Recently, I sat in a meeting with a prospective client where we picked each other’s brains to see if there were any opportunities to collaborate on some projects. We had a great back-and-forth that lasted for more than :90 and toward the end of our chat the topic of finding a Brand Ambassador came up. This led to a series of questions:
- What’s a Brand Ambassador?
- How do we pick the right Brand Ambassador(s)?
- Are we in a position to utilize this position properly?
- Do we compensate them?
- How would this whole thing work?
As you can see from the above list, there were varying degrees of knowledge about Brand Ambassadorship and levels of comfort and uneasiness. Typically, these people have HUGE online followings and can positively influence your brand by tweeting, posting, or just chatting about your brand.
“A Brand ambassador is a person who is hired by an organization or company to represent a brand in a positive light and by doing so they help to increase brand awareness and sales. The brand ambassador is meant to embody the corporate identity in appearance, demeanor, values and ethics.” – that’s the text book version from our friends at Wikipedia.com.
Now picking the right Brand Ambassador can be as simple as researching who the top people are in the areas you feel closely resemble those you’re trying to impress and turn in to followers or consumers. Are you looking for someone who wears the same clothes, buys the same cosmetics, and/or listens to the same type of music as your company? You must also do your due diligence to ensure they haven’t posted anything negative about your brand or your industry. Nothing can undo goodwill like being previously put on blast by your new Brand Ambassador. Make sure there aren’t any skeletons in their closets.
Do we truly need someone to rep us? Maybe, maybe not? Social media influence can’t be faked. You need to make sure you are not having these people “sell out” or go “corporate”. Most are more focused on developing their own brand – so they’ll be keeping it 100. Today’s influencers have worked hard to create a brand identity, so you’ll want to make sure their goals match your own.
Compensation is a tricky thing. Some will want money. Others will want “freebies” and money. Some just want to be included and invited to the cool gatherings/concerts/launch parties. You must determine which path your company is comfortable with. It’s absolutely critical that talk of compensation doesn’t leave the boardroom. Nothing will kill the Brand Ambassadorship quicker among their peers than finding out they’ve been following a sell-out!
This whole thing should work as organically as possible. Don’t suddenly have them post pics with your logos in every corner of their social media channels. Make it a two-way street – it’s better to be in involved in a conversation than to be talked at.
If you are able to check off the boxes above then, maybe it’s time to tweet out, post, Snapchat or just holla back at an Influencer and see if they’re fans?