Generating brand awareness and building brand trust are two major marketing goals all businesses have. One of the most effective ways to achieve these goals is by encouraging loyal customers to increase brand awareness and trust on your behalf. This is because positive word-of-mouth can be incredibly powerful, and because consumers tend to trust one another when it comes to brand recommendations. As a result, many businesses have established brand ambassador programs in order to turn their loyal customers into official ambassadors.
What are Brand Ambassadors?
Brand ambassadors are consumers who work closely with you to advocate your brand. Companies generally choose loyal customers who already have a history recommending your brand, and also have some online influence. Someone with tens of thousands of followers on Instagram is going to be more effective as a brand ambassador than someone who only has LinkedIn and a handful of connections.
Having brand ambassadors can influence their followers by recommending your products or services, incite conversations about your brand, and create content on your behalf. For example, a brand ambassador on Instagram might post a picture wearing a jacket your company sells.
To take advantage of brand ambassadors, you’ll want to establish a brand ambassador program. You’ll need to do a lot of research to identify individuals who will make good brand ambassadors. Consider making the program membership exclusive. People are more likely to take their brand ambassadorship seriously if they know that not just anyone can be one of your brand ambassadors. Additionally, you’ll need to provide some sort of compensation, whether you actually pay them or you give them free products. Many companies will provide their brand ambassadors with new products before they’re even available to the masses.
Examples of Successful Brand Ambassador Programs
The following are some of the most successful brand ambassador programs launched by some of the biggest companies:
• Red Bull – Red Bull’s brand ambassador program is called the Wings Team. They focus on students who have an exciting lifestyle to turn their brand into a lifestyle brand. Because their ambassadors are students, they are able to reach a college audience much more effectively.
• Lululemon – Lululemon essentially uses its brand ambassador program to sponsor local athletes, yoga instructors, and influencers. They provide incentive by partnering with their ambassadors to support their local philanthropic projects and initiatives.
• American Express – American Express has a brand ambassador program filled with social media influencers. They target travel and lifestyle influencers in particular since they showcase a luxurious lifestyle — one that obviously benefits from the extensive use of a credit card. They not only showcase the use of their American Express credit cards, but the rewards that they can obtain from their regular use as well.
Even the biggest companies in the world recognize the value of a brand ambassador. If you have loyal customers, then you should encourage them to become brand ambassadors by implementing a brand ambassador program. Use these three examples as an inspiration to set up your own brand ambassador program today.