A brand ambassador is someone who promotes your brand on a long-term basis. They represent your brand values and showcase who you are through a number of consumer touchpoints. Their success is down to their ability to share authentic recommendations built from the ongoing relationship they have developed with your brand. And this makes them a valuable asset, provided you understand the brand ambassador meaning, in all its forms, and follow the right strategy.
In order to nurture an effective brand ambassador relationship, you need to consider a number of important aspects. This includes understanding what brand ambassadors are, what they do, and which types of brand ambassadors exist. That way you can find the right brand ambassador for your brand and develop an effective collaboration.
Let’s take a look at the different profiles out there together with a few examples to help you understand which type would work best for your brand.
What Is a Brand Ambassador?
Brand ambassador meaning:
Someone who publicly promotes and endorses your brand on an ongoing basis. They represent your brand in the public arena and embody the values and identity that your brand seeks to promote.
Although this may sound similar to what an influencer does, a brand ambassador actually performs a slightly different role. Essentially, the main difference between the two concepts is that brands tend to collaborate with influencers on a short-term basis for specific campaigns. In contrast, a partnership with a brand ambassador is usually founded on a long-term relationship.
Influencers are also far less likely to have used a brand’s product in the past, whereas brand ambassadors tend to have first-hand experience with the products that they are promoting. This might be because they used to work for the company, they have in-depth knowledge of the products they promote, or they have been a satisfied customer at some point in the past.
Because ambassadors have a deeper understanding of a brand, they are far more qualified to embody its values and communicate the key brand message. Plus, because they promote brands through genuine recommendations, content usually comes across as being more authentic. This is because they are sharing an endorsement because they genuinely believe in the value of a brand.
Why Brand Ambassadors Are Important for Brands
Now that we’ve discussed the brand ambassador meaning, let’s take a look at how the right fit can benefit your brand.
Benefits of collaborating with a brand ambassador:
- You get increased exposure through a variety of channels. Aside from social media influencer marketing, this might include promoting and co-hosting online and offline events or sharing feedback on new products. You are also more likely to gain increased brand awareness on a larger scale as a result of word-of-mouth recommendations.
- Because a brand ambassador has a deeper understanding of who you are, they are more likely to understand your mission and values. This helps them serve as an extension of your brand, rather than someone who promotes a specific branded campaign.
- Brand ambassadors promote your products because they genuinely believe they are of value. This makes them more likely to commit to you and your brand, and less likely to form a partnership with one of your competitors.
- As a result of all the above, a brand ambassador can help your audience engage with your brand at an authentic level, increasing your reach, building more trust, and boosting your revenue.
Brand Ambassador Profiles
There are a number of different types of brand ambassadors out there. These profiles depend on a range of factors, including the level of influence an ambassador has in the market, the type of agreement they have signed, and the role that they play.
Generally speaking, brand ambassadors can be split into 7 different profiles.
Let’s explore these profiles.
An existing customer with a genuine love for your brand developed through first-hand experience. They tend to promote your products to like-minded peers that share the same affinities (such as student advocates), relying primarily on word-of-mouth, testimonials, and authentic recommendations. This makes it easier for potential customers to relate to them.
Experts in their field, such as celebrities and notable figures. Their established reputation as a voice of authority helps their audience trust their recommendations. These ambassadors are lso known as powerful audience authority ambassadors.
Experiential or Event Ambassadors
Primarily represent brands at organized events. They focus on maintaining one-on-one conversations with potential customers and building relationships. They publicly embody the values reflected by a brand which helps potential customers connect and engage with the brand.
A brand ambassador that has signed a formal agreement with your brand. You provide them with specific guidance about your brand and your goals and they agree to meet certain standards when they represent you. This might be creating a specific number of branded posts or organizing a series of official events where they serve as brand advocates. You might also get them to use specific influencer marketing tools.
A brand ambassador that has not signed a formal agreement with your brand. Similar to a referral or affiliate program. Usually consist of enthusiastic customers who want to share your brand because they love it. Many informal ambassadors share unique codes with their followers, and then get a reward when someone uses the code to purchase a product.
Advocates who explicitly embody your brand values and commit to your brand philosophy. Often promote your brand for little or no compensation because they are so enthusiastic about it. This might be through reviews or word-of-mouth.
Past or present employees who publicly endorse your brand, usually through social media. They have insider knowledge of your brand, goals, and target audience. This helps them effectively reflect your brand identity.
Brand Ambassador Examples
The best way to understand the true brand ambassador meaning is by looking at a few examples. That way, you can see how well-known brands collaborate with different brand ambassador profiles so that you can work out which type might work best for you.
Patagonia often relies on Instagram celebrities to serve as brand ambassadors. These celebrities post pictures of themselves having adventures whilst wearing Patagonia clothing, such as climbing the Alps or surfing in Hawaii. This helps them appeal to consumers through a shared passion and authentic recommendations.
Red Bull’s brand ambassador program relies on peer advocates to reach younger demographics. For example, Red Bull often enlists student ambassadors to offer free samples of the brand’s high-energy drink to other students on campus.
Dell uses employee ambassadors to promote its brand. The company does this because it understands that its employees are the best people to spread its message and connect with its audience. To achieve this, Dell signed up 10,000 employees to promote the brand through social media, helping the brand reach a huge audience.