Types of brand ambassadors you will encounter
When developing a program of Brand Ambassadors, we usually identify different motivations and behaviours between the people that decide to take the role of ambassador. Each type of brand ambassador is different from each other, however they all bring value to your brand. You must understand their needs and attitudes properly to take advantage of their full potential. Below, we will analyse the characteristics and peculiarities of each type of Brand Ambassador you might encounter.
Types of Brand Ambassadors: Employees, partners, clients…
Usually, the model followed for the brand ambassador program is making the own employees of the company be the first ambassadors. This group should include a cross-section of the staff, from people with less qualified positions to executives and even sometimes the CEO. No one better to broadcast the human side of a brand to everyone else than people who live on it day by day. As explained in a previous post, there is a series of recommendations that should be taken into account when trying to make employees participate in this type of project, get involved and enjoy doing their bit.
Another advantage of the brand ambassador teams formed by members of the company is that they can be trained and tutored from the beginning, maximizing the capabilities of control over the program, as well as the quality of the communications it originates. In addition to a good training plan, we must apply gamification techniques to keep the ambassadors motivated. It is also important to make a good pre-selection of the best candidates to attract the rest of the organization and to seek the collaboration of the top management to teach by example.
The second most common type of brand ambassadors comes from our partners. In this category we include providers, distributors, technology partners, administrations, the media and, in short, any agent in the brand's ecosystem that shares common interests with the brand.
As it happened with the employees, any of these agents will have their own vision on the brand’s values and culture, and their activity brings them closer to it (and therefore well acquainted with its vicissitudes). They can offer a vision that is “close but external” and of great interest for those who want to get to know the brand.
Taking advantage of our relationship with these partners, we can ask them to enlarge our list of ambassadors, which will also help strengthen our ties. If we do this, we must have a very clear value proposal. The collaboration must benefit both parties. We can give them visibility in our website or social media in exchange for their participation (an interview or news report about their company). We can also propose a guest blogging agreement, a banner and/or a link in our website, or any other kind of compensation. The important part is not leaving this type of collaboration to the whim of goodwill; instead, we must measure and set a counterpart framework.
Our clients constitute the next type of brand ambassadors. The client ambassador is the most difficult to obtain, because the ties that bind them to the brand are unstable. Their motivations are diverse and our ability to organise their work as ambassadors is more limited than when speaking about employees or partners. However, what they contribute to our brand is probably of greater value, since third parties might see their opinion coming from a neutral source closer to them, and they may identify with it more easily. A client speaking well of our brand in social media brings credibility to our services. This does not mean that their contribution is completely disinterested or that we can rely on it to happen spontaneously or without control. Let’s see which types of brand ambassadors we can find between our clients and how to manage them.
1. The superfan
They love your product and talk about it at any chance they get. They usually mention your brand in their comments (they might even include links to your website). They do it because they are genuinely passionate about it, probably linked to key moments of their professional or personal life. It’s the kind of relationship a skater has with their skateboard, a biker with their Harley-Davidson, or a football fan with their favourite team. Tracking this type of ambassador is easy; we just need to monitor how our brand is mentioned on the internet and social media. We won’t have to convince our clients to act as our ambassadors either, since they are already doing it. In this case, our efforts must be focused on keeping their passion for our product alive, thanking them and giving them positive feedback so that they keep talking about it longer. We must interact with them through their mentions and comments and establish a dialogue that makes them feel close to our brand. We can give them visibility through content such as interviews or testimonies in our website, blog, YouTube channel, etc.
2. The leader of opinion
It’s an influencer profile, which has a good number of followers. They have authority in their field and their opinions are relevant and generate a great number of reactions in their audience. They might not decide to be our ambassador at first, but they can become the most valuable if we know how to attract and hold them. Convincing them to speak about our brand will require some encouragement and a good dose of perseverance, since we might not be their top priority (if so, they are probably a superfan).
We can start by mentioning them or adding something about them in our contents. If they like what we are doing, we could contact them and show our gratitude towards their attitude, and if we see they could bring great potential, we could establish some basic rules of collaboration that will transform them into our ambassador. It’s very likely that they will expect something in return (not necessarily money, it could be a trial or sample of our product, or the opportunity to meet the company, for example). Between all types of brand ambassadors, the leader of opinion is closer to the “influencer”. However, marketing with influencers is based on different principals and creates a type of relationship of a different nature (we will talk about this in a future post), but we could synthetize the differences in these three factors:
- The leader of opinion starts out as a client. They are not celebrities that we try to get closer so that they advertise our brand and that might have never heard about us. Their preference for our product came in a more spontaneous way, and we are trying to highlight it and give it visibility.
- They don’t advertise products for a living. We are looking for a person with which our clients can identify, maybe someone that has their job, their hobbies, and a tangential relationship with us.
- Collaboration should not be purely commercial. Even though we will have to offer a reward for acting as our ambassador, the value should be more emotional than economic. We must show that their opinion counts, that we think about them and consider them, and we can occasionally gift them something (experiences are usually a good idea). If they only act according to the value of our gifts, the relationship won’t last for long.
3. The faithful but silent client
They speak well of our brand in offline environments, but they usually don’t tend to do it in social media. The reasons can vary, but the most common is that they don’t use the Internet that much.
In order to detect them and be capable of reaching them we must have some type of CRM implemented. We can contact them through email or SMS and offer them to be a part of our brand ambassador team. Their feedback can offer us information of great value about our brand, since it comes from clients that we can’t find on social media. This type of clients are the “dark matter” of digital marketing. We must try to comprehend them, qualify them, understand their motivations and find our touchpoints with them. The union of many of these silent clients creates a large mass with the capacity to exert a significant influence on our brand, but much more difficult to measure.
4. The indecisive
Of all the types of brand ambassadors we are talking about, this is probably the hardest one to find. They are interested in our brand, but they lack a certain something that makes them decide to buy it. Maybe we haven’t been able to transmit a comprehensive value proposal to them, or maybe something doesn’t match their needs. There are certain touchpoints that allow us to locate the indecisive: They may ask questions through social media, make consultations through forums or chatbots in our website, abandoned carts, etc. Many of them need just a little encouragement, but we will have to take the initiative here. To make them our ambassadors, we must give them trials, samples, discounts or some kind of partial access to our product in exchange for them to share their experience through social media, give us their testimony or introduce an interested friend to our brand. It’s very important that we are capable of capturing their need while enabling those partial accesses that allow the undecided to try what we offer.
We must not pressure them. Their interest for our brand must appear spontaneously and our task must be to help them develop it. Our interactions must always try to fuel the flame of their interest, and we have to give them the proper channels for them to share their experience with their contacts. Furthermore, we must pay attention, detect, measure, and reward their behaviour, which will give us visibility and attract possible new clients. We might not be able to consider indecisive clients as individual ambassadors, but if we think of them as a team, they will ease our path towards new places where we aren’t so popular, helping us to improve our value proposal and giving us keys about why we can’t convince part of our target.
The different types of brand ambassadors can vary according to the specifications of our project. We must work to define in which groups we are going to focus, have a work plan and assign clear objectives and KPIs that keep us informed at all times about the fruits of our strategy.
If you want more information about anything surrounding brand ambassadors, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to collaborate in the success of your program.