagement is especially crucial for recruiting younger customers who spend time on platforms like TikTok and Discord.
Enhance credibility and trust
People are more likely to trust recommendations from someone they know or follow. A brand ambassador’s endorsement acts as word-of-mouth marketing, boosting the brand’s credibility and encouraging trust among potential customers.
Increase brand awareness
A brand ambassador actively discussing your products or services on various online platforms effectively increases brand awareness. The ambassador’s job is to promote and embody the brand, providing a human element that can make the brand more relatable to the customer base.
Improve customer engagement and loyalty
A good brand ambassador engages with customers, answers their questions, and provides a personalized brand experience, either by talking with customers online or at events and trade shows. This can be a critical factor in boosting customer engagement and brand growth.
Cost-effective marketing strategy
Hiring brand ambassadors can be more cost-effective than traditional marketing efforts. Not only does word-of-mouth marketing lead to greater sales than traditional ads, it may also cost less if brand ambassadors are up-and-coming influencers, athletes, or college students who have an audience in their niche circles, but not the kind of mass appeal a celebrity featured on a billboard might have.
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How to find and manage brand ambassadors
- Identify the target profile
- Source candidates online
- Scout employee brand ambassadors
- Set requirements and benefits
- Implement a brand ambassador program
Recruiting brand ambassadors can significantly amplify your marketing efforts. Here's how to hire brand ambassadors—including sourcing, recruiting, and retaining these brand representatives.
1. Identify the target profile
Begin by defining the ideal profile for your brand ambassadors. Look for individuals who already engage with your brand online, embody your company culture, and connect with your target audience. For example, if your brand sells apparel, looking for fashion-forward ambassadorsmakes sense. Understanding your ideal profile will make the subsequent steps more straightforward.
2. Source candidates online
Use social media platforms to identify potential brand ambassadors. Focus on those already positively engaging with your brand or similar brands. Tools like hashtags and mentions can help you filter and find suitable candidates more efficiently.
3. Scout employee brand ambassadors
Don’t overlook the potential of your own employees within your organization. Company team members passionate about your brand make excellent employee brand ambassadors.
They can leverage their own personal brand and social media accounts to engage potential customers and positively represent your brand.
4. Set requirements and benefits
Create a brand ambassador job description where you clearly define what you expect from your brand ambassadors and what they can expect in return. This could include posting frequency requirements, types of content ambassadors are expected to create, and any financial or product-based incentives.
5. Implement a brand ambassador program
Create a structured brand ambassador program to manage relationships and track performance. A structured program allows you to scale efforts and measure impact more effectively. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your overall goals for performance tracking. These could range from engagement rates on social media posts to referral sales metrics.
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Examples of brand ambassador programs
Brand ambassador programs can significantly impact a brand’s reach and reputation. Here are some programs that have proven effective:
Lululemon’s ambassador program
Lululemon’s ambassador program partners with fitness enthusiasts, exercise instructors, and local community leaders who embody the brand’s ethos. These ambassadors receive development tools, personalized brand experiences, access to test products, and introductions to a network of fellow ambassadors. The program has helped Lululemon foster strong community ties and increase brand awareness.
Red Bull’s Student Marketeer program
Red Bull’s Student Marketeer program employs college students as brand ambassadors to promote Red Bull within their social circles and at events. The ambassadors get paid, receive a steady product supply, and are trained to embody the brand’s high-energy image. This strategy aims to broaden Red Bull’s youthful customer base and boost sales.
What makes a good brand ambassador?
- Social media savvy
- Understanding of the target audience
- Excellent communication skills
- Loyalty and commitment
While brand ambassador sounds like a lofty title, it refers to individuals who excel in brand promotion, mainly through social media channels. Here are some qualities to look for in a brand ambassador:
A genuine affinity for your particular brand is paramount for any brand ambassador. Authenticity ensures that their promotion feels natural and believable, increasing brand awareness in a way that resonates with potential customers. Audiences can spot inauthentic endorsements, which can harm your brand’s reputation.
Social media savvy
Effective brand ambassadors have a knack for using social media to engage with audiences and often have their own personal brand. They should know how to craft compelling posts that align with the brand’s online identity, promoting products while genuinely interacting with followers.
Find brand ambassadors whose personal brand and social media strengths align with your company’s values and needs. For example, if you run a company that’s developed a new presentation tool, you might want brand ambassadors who are seen as professional and have a significant LinkedIn following. If you’re a custom t-shirt brand, you may want an ambassador with a casual style and a following on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
Understanding of the target audience
Knowing the brand’s target audience is crucial for any ambassador. They should be adept at tailoring their messages to appeal directly to this group, fostering better customer engagement and positively impacting the brand.
Excellent communication skills
Effective communication is key for representatives of a brand ambassador program. A good brand ambassador should be able to articulate the benefits of products or services clearly and persuasively, whether through social media posts, one-to-one channels, or word of mouth.
Loyalty and commitment
A brand ambassador’s job is ongoing and requires a certain level of dedication and enthusiasm. Brand loyalty in an ambassador goes beyond mere advocacy; it turns the ambassador into an invested stakeholder who understands the brand’s evolving narrative and adapts their strategies to amplify it. This nuanced engagement adds depth and authenticity to the brand's story, making it more compelling to the target audience and increasing brand awareness.
Brand ambassadors FAQ
What do brand ambassadors do?
Brand ambassadors represent and promote a company’s brand, products, or services through social media platforms and word-of-mouth marketing.
Do brand ambassadors get paid?
Depending on the agreement, brand ambassadors can receive compensation in various forms—cash bonuses, free merchandise, or discounts.
Can employees become brand ambassadors?
Yes. Employees can be internal brand ambassadors, promoting the company’s values and products.
Are there different types of brand ambassadors?
Yes. Brand ambassadors can be influencers, regular customers who embody the brand, or internal employees who both work for the company internally and represent it externally.