Who is a brand ambassador and how to work with him
Who is a brand ambassador? What is its main mission? And how do ambassadors benefit the business? This is what we’ll talk about in today’s article.
Who is a brand ambassador
Ambassador (ambassador / envoy) is a socially active person who popularizes the products and services of a particular brand. The image of an ambassador in this case leaves an imprint on the company’s image. Previously, this role was entrusted exclusively to celebrities who flashed on the big screens and were known to the wide audience, but now bloggers are increasingly giving preference to them.
Real ambassadors share the company’s philosophy and do not hesitate to talk about it not only in social networks, but also at events. A brand spokesperson should inform customers about new arrivals, talk about promotions, cover major events and sing odes to the brand on their page. Also, the ambassador for the duration of the contract undertakes not to advertise related products .
The main task of the ambassador is to increase his credibility, provide feedback and create automatic advertising – the so-called word of mouth.
A brand representative must broadcast to the masses the philosophy of the company, its corporate mission, ideals and values, since it is difficult to do this only with the help of faceless advertising posts.
The words of opinion leaders are now much more trusted than beautiful banners with hackneyed calls to action, so an ambassador is a great chance to easily convey the concept of a brand to the general public and form a loyal audience around it.
Let’s start right away with examples to make it clearer.
Direct advertising: “Buy our product and you will be happy!”
Ambassador: “Look how happy I am with the product!”
Do you understand the difference? The Ambassador does not seek to forcibly “sell” some product to you and force him to urgently buy. No edification, huge advertising posts, or clear calls to action. Only personal recommendations and stories related to the company. The consumer is given the opportunity to make a choice for himself, just a little nudge him to action with the help of a personal example.
In addition to ambassadors, companies may have:
- evangelicals are satisfied customers who talk about the brand absolutely free of charge, because they sincerely love it:
- lawyers – zealously defend the interests of the company in the public space, stand up for it, but have no formal relationship with the brand, they often grow out of evangelicals;
- brand faces – they are hired to advertise and participate in events, and they are not required to use the company’s products themselves.
The ambassador differs from the above formats in that he often has an agreement with the company. In addition, the representative receives income for his work. This can be either a material reward, the amount of which is negotiated individually, or free products (services) of the brand.
Accordingly, due to the almost complete inoperability of traditional advertising methods today, brand promotion through an ambassador is relevant for almost any business. For FMCG and HoReCa segments, an ambassador can conduct master classes, be a speaker at seminars, or be the voice of the brand in social networks .
In complex segments (for example, B2B or medicine), a representative can organize presentations and conferences, express his expert opinion, and act as a specialist. Its main task is to form a community of professionals around the brand, as well as to lobby for the interests of the company.
Who is it for
If you think that only big brands can attract ambassadors, then this is not at all the case. Representatives are also needed by little-known companies that have just entered the market and have not managed to gain a loyal audience. How can a representative help them with this? Firstly, with the help of an ambassador, the brand can easily “push” its ideology into the masses, and secondly, the company automatically gets a part of the ambassador’s reputation.
If a brand produces really high-quality products, but cannot reach consumers, it will be very useful to enlist the support of an opinion leader. A similar format of cooperation will be useful for cosmetic and perfumery companies, restaurants, alcoholic brands and sports goods. Simply put, ambassadorship with the right approach will benefit any business segment .
When choosing an ambassador, there are several important factors to consider – the size of the business and the budget you are willing to commit. For example, stars are invited to large-scale events, ceremonies, opening of new branches, festivals to increase the audience.
In the case of a narrow specialization of the enterprise (for example, your company may be engaged in the production of slate or solar panels), attracting celebrities will be stupid and costly. Here it is better to opt for micro-influencers and specialized specialists.
Who can become your brand ambassador
There is no single algorithm for choosing an ambassador. Someone bets on celebrities bigger, hoping that consumers will “fall for” the impressive number of subscribers and insta-popularity, while others, on the contrary, prefer to cooperate exclusively with microinfluencers who generate content from the heart.
The easiest way is to make your loyal customer ambassador who truly shares the company’s values. This requires attracting a loyal audience of buyers. What is their feature? These are ordinary people who do not suffer from “brain blogging”, do not bathe in commercial offers and do not write rash posts about products that they have never used in their life. Consequently, their words and recommendations inspire much more confidence.
Choosing a brand ambassador should be taken seriously. We already wrote above that there is no ideal formula for success, but we will try to formulate a basic set:
- Quality content . Good creativity grabs attention and increases audience loyalty.
- Excellent reputation . An ambassador is the face of a brand whose image can radically change the attitude towards your company, so look for bloggers who have not been involved in scandals and do not have a hot temper.
- Compliance with the company’s image. The Ambassador should be the embodiment of your philosophy and values. For example, sportswear brands are often chosen by fitness bloggers and professional athletes who actively maintain pages on social networks, and cosmetic companies are often chosen by beautiful institutions.
- Social Activity . A reclusive blogger who does not interact with the audience is unlikely to be an ambassador.
How to start working with ambassadors
At first glance, everything seems as simple as possible: to start working with an ambassador, you just need to choose a popular opinion leader, provide him with samples of the company’s products and briefly talk about brand positioning, its tasks and mission. But in reality everything turns out to be much more difficult. Where to look, how to choose what to do if it doesn’t work, you will learn about all this in the following sections.
Finding and selecting an ambassador
As a rule, brands already know who they would like to collaborate with in an ambassador format. Often, this mission falls on the shoulders of musicians, athletes, presenters, actors and insta-celebrities, who managed to put together a good army of fans. The main thing is that they share the values of the company and do not go beyond the scope of the contract.
It is best to focus on the preferences of your target audience. Analyze whose pages they follow, what content they repost to their stories, what music they listen to, and what they are generally fond of. You can even conduct an unobtrusive survey among the audience in order to find out who is their idol.
Also, do not forget that the best representative is your client, who actively uses the brand’s products, talks about it and praises the company’s advantages in social networks in every possible way.
When choosing a person who will carry your brand to the masses, you should pay attention to several important criteria:
- Target audience. Among the admirers of the ambassador there should be people who correspond to the portrait of your target audience.
- User skills . How actively the influencer communicates with subscribers, whether he responds to their comments, or whether he prefers to openly express his indifference – all this will in any case leave an imprint on your brand. Also, the ambassador should be able to interest the audience, be a good speaker and freely express his thoughts.
- Similarity in views . The ambassador is obligated to be a supporter of your brand, period. What does it mean? If he promotes phones of the Xiaomi brand, then he should walk with Xiaomi even outside the media space, so that customers do not have questions about the preferences of the ambassador.
- Personal qualities . Yes, this is also important. The main task of the ambassador is to evoke emotions in the audience and to win them over, otherwise no one will adequately respond to his recommendations.
If you don’t want to manually search for a potential representative, use the trendHERO service. More than 80 million accounts have been collected here. Also, using the tool, you can check the ambassador’s profile for markups, analyze location, gender, quality, audience interests, and even the current engagement rate.
The main duty of an ambassador is to use the brand’s products and to tell about it. Also, the ambassador should broadcast to the masses the philosophy of the company, its strengths, concept and contribute to the formation of the image. And all this should be done without the slightest hint of advertising, integrating the relationship with the company into your usual content as naturally as possible.
Another important point, which many for some reason forget, is that for the duration of the contract, the ambassador is obliged to use the brand’s products even outside social networks. For example, if in the insta space you zealously agitate followers to make a choice in favor of OPPO brand headphones, but in life you prefer Apple, it will look strange.
Marketers insist that ambassadors should speak the same language with the audience. This means that posts about the brand and its products should be in the same style as all other posts of the representative. Users must believe that you truly are a fan of the company and share its values.
After choosing an ambassador and discussing all the details, it is required to conclude an agreement. This document usually prescribes the obligations of the parties, terms of termination and wage clauses. You can also add to the agreement a ban on the disclosure of confidential information, parallel cooperation with competitors and any actions that could harm the brand’s reputation.
When working with an ambassador, it is necessary to clearly identify the key points and conditions, but at the same time not to drive the representative into a rigid framework. Give the opinion leader freedom of action, allow him to make adjustments and adjust messages to the needs of the target audience. Often, he really understands his subscribers better and probably knows which communication style will go better.
How to understand that you do not fit together
Joint advertising will be productive only if the values of the company and its chosen one are correlated.
For example, a company that makes a line of vegetarian products contracts a pretty girl. And it seems that she shares the philosophy of the company, but after a while she suddenly exposes a photograph in which she flaunts with a juicy burger in her hands. The brand’s reputation will be undermined.
When a brand ambassador only pretends to be an adherent of its values, both sides suffer.
We have highlighted several “NOTs” in collaboration for companies. You probably won’t work with an ambassador if:
- cooperation is built exclusively on a commercial basis;
- the brand representative is not an ardent fan of the product;
- the ambassador was involved in scandals;
- the ambassador promotes everything indiscriminately;
- the opinion leader has a boorish attitude towards the audience, ignores comments and occasionally comes into conflict with subscribers;
- a person does not want to develop, learn, delve into the concept of the brand.
For an ambassador, everything is much easier – you only need to choose those projects in which you are sincerely interested, and build cooperation on your own terms.
How to work effectively with ambassadors
The Ambassador is not a panacea for all ills. Yes, a representative can promote a company, bring new customers and form a stable image in the eyes of consumers, but you cannot do without your help. Alas, you won’t be able to let everything go by itself, because one mistake can cost you many years of reputation.
How to work with ambassadors so as not to regret the money and time spent later? Here are some tips :
- Decide on a goal. Already at the initial stages, you should understand what result you want to get in the end. Increasing awareness, building a loyal community around the brand, introducing a new product to the market, or maintaining an established reputation? Even if you need everything at once, you should highlight the main goal and focus on it, and implement the rest gradually.
- Choose the right Ambassador . Alas, there are no uniform selection criteria, so you will first have to act by trial and error. But the main thing in this business is the image of a potential representative. Ask yourself: Does it fit the brand’s philosophy? Can this person lobby for your interests? Also, don’t be lazy to check the audience of influencers. It should be alive, not twisted.
- Consider a reward . No one will waste their potential for free. It is important to understand that the quality of the ambassador’s work directly depends on the amount of the fee.
- Implement new ideas . Do not stand still, be creative and come up with something new. For example, offer closed sales to ambassadors, production tours, and various events.
- Give the Ambassador creative freedom . No, we are not urging you to completely surrender the reins of government to a representative. Control is good, but the ambassador knows his audience better, which means he will be able to reach out to her in a familiar language.
Examples and Cases
Now we suggest that you familiarize yourself with illustrative examples:
- This is an example of a post from a Reebok Ambassador. The girl writes how to train during the period of self-isolation, and shows exercises in a suit from this brand.
- The Pampers Ambassador regularly posts photos of his baby in or with these diapers.
- Model Irina Shayk is the Intimissimi brand ambassador. In her stories, she walks in the clothes of this brand. No aggressive advertising messages.
- Danila Kozlovsky in a Gucci suit at an event. The actor is the brand ambassador.
- One of the first in Russia to try on the role of brand ambassador is rapper Oxxxymiron, who signed an agreement with Reebok.
- And here’s an example of an unusual “friendship” – the alliance of fashion blogger Anna O’Brien and the Academy Sports and Outdoors (the sportswear manufacturer that launched the plus size line).
Pros and cons
Cooperating with ambassadors, you get a whole range of nice “goodies” :
- the brand’s living face, who is followed and trusted;
- native ads without intrusive pop-ups and standard messages;
- new loyal audience;
- reinforcing the company’s image with a reputation as an ambassador (but this can be beneficial or detrimental to you);
- an opportunity to simply convey to the target audience the brand philosophy and its concept.
Now let’s move on to the negative points:
- intuitive nature of cooperation, lack of a clear plan and the ability to track the results of such practice;
- the human factor (an ambassador is a person, therefore, his actions can be difficult to predict. For example, an unexpected scandal around an ambassador can pull your company to the bottom);
- possible disclosure of unpleasant brand information by a representative after the end of the contract.
Let’s summarize the above:
- A brand ambassador is its most loyal user, who must sincerely love the company and fully share its values. Ambassador is not about direct advertising.
- The main task of the representative is to use the brand’s products and tell the followers about it as unobtrusively as possible.
- The specific working conditions of the ambassador depend on his personal agreements. What exactly needs to be done, how often, what are the benefits and costs of this – everything is agreed on an individual basis.
- If you want to become an ambassador, but brands are in no hurry to flood you with commercial offers, there are several ways to find customers: apply for a job, participate in a competition, register on a special platform, contact the company directly.
- The best ambassadors grow out of brand evangelists and advocates.
We hope our article was useful to you and now you understand how to efficiently organize work with ambassadors. Good luck!