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Brand Ambassadors: What it Means and Why They Are Needed?

Learn what a brand ambassador is, how they promote your brand, and why they are important for your marketing strategy!

Written by RamotionJan 8, 202410 min read

Last updated: Feb 6, 2024

Introduction

The first step to building your brand is getting noticed. But, with the increasing number of brands competing for attention online and offline, customers search for genuine connections with brands that represent their values and beliefs.

This demand has created the need for creative and innovative marketing and branding strategies.

A cost-effective way of reaching your audience and building trust is by partnering with a brand ambassador who promotes your brand on various platforms. It's because a brand ambassador has the compelling influence to increase the number of your customers while creating a community of like-minded people, among others.

Here's everything you need to know before working with brand ambassadors.

Brand ambassadors are influential advocates that promote your business to others. Illustration via Freepik

They may be existing customers who swear by your products and services or individuals with followers who resonate with your brand. Or they could be celebrities, social media influencers, and even employees.

So, what makes them so popular?

Brand ambassadors are in demand because of the success they bring to the table. For starters, people would rather hear from an actual person who has used them than a business entity. That makes them perfect at bridging the gap between the brand and its consumers while injecting their personalities.

Some of the responsibilities of this brand specialists include but not limited to:

  • Post engaging social media content to create awareness for the brand
  • Collaborate with the marketing team and advertisers
  • Improve and maintain brand image
  • Give product or service reviews
  • Create a memorable brand experience
  • Attend events and trade shows

How Do Brand Ambassadors Differ from Influencers?

Not all influencers are brand ambassadors, but brand ambassadors can be influencers.

Influencers hired as brand ambassadors may include someone who has not used the products or services before the brand deal. The partnership is also usually short-term with the ultimate goal of increasing brand awareness over a certain period.

On the flip side, they are usually existing customers who love your products and services before engaging in brand partnerships. They are willing to partner and grow with your brand.

Benefits of Collaborating with a Brand Ambassador

Collaborating with such experts can do wonders for your brand. Through their network, influence over your target market, and credibility, expect a boost in your brand awareness, customer engagement, and sales.

Brand Ambassadors Can Boost Your Brand Image

Building a network of reputable ambassadors is an easy way to improve or boost your brand image because customers are more likely to trust a familiar face and support your brand. It is particularly effective if an ambassador promotes and supports its social causes and advocacies that align with your brand values, too.

Brand Ambassadors Can Educate Your Customers

Cut through the noise by hiring a brand ambassador to educate your customers.

Brand ambassadors are more entertaining to watch when promoting your products and services. With their personalities and quirks thrown into the mix, customers are more receptive to people they already know and trust.

With this in mind, brand ambassadors are perfect for reaching out to your customers about new product features and other advantages you may want to highlight. You can host interactive online and offline events like AMA (Ask Me Anything), workshops, and mixers where customers can meet your ambassadors.

Brand Ambassadors Can Increase Your Popularity

Some of them have an online presence with millions of followers across social media platforms. That said, they can help you increase your brand popularity or even expand your market reach.

Other brand ambassadors with expertise prefer to have a small yet powerful influence in specific market segments. This makes them perfect partners when targeting niche markets that are often hard to get into.

Brand Ambassadors Make You More Profitable

The genuine enthusiasm of brand ambassadors about your brand is enough to influence customers. Through active participation in social media campaigns, they drive up engagement and convert leads to buying customers. They can also be instrumental in finding opportunities to grow and develop your products and services.

5 Types of Brand Ambassadors

1. Celebrity Ambassadors

Johnny Depp for Sauvage Dior, Cristiano Ronaldo for Nike, and Rihanna for Louis Vuitton. What do they all have in common? They are celebrities from various industries who represent brands.

And the bigger the names, the heftier the brand deal is. Take footballer Lionel Messi's $1 billion lifetime brand deal with Adidas. With superstar power, celebrities can command a crowd and are more convincing to customers who already admire them. Brands are also easily recognizable when associated with a familiar face.

Customers often gravitate toward familiar faces they admire like Lionel Messi for Adidas. Image via Instagram

But not everyone is enticed with celebrity ambassadors, which leads us to social media influencers.

2. Social Media Influencers

Social media influencers are mostly non-celebrities who have garnered clout on social media over their expertise on a specific topic or field. They share digital content that educates, entertains, and influences the decisions of their followers.

They are also often passionate and transparent about social causes they support. As opposed to celebrity ambassadors, social media influencers have a stronger appeal to younger generations like millennials and Gen Z.

Younger customers seek to connect with regular people they can trust versus celebrities who are paid millions and may be ingenuine about their reviews. It also helps that social media influencers are more diverse, representing every type of consumer in the market.

Some of the most in-demand non-celebrity social media influencers are Bretman Rock, Doctor Mike, PewDiePie, and Zach King. They dominate social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, with some having over 80 million followers.

3. Customer Ambassadors

What better way to attract customers than sharing reviews from people who have tried your products?

Customer ambassadors are the most authentic brand representatives you can get. Illustration via Freepik

Customer ambassadors are loyal customers willing to spread the word about your brand! They do not necessarily have a following, but they can influence people close to them, like friends and family, to try brands based on their experience.

In effect, brands experience higher conversion rates among customer ambassadors. The best part is they are not difficult to find as long as you know how to nurture your customer pipeline.

You can run loyalty programs where they can extend benefits to other family members to attract participants. Or how about referral programs where customers earn cash or a gift card if they successfully bring in a new customer?

Many brands also run UGC campaigns or user-generated content shared on social media. These are organic content that customers create to show off how they use your products and services. Think customer reviews on your website or social media pages, OOTDs, interviews, and audio testimonials.

4. Employee Ambassadors

You need not look far to find the perfect ambassador for your brand. In fact, they may already be a part of your team!

With the rising popularity of employee ambassadors, companies vet for employees that align with their values, beliefs, and mission. It's because an on-brand team is more collaborative, productive, and loyal. They are vital in ensuring that customers feel positively toward your brand.

Footwear and clothing brand Reebok ran a #fitASScompany campaign, encouraging employees to have fun as they share their sporty hobbies while wearing its products on Instagram. The brand shares that it has intentionally hired some employees with high social media awareness and is unafraid to engage online. In exchange, the company supports the growth of its employees by providing career development programs and other perks.

Reebok encourages its employees to join the #fitASScompany campaign to share their experience with the brand. Via Instagram

5. Community and Industry Leaders

Tapping experts like industry professionals, community activists, and business leaders is crucial in helping you expand your reach. Through their knowledge and credibility within their segments, they provide valuable insights and connections, making them ideal partners when promoting your brand.

Community and industry leaders can serve as brand ambassadors for other businesses within the same circle, too. Hence, long-term partnerships and mutual success are fostered.

B2B brands and non-profit organizations often partner with community and industry leaders.

How to Hire a Brand Ambassador?

Step 1. Collect Brand Ambassador Applications

It is ideal for brands to ask for applications before welcoming brand ambassadors on board. This process eliminates individuals who do not resonate with your brand. That said, it is essential to ask for information like contact information, past experiences, interests, values, and skills that may benefit your brand.

You can also dig into how they shed a positive light on people around them and their community. Doing so allows you to gauge their commitment to the brand and their causes.

Step 2. Do a Thorough Brand Ambassador Research

The internet never forgets. So, it is crucial to review the past of your potential brand ambassadors and look for issues that may damage your brand’s reputation.

It also helps to assess their social media presence to gauge their online influence and engagement reach. And finally, check for past collaborations and how well they did to evaluate their performance, professionalism, and demeanor.

Step 3. Look for Essential Soft Skills

- Communication Skills

Building a meaningful connection with customers starts with having excellent communication skills. If brand ambassadors can convey messages effectively, they can create rapport and nurture impactful interactions.

- Consistency

Brand ambassadors who consistently deliver the brand message and promise can make your business more memorable. It helps you stand out from the competition when there is consistency in brand experience, too.

- Network

Targeting a specific market is easier if your brand ambassadors have relevant connections and communities they can tap into to spread and build awareness. For instance, a brand ambassador with a wide network can generate positive word-of-mouth referrals for the brand.

- Creativity

Popularity can only get you far when leveraging brand ambassadors. You’ll need to assess for creativity if you want your brand to truly stand out.

Check the content of your potential candidates and see if they are attention-grabbing, compelling, and engaging enough to entice and convince customers.

- Authenticity and Passion

People are more likely to trust brand ambassadors who speak from the heart and believe in the brand values they embody. It also helps when they are deeply passionate about the brands they support, making customers feel valued, heard, and welcomed. In effect, authentic and passionate ones inspire brand loyalty.

Examples of Brand Ambassador Programs

Now that you have a better understanding of brand ambassadors and what they can do, check out some examples of brand ambassador programs in action to inspire you.

1. Sephora Squad

To champion inclusivity and diversity, Sephora has set up a brand ambassador program called Sephora Squad. It invites makeup aficionados to share engaging and educational content in exchange for abundant experiences and opportunities by the brand.

Among the benefits are gratis boxes of Sephora products, content features on social media and Times Square billboards, networking opportunities, and one-on-one professional development coaching with industry leaders.

The brand receives over 16,000 applications, choosing only 60+ Sephora Squad members each year. The brand reports that it grew its social media following by 99 percent in 2022 through the program.

Sephora Squad promotes diversity by inviting people across all backgrounds to be their brand ambassador. Screenshot via Sephora

Maker’s Mark Ambassadors

Maker’s Mark has a less rigid approach when recruiting brand ambassadors. According to the brand, it accepts all types of individuals who have tried and appreciate Maker’s Mark regardless of the number of their social media followers. They are keen on collaborating with customers willing to help the brand grow.

Over time, Maker’s Mark Ambassador has become a coveted title among bourbon enthusiasts. Those formally recognized get insider access to exclusive product launches, distillery tours, customized gifts, discounts, and other perks. All they need is for ambassadors to share their love for Maker's Mark with friends, family, and acquaintances.

A Maker’s Mark ambassador shares her experience during the brand’s product launch in London. Via Instagram

Should You Hire a Brand Ambassador?

If your goal is to be recognized and leave a lasting impression, the answer is a resounding 'Yes.' Partnering with a brand ambassador is one of the best marketing strategies you can implement. Your brand ambassador is a representative helping potential customers understand the essence of your business at a personal level.

They create buzz and drive engagement around your brand through testimonials, product reviews, and stories. They spearhead discussions that matter to your community. And they can improve your overall profitability in the long run.

Ready to tap your brand's full potential? Work with our brand design team to get you started.

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