Ever wondered how a brand ambassador programme works, what they actually do on a daily basis, or how they could become an ongoing asset for your marketing team and grow the visibility of your brand?

Let’s break down these questions and answer some FAQs first…

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WHAT IS A BRAND AMBASSADOR?

Ambassadors can be employed to bring your consumers or customer partners closer to your brand.

They build trust with your chosen audience and drive a greater level of engagement by assisting in the roll-out of activations at a ground level, helping to drive sales, and monitoring and reporting back on compliance and execution.

It’s a hands-on operational role that can be full-time, part-time or on an agreed-hours contract (depending on the brand and scale of the job), with ambassadors typically reporting directly into the marketing team.

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WHAT DO BRAND AMBASSADORS DO?

Brand ambassadors can benefit any brand looking to drive visibility and commercial impact. Expect them to support sales through on-site sampling, distributing vouchers, and performing compliancy checks — all of which help to develop valuable, long-term relationships with consumers if you’re mainly using them for B2C reach, or your customer partners if you’re looking for the B2B angle.

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IS EMPLOYING A BRAND AMBASSADOR THE SAME AS USING AN INFLUENCER?

Not exactly.

While there are overlaps between the two roles, they’re very distinct from each other — mainly in their relationships with brands.

Influencers are typically chosen to promote brands on social media on a one-time basis, rather than actively representing them (although some may argue the lines are blurred). They’re often paid an agreed sum per social media post depending on the size of their following, or they might receive free products in return. But often the relationship with the brand doesn’t extend beyond that.

Brand ambassadors are an employed member of the marketing team, chosen based on how well they line up with the brand’s values. They’re the feet on the street, acting as an extension to the team on a ground level — a bit like a field salesperson, but with a more multi-faceted role. Their main goal is to build commercial impact by nurturing either B2B or B2C relationships, putting local marketing plans in place, and reporting back on partner compliance, activation and consumer feedback.

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SO, NOW THAT WE’VE COVERED THE BACKGROUND, LET’S DIVE INTO 5 KEY CONSIDERATIONS WHEN CREATING YOUR BRAND AMBASSADOR PROGRAMME.

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  1. FIND BRAND AMBASSADORS THAT ‘FIT’ YOUR BUSINESS.

This might sound obvious, but there’s no point in hiring a brand ambassador who doesn’t believe in your brand! Authenticity is key here. The person you hire for this role should represent the values that underpin your brand. Having a clear profile for your ideal ambassador will help you to stay true to your brand values and find candidates who can represent you authentically.

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2. SET EXPECTATIONS FROM THE START.

Although most brand ambassador programmes have the same end goal of increasing commercial impact, it’s important to agree the KPIs as well as any other expectations from the get-go. If a plan is in place with clear activities, responsibilities, goals and milestones, the ambassadors will have absolute clarity on what’s expected of them, which in turn should encourage greater success commercially.

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3. MEASURE YOUR PROGRAMME’S SUCCESS.

With KPIs set and brand ambassadors clear on their expectations, you have a great foundation for measurement to build on with more ways of keeping this network motivated. League tables, incentives, and competitions between them (if you have more than one on board!) can be a great way to create healthy competition that impacts positively on sales or your other end goals.

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4. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR AMBASSADORS AND KEEP THEM INVOLVED.

Including brand ambassadors in important conversations within your business can help everything they do feed into the wider business plans like a potential rebranding, new product launches, or seasonal marketing updates. They’re close to your consumers (B2C) and your partners (B2B) so they’re in a unique position to offer really valuable insights to help build your future plans with these audiences in mind. Plus, the more engaged they feel, the more likely they are to be loyal to your brand and represent it in the most authentic way.

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5. FOSTER HONEST FEEDBACK & OPEN COMMUNICATION.

Finally, keeping lines of communication open and honest can be a great way to ensure the longevity of your relationships with ambassadors. Understanding what’s working for them and what isn’t, the types of insights they’re learning, and how your brand is perceived in the marketplace can help you make more of an impact with all your future activation plans.

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SO, TO ROUND UP…

Considering these key points upfront will help you create a solid foundation for your brand ambassador programme so it can grow into an invaluable arm of support for your marketing team, and a commercially sound addition to your marketing mix — sounds like a win-win to us!

And just so you know, we’re always on hand to advise on different marketing and communication strategies that can fit into your existing plans, whatever they might be. If you need some specialist consultation or an extra pair of hands, just drop us a line and we’ll tell you how we can help.

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