3 common ways to ensure failure in brand ambassador programs

We have become accustomed to talking about the keys to success, but not the best ways to avoid failure, and this is the goal of this writing and this podcast.

What are internal brand ambassador programs??

I have frequently dealt in my content with the goodness and return on investment of Brand ambassadors inmates also known for their anglicism "Employee Advocacy" whose translation would be "defense of employees". I prefer to approach it as employee empowerment.

I have several written contents that you can read through this Page and also an ebook entitled “Employee Advocacy: The power of the brand ambassadors of the house".

They are programs that include training and consulting that aim to clearly convey the Purpose and the values of the company to all employees so that they can become agents of transmission of trust.

Some confuse Employee Advocacy programs with simple applications to distribute online content, but that's only part of it, a very small part.

It's trust, Stupid

I have altered the original sentence, used in the Campaign Bill Clinton against George Bush Sr. 1992: "It's the economy, Stupid". Today, in our branding framework, communication and marketing, it is trust or its absence that moves everything.

The foundation on which an internal ambassador program works is trust., or rather the lack of it.

From the year 2000 brand trust has plummeted: several sources confirm it among them, Nielsen, Edelman Trust, and the Havas Media study "Meaningful brands".

On the other, many of those same sources confirm the exponential increase in trust in people.

Brands need to be humanized, and today they only have the option to put their people in touch with the people in the market. Pre-web techniques 2.0, no longer give results.

Most Frequent Benefits in Brand Ambassador Programs

To Employees:

  • They come out with their personal brand clearly identified, with your project and business model elaborated, and with your communication plan prepared.
  • Acquire new digital skills, especially those that facilitate their work as digital brand ambassadors.
  • They internalize the purpose and values of the brand and make it their own.
  • They take on a new role as informal leaders

Towards the brand


Companies are your people, and that becomes clear and visible getting managers and other professionals to be true spokespersons for corporate values.

Knowing who is behind an organization or a brand is a stimulus for the market, since it places us on a peer-to-peer plane.

Commercial / Sales

  • Revenue generated
  • Sales funnel
  • Closed opportunities


  • Improvement in reach and engagement
  • Volume of traffic to the website
  • Mention tracking

People (ex HR HH)

  • Number of hires through employee referrals
  • Cost of hiring potential customer sources
  • Improves the time to hire new candidates

Most common mistakes in the implementation of brand ambassador programs

errors in brand ambassador programs

Managing this type of program is not complex, but there are often a number of confusions and protocol errors that can render them useless.

Error 1: Believing that this program is not necessary for the organization

Many companies believe that what worked does 10 years works now, and they still do not bet on their own people as the best ambassadors, The real ones, those who know the purpose like no other, those who have pampered the products as if they were their own.

Let's think that not everyone can hire Rafa Nadal. And by the way, if anyone really thinks that my idol drives a Kia I imagine he also believes in colorful unicorns.

Error 2: Thinking it's just about sharing digital content

The rise of employee advocacy software platforms is due to the fact that the learning curve is short...? I would rather say incomplete.. The applications only intend for employees to share pre-approved content of the dept. communication.

A complete ambassador program goes further. In fact we try to make employees share the purpose of the brand, your values, its value propositions and its best contents. And they can do that in multiple environments., one of them social networks.

Error 3: Poor choice of participants to training and poor choice of trainers themselves

Participant selection criteria are key to the success of the program. Selecting with hierarchical criteria or as a "prize" does not work. The ideal is to choose those people who have already shown publicly (OFF and ON) your commitment to the brand.

And as for the selection of trainers/consultants/facilitators, ideally, they meet these three conditions: 

  • Project an excellent personal brand, recognized by the best experts
  • Master the three main areas of personal branding: Self, strategy and visibility
  • Previous managerial and international experience

I explain it in great detail in this interview that my colleague and friend did a few days ago Gabriel Patrizzi from your YouTube channel: 

I hope I have contributed to you, you can find more information and complementary and interesting articles on my page Brand ambassadors. And if you need an evaluation of a program for your company, I invite you to visit my contact section.

And here I leave you the podcast version, in which my friend and colleague Celestino Martinez he has lent me his voice, his music and his editing (in this episode 64 of Everything leaves Mark I explain why). You have it in iVoox, Apple Podcast, Spotify And Google Podcast.

Stock Photos from Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock

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by Guillem Recolons
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