I've seen that lately there is some confusion around the term brand ambassadors, so here I am to clarify as much as possible the meaning of this figure, increasingly important for organizations.
Above all, I think it's interesting to mention that there are several types of brand ambassadors depending on whether they're external or internal.. And its influence on the corporate brand is uneven., as well as the trust they exercise.
If you're short on time, I'll summarize it in a minute in this video.
What are brand ambassadors?
The literal definition of ambassador is known: "Person with the highest rank in the diplomatic service, which represents the appointing State". But dictionaries like the Rae they also include other meanings, that come a little closer to the concept I'm dealing with here:
- emissary / messenger
- Person, entity or thing that because they are characteristics of a place or country are considered representative of them
My definition of a brand ambassador is someone who represents it.. I know, sins of a certain simplicity, but it's that easy.
Imagine that you work for a company, brand or project, it doesn't matter what rank you have, or if you work from inside or outside the project (on request). Let's imagine that the project is called "Goldfinger" (with permission from Ian Fleming).
And that day you participate in a roundtable to talk about certain Goldfinger topics.. Next to you are people who represent other projects.
The debate is over, Question Time opens, and someone in the audience asks what Goldfinger thinks of the effects of Covid 19 in corporate communication? That question goes to you. At that moment, you act as the brand ambassadors, as the spokesmen.
How many types of brand ambassadors are there?
When talking about brand ambassadors it is important to define their typology. There are two large groups, external ones (to the organization) and inmates.
They are those who, with or without remuneration, drive and represent the brand. In this group it is possible to distinguish the influencers and the fans of the brand or brand advocates.
Celebrities: they are usually people with large communities, of hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. As the expert commented a few days ago Alexia Herms, brands hire them in exchange for quick visibility and reach.
Micro-influencers: their communities are smaller, but they enjoy a greater "engagement" by having their profiles little or nothing "contaminated" by advertising or product placement. They bring greater credibility than celebrities but less reach.
Experts: They are specialists in the sector of a brand. For example, a marathon champion recommending sneakers or an isotonic drink.
Brand Advocates or brand fans
Satisfied users: They are the most credible ambassadors, since they have paid for the product or service, have enjoyed the brand experience, and share it seamlessly in private and public forums. Although its reach is less than that of influencers, are the most precious ambassadors, since its cost is zero and its credibility is high.
Key partners: these are stakeholders external to the organization but involved in the growth and evolution of the brand, as suppliers, Collaborators, Distributors... Its range is low, its credibility is average, but they are always welcome.
We start from the principle that anyone who works for a brand, from a warehouse waiter to the president, whether they want it or not, whether they know it or not, Brand ambassadors. Goldfinger's example is useful here.
Internal ambassadors are in turn divided into senior spokespersons and committed employees.
After a time of many managers with the "ostrich syndrome" (not to face up publicly), now it seems that organizations are beginning to realize that they must be the first spokesmen, and that there is even data that supports that the brands promoted by their managers in social networks convert more than the others.
Their public confidence is still low, but according to the latest report from Edelman Trust, it goes up year after year. Their virtual communities are not numerous but they are very interesting qualitatively speaking.
In my opinion, The Executive Branding it should be a mandatory competence of the twenty-first century manager.
Committed employees (Employee advocates)
It is one of the pending subjects of the brands. The fear of empowering their people and marching trumps the reality that by empowering them they prefer to stay. Here we talk about the rest of the organization that is hierarchically below the steering committee.
The fear of empowering their people and marching trumps the reality that by empowering them they prefer to stayGuillem Recolons
Your communities, individually speaking, maybe they're not very big, but the sum far exceeds the scope and engagement of the brand itself. But the best thing is your credibility: being experts, the creators of the service or product, its power of prescription is very high, as well as the brand advocates or fans of the brand.
Training programs aimed at committed employees are technically known as Employee Advocacy, and on some occasions I have tried how they work on this website:
- The strength of internal brand ambassadors (Employee Advocacy)
- Who's the best spokesman, the entrepreneur or his people?
- 8 advantages of being brand ambassador in your company
- Brand ambassadors: External or internal?
- Crisis and internal brand ambassadors: a luxury booster
- Corporate Personal Branding : Applications, pros and cons
- There is no social employee without social enterprise
Advantages and disadvantages of each typology among brand ambassadors
In the graph on types of brand ambassadors you can see the advantages and disadvantages in terms of reach, Commitment, Cost, credibility and control of each of the 7 Groups. I hope you find it useful. Happy week!
Stock Photos from traveiling, Stanishevskaya Svetlana, Krakenimages.com / Shutterstock
Convinced that everything leaves a mark, I help companies better connect with their stakeholders through personal branding programs (personal brand management) and employee advocacy (programs of branded internal ambassadors).
Socio of Soymimarca's Integra Personal Branding, Brand Directory of Omnia Branding, I also collaborate with Ponte en Valor, Brandergizers, MoreThanLaw, Noema Consulting and Quifer Consultores.
I participate in various programs at IESE, ISDI and EAE, among others. Collegiate advertising, Master in Marketing. Humanities Degree Student.
My advertising DNA comes from 20 years in agencies: Time/BBDO, J.W.T., Bassat Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Altraforma and TVLowCost among others.