Brand ambassador: do I need them for my marketing strategy?
Nowadays, we’re frequently seeing more and more brands initiating long-term collaborations with prominent social media profiles and establishing them as “Brand Ambassadors”.
In order to fully understand the concept of a brand ambassador and how to integrate them into your marketing strategy, in this article we’re going to take a look at the main distinctive features.
What is a Brand Ambassador and how did this concept come about?
A brand ambassador is someone who represents a brand or a company and who associates their personal values with those of the brand.
There currently exist a large number of different profiles who execute this role, from actors and actresses to athletes, as well as models and people with a certain positive notoriety.
Related reading: Tips for developing an Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaign
Despite the title of “Brand Ambassador” being coined relatively recently, the concept is not so new. Since the dawn of the era of marketing, the powerful effect of associating a product with a celebrity has been well-known and has long since been exploited. In fact, there are references to this strategy which date back to the nineteenth century, although it must be noted that it wasn’t until the 80s that this term really became popular. And with the arrival of brand new social networks and the boom of influencer marketing, brand ambassador marketing has positively rocketed.
Brand Ambassador characteristics
Defining the characteristics of a Brand Ambassador is very important for brands, since these ideals are what will make a product recommendation that much more credible.
“An influencer helps promote a brand, whereas a brand ambassador IS the brand. For that reason, their values and actions must be in line with those of the brand”
But this synergy simply isn’t enough:
- A brand ambassador must be able to transmit a sense of trust. Credibility is a particularly important asset when selecting a brand ambassador.
- They must be able to connect with the target audience. A brand ambassador’s reputation or credibility isn’t worth much if the brand’s target audience doesn’t engage with them. A brand ambassador must be someone whose messages leave a mark on the target audience, sometimes even on an emotional level.
- They must be natural born leaders. Sometimes brands try to differentiate themselves with novel approaches. The ability to start a new trend requires good leadership skills.
- They must have a gift for communication. Since brand ambassadors need to transmit certain messages, it’s vital that they’re able to communicate well verbally, via social media and with the press.
- They must be prudent and inclusive with their messages. A brand simply can’t risk being rejected by the public. A brand ambassador must always measure their words, so as not to generate unwanted reactions.
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How to choose a Brand Ambassador
Taking into account the previously mentioned characteristics, a brand that wishes to find an ambassador must evaluate the potential candidates based on their values and the message they wish to transmit. The candidates’ personality, lifestyle and values must be in line with those of the brand.
Related reading: How to find the right influencer with data
- For example, a brand that wishes to impact a young and athletic target audience shouldn’t collaborate with a celebrity who doesn’t take good care of their physical appearance, no matter how prominent their social presence may be, since that would send a contradictory message.
- The ability to impact the brand’s target audience is another important factor. If a brand were to choose between two candidates who both represented its values, the best option would be to collaborate with the profile which is going to make a bigger impact, whether it be because of their social reach or their presence in the media.
- It’s also a plus if the brand ambassador makes an effort to get to really know the brand. Few things can have a worse effect than a brand ambassador who clearly doesn’t know anything about the brand they’re collaborating with.
In any case, no matter how exhaustive the selection process, it’s impossible to be 100% sure about the chosen candidate; we’ve all seen the news stories about well-known brands that have paid catastrophic amounts to celebrities with impeccable reputations to represent their brand and that have woken up to scandals which have forced them to abruptly break any bonds in order to protect themselves from the negative consequences.
Should I integrate Brand Ambassadors into my marketing strategy?
Marketing strategies with brand ambassadors are not a general necessity. Companies don’t necessarily have to put a face to their brand, but in certain situations, “Brand Embassy” actions can be very beneficial.
When should you look for a brand ambassador?
Primarily when a brand wishes to increase brand loyalty or boost its image.
Implementing long-term brand ambassador marketing strategies achieves the best results when combined with frequent influencer marketing campaigns. That way, brand awareness is increased over time in a sustainable and effective way.
Do you need help putting together your influencer marketing strategy? Get in touch and we’ll give you a hand!