It is often said, and rightly so, that customers keep a company alive. Your customers are your revenue. But some of them have a special role; they are your brand ambassadors. So, how do you recognise authentic ambassadors for a brand or company?
What is a brand ambassador?
In diplomacy, an ambassador is a person in charge of representing a state in another state. This term has been adopted for marketing purposes, to define a specific category of customers.
In marketing, an ambassador is a person who promotes a brand, product or company spontaneously. An ambassador is first and foremost a prescriber, a person who speaks positively about your company or brand to other consumers. To benefit from this opportunity for growth, your company must already have a good brand image.
To help you fully understand what exactly an ambassador is and how to better use them in your strategic approach, we have compiled a list of criteria that will allow you to identify a good brand ambassador.
How to identify your brand ambassadors?
1- A brand ambassador is someone who truly appreciates you
For an ambassador to promote the merits of your products and praise your company on a voluntary basis, they must appreciate your brand. This is the first and most intuitive criterion; an ambassador likes you so much that they want to share their enthusiasm with others.
This criterion provides an initial insight into how you can generate ambassadors; you need to create customer satisfaction. By doing everything in your power to ensure that your customers are as satisfied as possible (with your products, services, after-sales service, etc.), you increase your chances of turning your customers into ambassadors.
2- A brand ambassador is not part of the company
An ambassador, in the true sense of the word, is first and foremost a consumer, a person who buys and uses your products and services. Apple’s ambassadors are the brand’s aficionados (we all know one!).
As a result, a real ambassador is someone who is not part of the company and who adopts a personal and disinterested approach. This automatically excludes sales representatives, community managers, press offices and more generally anybody within the company whose function involves promoting the brand.
However, the concept of internal brand ambassadors can be found in marketing literature in reference to all the professions listed above. This article does not deal with this category of ambassadors.
3- A quality brand ambassador is an influential person
A real ambassador is an influential person, who has an audience. This is an important criterion when identifying ambassadors. An ambassador tends to be very active on social media or has a blog that regularly features your products.
Good to know - it is quite easy nowadays to identify brand influencers on the internet. You simply have to type the appropriate keywords into the search engines. The klout score also measures a person’s level of influence on social media.
4- A brand ambassador acts voluntarily
Ambassadors must remain as impartial as possible to be truly listened to. This excludes professional ambassadors, recruited and paid to promote your brand. The unmasking of a fake ambassador can have a very negative impact on your brand image and create a “bad-buzz” phenomenon around you.
This is not to say that you cannot pamper your ambassadors by offering them products or VIP invitations. But this comes along at a later stage (see further on).
5- An ambassador interacts with the brand
The dialogue does not only take place between your ambassadors and their audience, but also between you and your ambassadors. Ambassadors have an emotional relationship with your brand. They are people seeking to engage in dialogue with you, who provide you with customer feedback and can make suggestions for ways to improve your products or services.
Ambassadors are people who establish a constructive relationship with you and who feel involved in the company’s activities.
6- A brand ambassador is ready to participate in your events
An ambassador is not simply someone who appreciates your brand (this is a necessary criterion, but not enough). They are first and foremost people who play an active role in the life and promotion of your brand.
Brand ambassadors can be found at events organised by, or around, the brand. They voluntarily look to take part in any participatory projects you launch (social media campaigns, advertising spots, etc.).
Your brand ambassador and you, a long-term relationship
The final criterion of a quality ambassador is that your relationship with them is a lasting one. This is why they are called brand ambassadors; an ambassador appreciates the company as a whole, not just one specific product. An ambassador is someone who loves Nintendo, not just Mario Kart.
An authentic ambassador never reduces a brand to a finished set of products. For an ambassador, a brand is also a philosophy, a state of mine, an environment, a quality of service, etc. Which is why ambassador relationships are long-term. An ambassador will not abandon the brand following the launch of a product they do not like as much.
It is very important to identify your ambassadors in order to get them more involved or to incorporate them into your overall strategy. The internationally recognised customer satisfaction indicator, the Net Promoter Score, can help you identify your ambassadors.