For as long as we could remember brand ambassadors have been responsible for influencing consumers and building brand awareness. Typically, we would see a celebrity who was also a customer get recruited to do Influence Marketing for a brand. We can look all the way back in time and remember these partnerships like the Ramones with Converse, Jordan with Nike, or even Leonardo DiCaprio with Tag Heuer. Most often, you will find that these Ambassadors are most likely people that everyone wants to be like! By buying this product, it’s almost like the celebrity is living vicariously through the consumer.
More recently celebrity brand ambassadors are more involved with sculpting the brand in a way that truly represents who they really are.
Think Rihanna! Her partnership with Puma is what a 2016 celebrity brand ambassador looks like. She hand-picked items that she loved, designed pieces that are synonymous with her own fashionista, and she’s put that all together and presented it at Fashion Week this past February. This is definitely where brand ambassadorship for major corporations will continue to go and we should all take note!
The next facet of a new-age brand ambassador is Social Media Brand Influencers.
As consumers become more aware of our marketing tricks, they start to see that these celebrities may not genuinely be lovers of the product since they are being compensated millions of dollars to be a walking billboard. Consumers are now looking for authentic appreciation of the brand from their brand ambassadors, which they often fail to receive from a big-name celebrity.
With the emergence of social media websites such as Myspace, Facebook, Instagram (the list goes on), the millennials seem to be more interested in what it is that is getting these people thousands of likes and followers. So although they are still extremely interested in what the celebrities are doing, being like the social media personalities who showcase their regular everyday lives seem more attainable.
A company taking the step of recruiting social media brand influencers is probably the best thing that could happen to their brand. A ridiculous amount of time is spent on Social Media platforms by the millennials, which leads to thousands and millions of people seeing their product. Additionally, Social Media Brand Influencers humanize the brand in a way that cannot be achieved with a celebrity. The majority of these social media personalities are self-proclaimed beauty gurus and fashion icons so their opinions are trusted and considered before making a purchase.
When developing your own brand ambassador program, it is imperative to determine what differentiates your brand from any other. Creating a plan that highlights the culture of the brand is what makes a brand really stand out.
When looking for a brand ambassador it is important to look for representatives that could grow with the brand and is a complete reflection of the brand. Refrain from choosing people who are willing to take any deal! Instead, find people who are actually loyal customers and reward them for believing and making the brand what it is today.
Overall, make sure that the person that is representing your brand is as IN LOVE with it as you are!
Sharon Shichor is the CEO of Eighteen Knowledge Group LLC, your solution and knowledge base for brand building and getting your products and services in the hands of consumers.
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