tap your brand ambassadors!

Brand Ambassador,  it could mean fans who are just really passionate about a brand or product and share their love on their own accord or it could mean a branded, deliberate program by a company to find, embrace, and engage their biggest fans.

A Brand Ambassador, at the most basic level, represents a brand in a positive way. It is the duty of a Brand Ambassador to express the message of a company to consumers or people who would gain something from learning about the brand being advertised. A Brand Ambassador can be thought of as a hybrid between a PR Representative and an HR Representative, someone who both aims to educate consumers about a Brand but also tries help them in any way that they can.

Take a moment to consider rolling out a Brand Ambassador program. Tap into your customer’s or client’s enthusiasm and help serious fans of your brand to spread the word. I am an advocate of these programs and participate in a few so I thought I would share a glimpse into a couple very successful programs. Each have elements of technical expertise, rewarding passion, and just spreading around some fun.

Maker’s Mark Ambassadors:  This program is all about the passion. Passion for a legendary brand in the world of bourbon. Passion for the fine art of crafting a classic. Passion for enjoying it one sip at a time. Several years ago, Maker’s Mark created what would become the subject of countless word of mouth marketing case studies.

Ambassadors get access to “The Embassy,” a private online community loaded with everything from personalized business cards to hand out in bars to a picture of your name engraved on an actual barrel of the fine product, which you can visit in person if you like. VIP tasting events, special offers, great swag, exclusive gift shop access. Makers Mark located in Loretto, Kentucky know how to build a brand ambassador program the right way. On the practical side, ambassadors are also armed with fun tools to help move product as well, among other things, the business cards, which help individuals spread the word about the program and brand, and ways to tell the company about bars and restaurants they find who haven’t quite gotten the Maker’s Mark religion.

“Bad Ass” Ambassador Team: These folks beat a drum that resonates with the MK culture and character, of exploring the outdoors and preserving the many facets of the outdoor lifestyle. MK is proud to amplify their mission and ambition, and tell their tales of courage and high adventure. MK “Bad Ass”ador Program are athletes, activists and civic-minded citizens working to make our world a better place, reveal its wondrous places, and tell about the thrill of play and adventure within.

“Bad Ass”adors go through a selection process to determine if they are enthusiastic about the outdoors, an absolute must for this brand. Once accepted into the program each has an obligation of not just wearing the MK brand and handing out “swag” but sharing the experience of Mountain Khaki Living through MK blog posts and public promotions such as in-store or event representation. In return the participants are offered discounts on merchandise. This aggressive Brand Ambassador program is helping the MK brand to rise above the rest.

If a Brand Ambassador does their job well, the product that is being advertised should be at a higher demand to prospective consumers. Like a commercial, Brand Ambassadors should appeal to the human aspects of the product. They should be able to advertise the ways that the product could improve the life of the consumer. Brand Ambassadors may also serve to represent the type of image that a brand hopes to put out. Building a long-term relationship has always been at the core of any successful business and in today’s rapidly changing social business, Brand Ambassador Programs, if done well, can only enhance a company’s chances of success.

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18 thoughts on “tap your brand ambassadors!

  1. I appreciate you sharing a glimpse into several programs. I’d love to know even more and will go check them out myself. You’ve given me some ‘homework’ Randy!

    • Thanks Dorien, yes these type programs work very well for established and emerging brands if woven into the overall strategy, just comes down to another budgeting issue!

  2. True, Randy! Brand Ambassadors should appeal to the human aspects of the product to the ways that the product could improve the life of the consumers. That’s why it’s easy with brands that really give a lot to customers and generated tribes (like Apple, Ducati, ecc.). The other should start buiolding a legend, giving value to customers and then slowly build them up.

  3. Hi, I have been a brand ambassador and it is fun, some companies have better perks than others I must say. Many times companies look at your blog and social media numbers to decide if you would make a good brand ambassador. What do you think about Klout and their Red Bull campaign?

    • Thanks Karla! yea I am always about circulating with strong brands. I like to see the workings of that company or product so a long time fan of RedBull extreme I jumped in on the Klout offer! Seems to do well. These programs can be fun but a company needs to seek valued participants to gauard the brand. If they are just looking to hire for an event (expo) then I would suggest a top shelf survives such as Brand Connections offerings.

  4. Hi, Randy, this post comes in time for a project of mine, thanks for the valuable tips. I really appreciated that the emotional aspects of a brand ambassador shine through, something I tend to for get in the daily business routine.

  5. There are a handful of companies and products that I love and would promote whether they ever know about me or acknowledge me – though the idea of an Ambassador program with perks sure is nice.

  6. I am ALL for brand ambassador programs! Create loyalty, allow for a channel for future crowdsourcing, and attracting others to you as people find out the groovy stuff that results. win/win/win.

    I like the “Bad Ass Ambassador” program. Make it fun!!! :)

    ~Keri

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