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Everything You Need To Know About Brand Ambassadors

Posted by Caitlin Barry on November 16, 2021 at 8:30 AM

Boost Your Brand

You may have heard of brand ambassadors, but how do they benefit your business exactly? Consumers are constantly bombarded with a large volume of marketing strategies from companies, which can make it difficult for a brand to stand out from the crowd. A brand ambassador helps cut through all the noise and gives brands a boost.

Essentially, a brand ambassador helps draw awareness to your brand and create a positive image association. Think Audrey Hepburn for Givenchy, or Sophie Turner for Wella Professionals and Louis Vuitton. In this blog, Hollywood Branded explores the nature of brand ambassador partnerships and how you can benefit.


Everything You Need to Know About Brand Ambassadors


What Is A Brand Ambassador?

Brand Ambassadors are not a new concept. Celebrities have been partnering with brands since the dawn of advertising. New York Times author Julie Creswell notes, “film stars in the 1940s posed for cigarette companies, and Bob Hope pitched American Express in the late 1950s. Joe Namath slipped into Hanes pantyhose in the 1970s, and Bill Cosby jiggled for Jell-O for three decades.” Celebrity sells. However, celebrities are not the only brand ambassadors these days, thanks to our social media savvy landscape. Now, everyday people can become brand ambassadors too.

But what exactly is a brand ambassador? A brand ambassador is a person or celebrity who positively represents a brand’s image, products, or services. They are responsible for increasing a brand’s awareness by embodying its ideals and ethos and sharing it with new audiences through social media or word of mouth. They give a brand a sense of trustworthiness.

You may be asking, “Isn’t that just an influencer?” Influencers and ambassadors are similar, but there is a key difference. Typically, influencers are paid for one piece of content while ambassadors work collaboratively with a brand long-term. Ambassadors are not advertisement placements but instead an extension of the company’s image. Brand ambassadors are essential for companies who are looking to get ahead. According to Marketing Dive, the percentage of brands using influencer marketing increased by almost a third in the past four years, with 92% of them agreeing that it is an effective strategy.


Types Of Brand Ambassadors

There’s not a one size fits all type of ambassador out there. Recruiting a brand ambassador is dependent upon the target market, audience demographics, and budget. While each type of ambassador is best suited for different brands, they all carry a significant influence in the marketing world. One thing they all need to have in common? Authenticity. Audiences are aware when ambassadors or influencers are not genuine fans of a brand and are only in it for the money.

So, what types of brand ambassadors are there?

Celebrities

It’s no surprise that celebrities carry an enormous amount of influence. One important thing to note is that if your company wants to use a celebrity as an ambassador, make sure they are a fan of the brand beforehand. Otherwise, it won’t ring true and may turn audiences away. For example, it was recently announced that Anya Taylor-Joy is the new Dior global brand ambassador. Joy has been a massive fan of the couture fashion house for years; Joy wore multiple Dior looks on the red carpet during the 2021 awards and festival season. The fashion house took note of Joy’s esteem of its brand—especially over the past few months—and decided that she was the perfect partner for its brand ambassador program.

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Social Media Influencers

In the past decade or so, we’ve seen the rise of influencers on various social media platforms. Influencers use platforms like Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and other similar social media sites. Even though they are not celebrities in the traditional sense, influencers have found a unique way to market themselves and are effective at engaging their audience and creating buzz about various products and services. Brands can partner with influencers to target a niche market. 

Charli DAmelio Dunkin Donuts brand deal

Student Ambassador

Many universities and companies have student brand ambassador programs in which students—usually with large social media followings—act as a representative of a brand within the college market. The student ambassador’s job is to market the brand through events, social media, and incentivized programs. These students provide a direct link to the profitable college market. Bumble is an excellent example of a company with a thriving college ambassador program. The dating app company hires students to not only market the app but also create their own marketing strategies.

Enthusiast

Enthusiasts are ambassadors who are simply ecstatic about your brand. They do not have to be celebrities or well-known personalities. While all ambassadors must be enthusiastic about what they’re marketing, the big difference is that true enthusiasts will promote your brand purely by their love for it—it’s not about compensation. One downside is that not all enthusiasts have a massive reach. Their reviews can be found on trusted sites, but only people who are already looking for a brand see those reviews. It’s best to find an ambassador somewhere between an enthusiast and an influencer.

Employee

Yes, your company’s employees can be ambassadors too! This often-overlooked resource of publicity is extremely valuable when it comes to promoting your brand. Employees have the best insights into a brand’s products, services, and culture. Thanks to social media, employees can share their awesome thoughts with friends, family, and the public who trust their opinion. According to a study completed by Weber Shandwick, 98% of employees use at least one social media platform for personal use, with 50% already posting about the company they work for. In another survey, 76% of individuals say they are more likely to trust content posted by regular people and not the content shared by the brands themselves. Utilizing your employees as brand ambassadors will allow you to leverage their social network for the benefit of the ambassador and your brand.


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How To Hire A Brand Ambassador

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Step 1: Define the Qualities of a Brand Ambassador

Before even looking for an ambassador, it is essential to take stock of the qualities that the ambassador should have. What types of characteristics make them a good fit for the brand? Who is their audience? What is their specific niche market? How far is their reach? An ideal brand ambassador should be credible, have a significant number of loyal followers, and be relevant.

Step 2: Find the Right Person

Finding a good match is important when it comes to brand ambassadors; not just any person will do when it comes to promoting your brand. Partnering with the wrong celebrity or influencer will have lasting effects, so it is crucial to do extensive research to find the right partner that is a good fit for your brand. What type of ambassador are they? What are their interests? What are their audience demographics? How far is their reach? What is their endorsement history like? Do they have any causes or philanthropic work they are passionate about? Does the pairing make sense? Are they passionate about the brand? Are they comfortable speaking with the media or the public?

Step 3: Get in Touch

Once you have found the perfect person (or people) who is the best fit to represent your brand, the next step is to reach out to the potential ambassador. The type of ambassador, whether it’s a celebrity, influencer, employee, etc., will determine how to get in contact with them.

In most cases, if you are trying to get in touch with a celebrity or even an influencer with a large following, you will have to reach out to their representation first. Stars don’t often handle their own business requests. Their representation will most likely be an agent or a manager. Agents and managers deal with many requests from brands, so it’s crucial to keep your message concise while still listing as many specifics as possible and a call to action. You can find who represents celebrities and influencers and their contact information through contact databases like Modash, Social book, and Booking Agent Info.

For certain potential brand ambassadors, you can make direct contact with them through their social media sites or their email. Send them an initial message outlining your brand ambassador program and take it from there. You won’t always receive a response, so make sure to follow up, but do not spam their inbox.

In all your correspondence, emphasize that this is not just a one-time endorsement, but instead a long-lasting brand ambassador relationship.

Step 4: Payment and Contract

Once you have found the right person and they’ve agreed to be your brand ambassador, the next step is negotiation. Many celebrities and influencers keep their rates private, so try to have a flexible budget in mind in the negotiation process. When it comes to payment, there are a few ways to structure the deal. You could use a straightforward pay-per-hour. Or perhaps a pay-per-action where you pay for each completed task. A flat rate or salary is another option for brand ambassadors. Brands can choose to pay through commission, where the ambassador is paid for the amount of business they bring in.

Once the cost and deliverables are decided, draft up a contract and get to work!

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Step 5: Maintain a Good Relationship

The relationship between a brand and the ambassador should be synergetic. Taking care of brand ambassadors ensures that they stick with the brand for a long time, which in turn will attract new leads and open new opportunities.


Want To Know More About Brand Ambassadors?

To sum up, a brand ambassador will help elevate and represent your brand within their network. They draw positive attention to your products and services and work to get your company more visible. Understanding the value and importance of brand ambassadors and how they promote your brand is vital.

Hollywood Branded has years of experience working with celebrities, influencers, and ambassadors. If you want to learn more about brand ambassadors and Hollywood Branded’s experience, check out some of these blogs below.

But wait! It doesn't stop there! If you're interested in learning more, click below to learn about celebrity brand partnerships that turned out to be really successful. 

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Topics: Strategic Partnerships, Social Influencers, Celebrity Endorsements, brand exposure