Brand ambassadors are to Gen-Z what celebrity endorsements were to previous generations. They’re more than a passing trend: as far back as 2017, “brand ambassadors” have been celebrated as the future of marketing. They are yet another great example of how young entrepreneurs like you are changing the face of entrepreneurship for the better.
WHY ARE THEY SO POPULAR?
> Brand ambassadors are the human face of your company.
Chances are good that your customers would rather buy a product or service from a human being, than from a cold, faceless company. By all means, your website and social media accounts should be professional and separate from your personal presence. But in the days of major corporate conglomerates and automated everything, a brand ambassador humanizes whatever it is you are selling. They tell the world, “Hey, I’m a person just like you, and I love this product!”
> Brand ambassadors share your values and mission.
Let’s say you are starting an online tutoring business. The reason you’ve chosen this entrepreneurial path is that you have a younger sibling with a learning disability and you’ve watched your parents struggle to find the time and money to help your sibling or hire a private tutor.
A brand ambassador is 100% on board with your mission to provide quality, affordable tutoring. They agree that helping struggling students is an urgent need that requires compassion and understanding.
> Brand ambassadors are more than fans.
Going back to sharing your values and mission, a brand ambassador is more than a fan of your product. They have likely experienced the need or problem that you are trying to solve with your business.
Let’s look again at your tutoring business. A great brand ambassador may have used a tutor in the past and knows what makes your company the best choice out there. A brand ambassador may be a satisfied parent who is willing to talk to other parents about the enormous progress their child made thanks to your tutoring business.
> Brand ambassadors want to see your brand succeed.
Because they align with your goals, values, and mission, and because they are more than a fan of your product, brand ambassadors want you to succeed. They’re your cheer squad, your hype team, your best bet in bringing in new customers.
DO YOU NEED A BRAND AMBASSADOR?
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of using a brand ambassador for your enterprise.
- They’ll boost your brand. Imagine all the extra eyes and ears that will learn about you and your business when your brand ambassadors post all over their social media accounts!
- They’ll influence potential customers. As we said above, most consumers would rather buy from a person than from a bot or a company. Think of brand ambassadors like your good friend telling you how much this tutoring service helped her!
- They’ll increase your web clicks. Whenever they post about you and your product, they’ll include links to your web page.
- They provide a genuine experience. Your brand ambassadors are like in-person 5-star Yelp reviews that let everyone know how much they enjoyed your product.
- They’ll give you feedback. What’s working, what’s not working, what’s generating a response from your customers. Brand ambassadors are like human data collectors!
- You need to 100% trust your brand ambassadors. They’re out there as the face of your product. They represent you, your business, and your reputation as a young entrepreneur.
- They may “outshine” your brand. Someone with a really big personality may do more to sell themselves than you and your business. At the end of the day, you want someone enthusiastic, but you still want those sales.
WHERE (AND HOW) TO FIND BRAND AMBASSADORS
Before you get into a partnership with a potential brand ambassador, make sure you do your research. Being a young entrepreneur means it’s unlikely you’ll be looking to hire a major celebrity as your brand ambassador. However, you’ll want to make sure that the person working for you is trustworthy. They should be fully on board with your business practices as well as able to understand the people they are influencing. There’s a thin line between a pushy salesperson and a brand ambassador. Make sure you work with someone on the right side of that line.
Now that you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided that your enterprise will benefit from a brand ambassador, here are a few ways to find one.
- Your business newsletter
- Blog posts
- Directly on your website
- Your business’s social media outlets
- Loyal customers
In addition to the above, there are companies such as this one that will find the right brand ambassador for you. However, being a young entrepreneur means you are likely already familiar with how brand ambassadorship works. Maybe you even know a few from school. Maybe you are one!
As with nearly every other aspect of starting and running your own small business, working with brand ambassadors can be a great way to boost your reputation and revenue. Yet, it may not be for everyone. Take into consideration your business’s needs. Don’t forget to take into account the time and effort it will take from you to oversee your brand ambassadors.
At the end of the day, this marketing technique may be one of the best ways to get the word out about your startup. Think of it as a guaranteed word-of-mouth campaign. With the right people by your side, brand ambassadors can be your most successful marketing tool!
Young entrepreneurs in Florida may be eligible for a Kantner Foundation college scholarship. Click here to learn about what we have to offer and how to apply.