Word of mouth and peer recommendations are a great way to increase your customer base and create buzz about your brand on college campuses. However, even your most loyal supporters may not be able to market your product and help gain the attention your brand needs. Brand ambassadors are a great resource to wield influence in your target market and serve as trusted “vehicles” of information to report back feedback, trends and needs firsthand.
Here are some tips on how to market your brand using brand ambassadors:
Your goal is to reach as many potential consumers as possible, so establish contact with students who are involved on campus and are in contact with a wide range of people. A common myth about choosing brand ambassadors is to simply pick ones that have a substantial amount of followers on social media. A truly convincing brand ambassador, however, according to brand identity and marketing shop Brains on Fire, must be passionate about your company and what it has to offer. Selecting a brand ambassador based on social media popularity will not always guarantee a successful and communicative relationship with your brand. Reach out to individuals who relate to your brand’s identity, and who share the “fire” you have for your product, service or image.
2. Build trustworthy relationships.
Winning loyal customers really comes down to winning their trust. Winning over college students and earning their trust can be difficult to do or expensive. The right brand ambassadors have already captured the trust of their peers. For example, Lululemon gained the attention of their audience by hiring brand ambassadors who are yoga instructors and fitness teachers who embody their brand’s fit and positive lifestyle.
3. Make them a crucial part of your team.
The best brand ambassadors do not blindly or randomly promote your product to whoever is in hearing distance. Their value is to start up two-way conversations with their peers that focus on your brand or product and how it enhances or assists in their daily lives. BrandTwist founder Julie Cottineau said that effective brand ambassador language relies on a “we” mentality. When discussing about the product, encourage brand ambassadors to not say “they have developed this product”, but rather “we are excited to launch this new product.”
4. Respect and listen to their feedback.
You chose your brand ambassadors because you felt like you trusted them to perform the tasks they were assigned to do. Respectively, you must listen to their feedback, insights and opinions about your brand or product. You can start up conversations and get their opinions by offering product samples, but do not be afraid to give up control and allow them to communicate with their peers in a way that they are comfortable doing. If they have suggestions or feedback, address them as a priority to show you care about what they think and treat them with respect. Ambassadors’ input is extremely crucial in understanding your target market and what they want.