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What is a Brand Ambassador? And Why Does It Matter?

Jun 28

Think of brand ambassadors, and you probably imagine famous celebrities promoting products. Such high-profile individuals lend their names and support to companies and nonprofits to boost sales and brand awareness. That’s not the majority of brand ambassadors, however.

Instead of being headline news, brand ambassadors are advocates for your brand. You’ll find them at conferences, trade shows, and brand activations, speaking to the public about what makes your brand so special.

With traditional forms of advertising no longer effective, consumers are searching for a personal touch. Through their in-person interactions, brand ambassadors can convert passers-by into customers via word-of-mouth marketing.

What is a brand ambassador?

Brand ambassadors promote a product or brand to the public. Whether you’re launching your product in-store or speaking to attendees at a trade show, your brand ambassador has the knowledge and experience to answer questions about your brand. They’ll also showcase your product’s benefits, promoting brand awareness.

While a brand ambassador can sometimes be a big name – think celebrities and influencers –most of the time, you’ll hire a professional brand ambassador with experience promoting and marketing a brand.

All our brand ambassadors have impeccable communication skills, with significant experience representing all kinds of products and brands.

Why do you need a brand ambassador?

We no longer trust traditional forms of advertising. When a TV advert appears on our screens, we change the channel; we use adblockers to hide online nuisance ads. They’re a waste of money.

Yet, brands can’t abandon their marketing efforts: they need to sell their product to the public. That’s where brand ambassadors come in.

Here’s a fact: 83% of survey respondents said they are more convinced by recommendations made by someone they know than traditional advertising recommendations.

Why? Because our purchasing decisions are based on trust – when a friend or relative says a product is worthwhile, we trust that it will be. While we can’t hire friends and family clandestinely to promote products, we can hire the next best thing: a brand ambassador.

Indeed, 74% of people trust social networks to guide their purchasing decisions, according to the DMI. By building social rapport and using their expert communications skills, a friendly brand ambassador can disarm our natural scepticism of advertising. It’s the power of authenticity and trust.

Even better, we can combine our different marketing approaches in fun and innovative ways. Where brand ambassadors work in the real world, photos and videos of the public – say, tasting your product – can be shared on social media. And you can ask these customers to tag you in their social media posts; it’s an ingenious way to drive engagement and spread the word.

What makes an amazing brand ambassador?

Being a brand advocate is about passion and fire and charisma. People who love to meet new people, spark conversations and engage them in a fun, exciting discussion about the product or service go far as brand ambassadors.

In fact, being a brand ambassador is less about your educational background than your social skills. You’re unlikely to need more than a high school diploma to become a brand ambassador – and you’ll often find college students interested in the job. More important are the following skills:

1 Excellent communication skills. Brand advocates are primarily a speaking role. Though you’ll need to pick up the basics of a product or service to be able to talk about
it, most of the job is listening to customers’ thoughts and concerns and responding appropriately. You need to pre-empt a customer’s idea and explain why this product is
so amazing in a convincing manner.

2 Social skills. Sparking a conversation with strangers is an art. Get it wrong, and it comes off as awkward and clunky. But when done naturally, it’s effortless – guiding the
passer-by into an interesting discussion about a product. Brand ambassadors with a friendly, charismatic personality tend to do best.

Social media expertise. Promoting interactions on social media is a large part of being a brand ambassador. You’ll want a brand ambassador who can maintain your brand’s voice and image online as well as offline. Can they promote the use of hashtags? And do they capture engaging moments with customers you can use in future social media campaigns?

4 Professionalism. Brand advocates are your brand in person. What they say and how they say it reflects your brand’s image. While brand ambassadors should entertain
guests, they should always maintain a professional composure. Just as you can gain a new customer, you can harm your brand too.

When to use a brand ambassador?

Brand ambassadors are as versatile as they are exceptional. You can use a brand ambassador anytime your businesses need a public face – whenever you want to add the “WOW FACTOR” to your marketing initiatives.

Here are some ideas:

  • In-store promotions. Launching a new product? Running a promotion? You can use brand ambassadors in-store, providing samples of your products to customers and explaining precisely what they’re tasting. Free samples always work well – but with a persuasive brand ambassador, you can see your product launch get significant traction.
  • Conferences, trade shows, and exhibitions. If you’re hosting a booth at a conference or trade show, hiring a brand ambassador means you’ve got a trained professional to run your stall as you explore the conference. They can answer key questions about your brand with a little training – getting feedback and registering interest.
  • Brand experiences. Say your brand promotion is a fun, quirky taste of experiential marketing – think popup museums, street marketing, and more – you’ll want a
    charismatic brand ambassador to guide the event and ensure all your potential customers enjoy themselves.
  • Nightlife. Brand ambassadors can represent your business at red carpet events and nighttime soirees. Dressed elegantly or suavely, they’re ready to entertain and delight guests with their charming personality – and sell your products as they do so. It adds a little glam to your brand.

How much do brand ambassadors get paid?

Brand ambassadors are paid based on their experience and skills. The more specific the job description, the better qualified the brand ambassadors need to be.

According to Indeed, brand ambassadors earn an average base salary of R 102,105 per year. However, Glassdoor put the average base salary substantially lower at R 4,446 per month.

Few brand ambassadors are salaried, however. Rather, brand ambassadors tend to work part- time, being hired for a specific job.

When we’re hiring brand ambassadors, we tailor our search to your brand. We look for the experience level relevant to the event: be it to entertain guests, provide support, or market your products to customers. And we want a brand ambassador to be able to quickly pick up the main
benefits of your products, effectively conveying them.

What does it mean to be a hostess?

The term hostess is used interchangeably with brand ambassadors. It’s a more archaic term, as it’s primarily used to describe female brand ambassadors. Previously, hostesses would greet guests or customers, providing a free sample to passers-by. They’d also chat to customers, expounding on the brand’s unique benefits. In contrast, when we refer to brand ambassadors, we include anyone representing the brand to the public. Hostessing work is part of being a brand ambassador – but it’s not the sole aspect of the job. Where a hostess merely serves the product, a brand ambassador is a source of knowledge: they’ll sell your brand. Whether you need in-store, experiential, or nightlife ambassadors, they’re significantly more versatile than solely hostessing.

Who is called a hostess?

In the past, the term hostess was reserved for anyone who presented your products or services to the public – they were often college students. The current term is a brand ambassador or brand representative. The brand ambassador’s job differs from a hostess in the scale of their responsibilities. Where the hostess merely needed to showcase the brand, brand ambassadors are expected to be knowledgeable and persuasive about your product’s benefits.

The fundamental aim is to convert interested individuals or businesses into loyal customers. It’s the core benefit of word-of-mouth marketing – and it’s pivotal to brand promotion.

Brand ambassadors build brand awareness

You can hire all the admin staff in the world – you need to spread the word about your brand. With customers ever more sceptical about traditional marketing, it’s time to be bold and creative. Using brand ambassadors, you can engage customers in real-world conversations and experiences about your brand. These unforgettable moments can forge lifelong customers, boost your brand awareness and increase sales.

It’s time to meet your customers – to put a face to your brand. Brand ambassadors are your secret weapon to taking your brand to the next level.