A company’s reputation shapes its position in the market and governs its accomplishments to a great extent. And it’s certainly not enough (or viable) for a company alone to put itself forth in the best possible way. It needs reliable and credible brand ‘advocates’ since personal referrals from real people resonate far better with an audience than words from the brand itself ever will. This is why they need a brand ambassador (also known as the corporate ambassador), who is a person that represents the company, advertises it, and stands in front of the brand as the embodiment of the company’s corporate identity — through words and actions.
Before diving headfirst into what a brand ambassador is, let’s first get the basics out of the way: What is branding?
Running a business means you probably have a ‘brand’ for it.
Branding, in loose words, refers to the process of putting your product forth in a positive light so that people not only see it but also choose it time and time again. According to the American Marketing Association,
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.
Let’s say, for example; you have a clothing company. But isn’t there a myriad of companies already selling clothes? Then how are you supposed to convince people to purchase the clothes that your company sells?
By creating a brand.
A product can be copied. But a brand stays unique.
But here’s the thing, branding is not an easy topic to define, but Seth Godin, author, and entrepreneur, does it best:
A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.
Why Is Branding Necessary?
In a study done by Princeton, psychologists found that it takes only a tenth of a second to form an impression of somebody. But branding still goes far beyond just a well-designed logo. When a company’s customer service, reputation, and advertising work well together, a brand deem itself overall healthy.
Since competition is always brutal, no matter what industry you’re part of,
Branding Assists You In:
- Building trust and recognition (including reputation on social media).
- Highlighting what you have to offer.
- Elevating the way your business is perceived (in the market and consumers’ minds).
- Providing an identity to your business.
- Validating your financial value.
- Supporting your advertisement (online and offline).
- Generating new customers.
Branding is essential for the business because it’s what the potential customer is going to see first. But when do brand ambassadors come into play?
Who Is A Brand Ambassador?
In its simplest form, the brand ambassador definition would be ‘people with a flexible schedule who promote a product or company, both publicly and among their friends, as well as on social media on their own hours.’ A company sometimes gives a brand ambassador free products to use its products and encourages others to do the same.
Usually, types of brand ambassadors are divided into these categories:
- The enthusiast; who already loves your product and effectively raises an excitement in other people about your brand by airing it in their community and on their social media accounts,
- The expert; who is in a position that allows people to trust their recommendations,
- The peer; who is the most reliable to reach your target audience, and,
- The celebrity; which is a famous, easily recognizable person.
- The employee; who is obviously already part of the company’s own employees.
What Does A Brand Ambassador Do?
Being a brand ambassador means that you have certain responsibilities. Some of them are:
Positive Representation Of The Brand
Introducing people to the brand and the experience they are about to have as its customers is one of the biggest responsibilities of a successful brand ambassador. Brand ambassadors are well aware of what they want people to think about the brand they represent and then make sure that they deliver that very perception. They get across what makes the said brand unique and unforgettable while ensuring that the company’s image stays consistent. Presenting a brand positively is the sun that a brand ambassador’s planets revolve around.
Increasing Brand Awareness
While being a brand advocate, most brand ambassadors also assist in content creation — writing blogs, newsletters, and product reviews, creating shareable infographics, delivering word-of-mouth marketing as well as traditional marketing, improving SEO with user-intent related keywords — and maximizing their organic social media presence so they can develop a voice for their brand is the key to keep testing new strategies to make sure what makes the biggest impact. Additionally, brand ambassadors also stay aware of what is going around them to discuss brands online and increase brand awareness the right way with the right people.
Being A Leader
People like to be led and are always in search of new information. Hence, promoting content and brand online can be the easiest way to become an opinion leader. And social networks are the quickest ways to tell the world about yourself and tell your opinion on a matter. That also makes a brand ambassador a social media influencer. By gaining trust and building their reputation with the help of famous influencers, many brand ambassadors try to gain as much experience as possible, analyze them, and then tell the world about them by staying active on social media platforms.
Providing Feedback And Insight
Brand ambassadors are constantly listening to and engaging with their target audience on online platforms. They gather feedback on experiences with the products that their brand advertises and provide intelligence to optimize its marketing efforts. Hence, answering all questions about the brand and its products to maintain brand identity is part of a brand ambassador’s job.
Participating In Event Marketing
Brand ambassadors participate in face-to-face interactions since the people they speak to could be the company’s future clients. In fact, it’s a major part of their job to build relationships. Event marketing gives one the power to engage with buyers directly. Aside from helping brand ambassadors build brand presence (before, during, and after) at the event, it can generate leads, pipeline value, new opportunities, and more sales.
Other responsibilities of a brand ambassador could also include –
- discussing strategy with management to best increase sales in the market,
- visiting retail locations to spread knowledge,
- recording concerns and feedback from customers and staff,
- learning the lineup of the season’s products,
- scheduling time with store management to discuss the impact of their product on the business,
- posting about a new product on their social media networks,
- distributing marketing materials,
- wearing branded uniforms/other clothing items,
- providing samples in stores,
- being trustworthy,
- not focusing too much on sales but authenticity.
How To Become a Brand Ambassador?
From the company’s own employees to popular celebrities, anyone with the required skill can be a brand ambassador. The standard level of education needed to be a brand ambassador is a high school diploma. Still, there are various job listings where companies try to find brand ambassadors that are in the middle of finishing their degree. Other general qualifications needed to fill the position of a brand ambassador require one to be friendly, charismatic, energetic and holding the potential to connect with their peers. Since they are close-knit with their campus communities, College students are very fitting candidates for most brand ambassador programs.
When written step-by-step, the process to become a brand ambassador would look something like this:
- Researching the companies you are considering is always a good start. Look for brands that represent your interests well, or try to go for a brand that creates content you already produce. Going through a company’s social media posts is always the easiest place to start with. Also, research events happening in your area.
- Having high interaction on your social media can make you more attractive to brands as a potential ambassador. Building engagement is a great way to advertise yourself, so consider commenting on well-known pages or blogs, as well as responding to the messages and comments you receive.
- Create social media content that reflects a cohesive tone and set of interests. Most companies look for potential ambassadors who reflect a certain vibe to represent them.
- Build a good online following to allow people to keep up with your in-person activities.
- Make connections with other influencers to increase your own social media site following.
- Start reaching out to companies you are interested in promoting, and make sure they hire brand ambassadors.
The basic demand for being a brand ambassador usually includes previous retail or training experience, willingness to travel to multiple locations, an outgoing personality with love for helping people, and excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Brand Ambassador Program
To keep the relationships with your brand ambassadors running smoothly, it’s best to create brand ambassador programs. Companies that set up a brand ambassador program are usually confident in their services, have a happy customer base, have the resources required to create strong marketing campaigns, and are active on social media. Plus, starting a brand ambassador program is cost-effective since the payments are based on results, which means that you only incur costs after you meet a certain goal.
Being in a highly competitive industry or targeting a niche audience can often benefit from an ambassador program.
Whether you want to keep your circle of brand ambassadors relatively small with only a few members or form an entire army that can promote your brand far more intensely is something you need to decide on before you work on the rest. Either way, it’s going to require a lot of your time and energy, as well as a lot of dedication. Therefore you need a clear map of what you’ll be getting out of the brand ambassador program before getting it started.
So that’s your first step: Don’t start a brand ambassador program ‘just because.’ Define the goals of your brand ambassador program, and know your end-game beforehand. Knowing these demographics can make it easier to identify brand ambassadors who can help you reach your goals.
The next step would include establishing your criteria. Different brands have different requirements for their brand ambassadors. Before reaching out, consider taking note of the following:
- How much has this person engaged with your brand in the past?
- How passionate about it are they?
- How long have they been a customer?
- What does the follower count on their social media look like?
- How would you rate their social media interaction?
After settling all of that comes the policies and guidelines you want to set for the brand ambassador program. Since ambassadors reflect your brand, you’re supposed to review their presence on social media to ensure that their ideas go hand in hand with your own. Additionally, making sure that they maintain their own personal voice, don’t needlessly trash competitors, and promote the right products/hashtags also gets covered under this part of starting a brand ambassador program.
It goes without saying that working with a brand ambassador will be a long-term relationship after getting through the brand ambassador program. Don’t forget to give out freebies, financial compensations, as well as shout-outs to these brand ambassadors on your own account, so they remember what’s in it for them as long as they work for you.
Lastly, but most importantly, track your progress. You need to assess what’s going on as your brand ambassador programs grow.
Why Do You Need Brand Ambassadors?
In today’s digital and online marketing work, brand ambassadors can be seen as an essential element to your team. They fulfill the human aspect of your business and provide the genial voice that your company needs.
Brands hire ambassadors to help raise product awareness for the company and greatly assist the brand in question in boosting sales. Their job description promotes your brand and helps defend it — calming situations surrounding any negative attention your company and talking in a positive light.
It doesn’t always have to be a celebrity. They should only market your company and help consumers decide to know more about your product.
To understand more about business, check out another article by us: Understanding Operating Capital: How Do You Safeguard Your Business?