By: Mahnoor Awan
Who is a Brand Ambassador?
Brand Ambassadors can be celebrities, social media influencers, or brand enthusiasts, who are hired to represent a brand in a positive light in public.
However, quite often, brand ambassadors are customers from your target demographic, who voluntarily promote your brand by publicly speaking, blogging, tweeting, and/or instagramming about how much they love your product or service. These customers are an expression of the character of your brand, as they embody the same beliefs and values as your brand. Their job is to stay in regular contact with your customers, promoting the brand to them, and providing you with invaluable feedback on what your customers think about your brand.
If you’ve been thinking about starting up a brand ambassador program for your company, here are some tips that might help you.
- Define your goals
Before choosing a brand ambassador, it is important to define the goals of your brand ambassador program.
- What is it that you are looking forward to achieve with this program?
- How could a brand ambassador affect not only your brand, but also be a positive influence for/on your customers?
- Are these goals in terms of increase in awareness of your brand and/or an increase in an overall revenue for your company?
- How much are you willing to spend on this program in terms of marketing it and/or giving out rewards, which is discussed later in this article.
Outlining some of these goals and others will often help you determine the strategies for your program.
When defining your goals, have reasonable expectations. Your revenue or engagement on social media platforms will not go up overnight.
When creating a brand ambassador program, it is important to realize that your brand is not just a product or service. Most programs seek to associate a lifestyle around it. An image that a fan-base or a social audience would latch onto and in turn incorporate the brand into their lives because it projects a lifestyle they seek. Your fans want to feel they are a part of the brand’s mission, the bigger picture that your company offers about how your brand impacts your customers’ lives in a positive way.
For example, Lululemon is not just a company that sells yoga mats and athletic wear. It promotes a healthy, energetic, and fit lifestyle. Its brand ambassadors are yoga teachers who teach free yoga classes in local Lululemon stores. In return, they receive free merchandise, acknowledgement and free promotion in the form of a big picture in the local Lululemon stores, and employees referring the customers to the ambassador’s free classes.
Since brand ambassadors are a company’s loyal customers, it is important to make sure that whoever you choose as a brand ambassador, is a customer who is already a fan of the business. You can choose from customers who have already said a good thing or two about the brand themselves, without expecting any reward in return, only because they really like or appreciate your brand. These are the customers who will be willing to promote your brand.
Preferably, these customers should be of the same demographic as your target market because it is easier for other customers to relate to their content. Try choosing someone who is socially active and embodies the same values and visions as your brand.
Once you’ve chosen who you want as your brand’s ambassador, it is now time to reach out to them. When reaching out, it is important to be really clear and specific about what the customer’s participation as a brand ambassador would entail and what benefits are they likely to receive.
Here’s an example from GramforaCause. They have clearly outlined what the brand ambassadors are responsible for, and what they will get in return.
Once you’ve selected a brand ambassador, you can start out by giving them ideas and information on how to feature your brand. But eventually, you’ll just have to release the reins and let the magic happen. If your brand ambassador is already popular on social media, then it is likely, they know what they are doing. So, don’t hover over their every move and let them do their thing.
However, based on your goals, make sure you determine the right frequency of your brand promotion through your ambassadors, in order to avoid brand fatigue.
Since brand ambassadors work voluntarily, it is a good idea to offer them rewards for all their hard work. This reward can be in terms of your free products or service use. It can also be compensation for for your products or services or something exclusive that gives them a VIP feel.
For example Microsoft’s MVP - Most Valuable Professionals. These are customers who share their expertise with other Microsoft customers, especially in terms of helping with technical issues. The MVP’s are rewarded by a weeklong trip to Microsoft headquarters that involves networking, celebration, recognizing their efforts and much more.
When delivering the rewards, try to make it as personal as possible, with a genuine thank you note for helping to promote your brand.
Did your brand ambassador program help you achieve your goals? There are a few ways you can measure if your program positively affected your company:
- Increase in revenue
- Increase in likes on your social media platforms
- Increase in followers on your social media platforms
- Increase in traffic to your website
- Increase in engagements on your social media platforms
- Trending on social media platforms
A brand ambassador program is a great marketing and promotion strategy for a brand. It gets the mission and the value of your brand across through people who are genuine users of your brand. This adds to the authenticity of what your brand has to offer. Following these simple, basic steps might help you jumpstart a great brand ambassador program.
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