What is a Brand Ambassador?
A brand ambassador is essentially the face of a company. Although the word is usually associated with high-profile personalities and celebrities, by definition anyone who can influence the buying decisions of others can be a brand ambassador. Their role has evolved over time and now anyone can make some extra cash by positively representing a company they already love.
Brand ambassadors can be selected based on many key traits such as being knowledgeable in their respective communities and having a large following. Having brand ambassadors allow businesses to leverage their established networks and relationships to promote products and brand authority.
Word-of-mouth marketing tactics such as online mentions and referring friends can play an important role in spreading positive messages and influencing buying decision of potential customers. Brand ambassadors do not necessarily have to be paid workers. But they should get something in return even if it’s valuable experience or professional recognition.
Scope of Work
The scope and job description of a brand ambassador can vary from one industry and business to another. Small and medium businesses don’t have the kind of financial resources needed to hire celebrities and sports icons. However, there are some key traits to consider which are common for both large and small businesses.
For example, brand ambassadors of large corporations have to represent a brand in different events. Whereas small businesses usually expect less from their brand ambassadors who are mainly responsible for promoting their products to their following. As another example, the customer support staff of a company can also be considered as their brand ambassadors who play a 2-in-1 role i.e. brand ambassador and customer support.
Employees and Affiliates as Brand Ambassadors
Many consider your employees to be the best brand ambassadors because they know the real truth about the working of a businesses. This is what makes them a great way of telling the world the real story about your brand. Similarly, affiliates should not be treated like people who can bring in more sales, but people who can represent your brand in a positive way to help establish long-term relationships with potential customers.
Why Businesses Need a Brand Ambassador?
- Businesses can create strong brand associations through brand ambassadors in today’s ultra-competitive and homogenous market. That’s why many large scale marketing campaigns include brand ambassadors to differentiate themselves from the rest.
- Well-known brand ambassadors enhance brand credibility, customer attention and are more likely to influence the final buying decision of their followers.
- Different businesses from a specific industry are almost all the same in the minds of most customers. Brand ambassadors help differentiate a brand from others and can lead to higher recall of a particular brand.
- Brand ambassadors can defend a brand when some bad press happens and can rise to the occasion.
- Humans are emotional creatures and need some human association with a brand. Brand ambassadors help ‘humanize’ a brand as customers need some sort of a brand face to make an emotional connection.
- Brand ambassadors can form more personal connections with their followers who listen to their recommendations. A positive word-of-moth from them can be very beneficial for any business. Ten brand ambassadors with 10k twitter followers can mean a business reaching 100k new potential customers.
Key Attributes of a Brand Ambassador
Should Have a Strong Online Presence and Authority
A brand ambassador should be able to reach and influence as many people as possible across different channels. A strong online presence with a highly-engaged network boosts marketing efforts. Brand ambassadors should be able to reach their followers via a variety of platforms and channels, including the social media, blogs, webinars and emails.
Should Have Marketing Knowledge
Although brand ambassadors are not expected to hold a Master’s degree in brand management and marketing, they should at least be familiar with and appreciate core marketing principles. This includes the importance of digital marketing in today’s competitive market and brand authenticity. High-quality referrals are possible when brand ambassadors understand the key marketing concepts and are willing to contribute in making a brand successful.
Brand ambassadors represent brands, but they are usually not on their payroll. However, this should not mean lack of professionalism. Someone embarrassing your brand due to lack of professionalism can have serious consequences on your brand reputation and credibility. A high level of professionalism is required from brand ambassadors to influence others and encouraging them to make a positive buying decision.
Businesses need brand ambassadors to help them build strong relationships and reach new audience. That’s only possible if they are good at building and fostering relationships, which is also related to how much followers they have. Brand ambassadors are different from sales people, who are mainly focused on making sales while ambassadors are focused on fostering long-term and loyal relationships. That’s why they need to be passionate about your products and services and be very good at building relationships in order to turn marketing efforts into success.
Brand ambassadors should exude positivity, confidence and strong leadership skills to engage the target audience. People don’t just look for their recommendations because they are subject experts, but also because they can draw attention to what they represent and are confident about it. The people you want as brand ambassadors should have a high level of confidence in your products and willing to lead by example.
Brand ambassadors should be able to collect and adjust course based on their experience with your products/services and customer/competitor feedback. This information can serve as critical intelligence that helps businesses improve their products/services and marketing campaigns.
Marketing campaigns are not a one-man-job and require team effort to succeed. A brand ambassador has to work with a lot of people to make marketing campaigns successful, which is not possible without a strong sense of teamwork. Being a good team player allows ambassadors to appreciate efforts of other team members and look forward in the same direction.
Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking is critical in keeping people engaged so ambassadors also need some to share the same message multiple times. Repetitive and stale content can make the target audience lose interest in it so they have to continually come up with new ideas and fresh content to showcase your products and services from different perspectives.
Commitment is related to professionalism and is essential for successful marketing campaigns. Ambassadors committed to the cause are a lot more likely to generate favorable results than those who are doing it just for some extra cash. They should be committed to your success and ready to complete all assigned tasks in a responsible and professional manner, including attending trainings and fulfilling their outreach targets.
Businesses should choose brand ambassadors who can personify a brand with their commitment, professionalism and outreach. Whether they are customer support people or a high-profile personality, brand ambassadors are a key part of modern marketing strategies. They should be able to articulate a brand in a manner that’s relatable and engaging otherwise only flashy displays don’t usually get businesses far in the long term.