How Brand Ambassadors Can Increase Sales and Brand Reputation
In today’s modern world, most communication takes place through digital portals. Be it social media, the company’s own website, or digital advertisements, a company’s brand presence is now crucial for resounding success.
The term brand does not only refer to the actual name of the company and its logo. Brand awareness is also currently considered an important part of a company’s success. Whether they be in fashion, food & beverage, or automobile industry, they will want to get into the heads of potential buyers.
The importance of brand ambassadors is constantly increasing in order to stand out from the abundance of offers and to leave a lasting impression on the target group.
Various brand strategies can thus increase the brand awareness level of small companies with good products immensely and introduce their products to a broad audience.
What are brand ambassadors?
Effective brand ambassadors are ideally people with a certain level of recognition and credibility. However, ambassadors should not be confused with corporate influencers or influencers, as the latter often promote all kinds of products as long as the pay is right.
In contrast, the personal beliefs of brand ambassadors should strongly align with those of the company in question. These individuals’ own experiences and beliefs bring a lot of positive feedback to the company.
This often does not always happen on a grand scale with advertisements and video clips; rather, the personal structures and word-of-mouth among friends, colleagues or the brand ambassadors’ social media platforms have an effect here.
What groups of brand ambassadors are there?
Very roughly, two different groups can be named that can act as brand ambassadors.
On the one hand, there are the customers, who improve the popularity of the company through their own use of the company’s services or products and their recommendations. Friends or acquaintances who recommend a product to you are much more credible and convincing than commercials.
The second group of brand ambassadors is the employees themselves. A positive attitude toward the employer and an open identification with the company has a convincing effect. For example, workers at the Porsche plant also proudly wear their work clothes on the way home instead of changing them at the end of their shifts.
How to integrate brand ambassadors into your company
If you are interested in establishing brand ambassadors in your corporate communications, there are several variations to achieve this.
In the best case, your company already has a good branding system in place. Many branding agencies dedicate themselves to the corporate design and branding of a wide variety of companies in order to increase brand value.
Feel free to consult experts if you are still looking for the right product name or corporate identity. In addition to presence in digital or print media, there are several other aspects that contribute to a company’s brand message, which will be briefly explained to you here.
Appearance reflects on the brand
People who are easily identified with a brand automatically represent it to the public. This is where you should provide targeted information and training to your employees to create more sensitivity around this issue.
The driver of a company car who behaves recklessly on the road, for example, doesn’t represent your brand positively.
Erroneous or questionable political or ethical statements on Internet forums create the same negative image of your company. A positive engaged vibe from employees, on the other hand, has a positive impact on your brand by portraying positive company culture.
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Micro-influencers are usually employees of a company who readily and convincingly identify with their employer and are often great brand ambassadors.
Word of how good the company is as an employer or how high-quality the products are spreads first among family and friends and, in today’s world, also on personal social media accounts. This is often referred to as word-of-mouth marketing.
These often well-connected micro-influencers can be very helpful for your company. They are usually quicker to learn of new trends, rumors, or dissatisfaction and can bring this information to the company.
Content and communication strategy with the active participation of employees
Especially in larger companies, there are separate departments dedicated only to communication in its various forms.
But even here, your brand can further intensify its credibility and presence. For example, you may not need to pay for professional models to be a part of your ads, but instead, you can use a real employee, a brand ambassador, to present your new product or service.
A manager or employee who writes editorial content on their company’s blog makes the business seem much more human and committed.
Possible brand ambassador program strategies
You know your company and its structures best and should conduct a brief analysis to find the optimal strategy for integrating brand ambassadors.
Often, the different strategies mix all by themselves, triggering a very positive effect on the perception of your brand.
The minimal strategy
Every company represents its own brand, this happens quite naturally. One of the main points of the minimal strategy is to raise awareness. Here you should specifically train all employees and sensitize them to the fact that everyone, whether intentionally or not, is a brand ambassador for your company.
If the company does not yet have a strategy in place, you should first assess the current status.
- How well-informed are your employees?
- How well is the brand understood internally?
Establish specific guidelines on a brand ambassador’s job on and off various social media platforms used individually and designate a point of contact who can help with questions and concerns and keep track of publications.
“Everyone is a brand ambassador” strategy
This strategy assumes a good basic understanding of the company and the brand.
The desired image to be communicated to the outside world is clearly outlined and all employees are aware of it.
As a rule, companies pursuing this strategy have a high degree of transparency. Rigid hierarchical structures are rarely found here and instead, the staff is encouraged to express their own opinions.
Mistakes are not denounced; rather, they are perceived as part of joint projects. Solutions are sought as a team and new innovative ways are found. In companies with flat, hierarchical structures, employees are sure of support from management.
In order to strengthen the brand, the status quo must be defined here as well.
It is very helpful to include opinions from all areas in order to conduct a brand audit and identify any weak points. With motivated employees who clearly show themselves as belonging to the company, the brand gains further plus points.
This can be done, for example, via profiles on Facebook or Instagram. Large brands, such as Microsoft, already integrate brand identification as a requirement in the job description. Personal commitment is further encouraged and the company motivates employees in all areas to publicly commit to the company and the brand.
The brand ambassador program
In a brand ambassador program, individual employees are selected to actively act as public representatives of the brand. If there is already a willingness to commit to the company in this direction, these employees are trained through special workshops, training camps, or coaching sessions.
When developing the program, the goals should be clearly defined. Which products of the company should be presented by the brand ambassadors and through which channels does the communication work?
For example, trainees report on a blog on the company website about the company itself. A good representative of this strategy is IKEA. Here, the focus is on employer branding to find new enthusiastic trainees. Another option can be a cross-departmental editorial team that jointly develops and publishes articles about the company and its products.
The lighthouse strategy
In the lighthouse strategy, the CEO himself assumes the role of brand ambassador.
In American companies, many CEOs are committed to acting as brand ambassadors and love being in the public eye. These include Bill Marriot and Elon Musk, for example, who love to market their brands at trade fairs, events, and also at other public events.
An authentic personal blog is another good communication tool to get closer to the target audience as a CEO. This also motivates other high-level executives and employees to publicly stand by the brand.
Good training and intensive coaching on media and forms of communication are essential here, because every comment, positive or negative, automatically reflects on the company.
Brand ambassadors can help a company to become more popular and thus increase the sales of its services or products. However, the chosen strategy is sometimes not the decisive factor for success. Rather, the personal attitude toward the company is much more decisive.
Because all employees, regardless of whether they are specifically active in social networks or simply proudly present the company uniform, are ultimately brand ambassadors.
An analysis of the current status and a precise definition of the goals are prerequisites for finding the right strategy. Here, the boundaries of the individual strategies are not rigidly defined and can flow into each other as long as the goal is achieved.
Trainee blogs, trade show appearances by the CEO, or even well-known faces professing their commitment to the brand can significantly improve a company’s reputation.
The more authentically the ambassadors present their brand, the faster they will be accepted by people, who will optimally turn into future customers or employees. Of course, good control of the brand ambassadors’ activity is important to avoid negative publications or comments. Bring your company up to date and gain popularity and new customers with your brand ambassadors.