Brands today are constantly seeking effective ways to connect with their target audience and build lasting relationships. Two popular strategies that have emerged are the use of brand ambassadors and influencers. While both have their merits, brand ambassadors offer distinct advantages that make them a more favorable choice for many brands. Drawing insights from various sources, this article delves into the reasons why brand advocates or ambassadors are a better option for brands.
Authenticity and Genuine Passion
Brand ambassadors are individuals who genuinely love and appreciate a brand’s products or services. They are often loyal customers who have actively used the brand’s offerings and wish to see the brand succeed. Their advocacy stems from a place of authentic passion and personal experience, making their endorsements more credible and relatable. On the other hand, influencers might promote products without a genuine connection, primarily driven by monetary compensation. This distinction is crucial as consumers can often discern between genuine endorsements and paid promotions, with the former having a more profound impact.
Economical and Cost-Effective
For startups and mid-sized businesses operating on limited marketing budgets, brand ambassadors present a more economical option. While influencers with substantial followings might charge hefty fees for a single post, brand ambassadors often promote brands out of genuine affinity, sometimes even for free. When they do receive compensation, it’s often in the form of rewards, discounts, or products, making the overall cost significantly lower than traditional influencer marketing.
Brand ambassadors typically have long-standing relationships with the brands they represent. This long-term association means they are more invested in the brand’s success and can provide sustained support over time. In contrast, influencer partnerships are often short-term, centered around specific campaigns or product launches.
Exclusivity and Loyalty
Brand ambassadors are usually exclusive to the brand they represent, ensuring that their endorsements are not diluted by promoting competing products. This exclusivity builds trust and credibility, enhancing the effectiveness of their advocacy. Influencers, however, might collaborate with multiple brands simultaneously, reducing the impact of their endorsements.
Brand ambassadors can come from various backgrounds, including loyal customers, employees, industry professionals, content creators, and even micro-influencers. This diversity ensures a broader representation, allowing brands to connect with different segments of their target audience. For instance, employees can offer insights from within the company, while loyal customers provide a user’s perspective, making the endorsements more comprehensive.
Brand ambassadors play a pivotal role in fostering a sense of community around a brand. They engage with the audience, respond to queries, and create a dialogue that strengthens the bond between the brand and its customers. This community-centric approach is often missing in influencer marketing, which is more transactional.
Higher Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Due to their genuine relationships with brands, ambassadors not only attract new customers but also ensure they keep coming back. These customers, influenced by brand ambassadors, are likely to have a higher lifetime value, showcasing the long-term benefits of ambassador marketing.
Brand ambassadors primarily rely on word-of-mouth marketing, one of the most effective forms of promotion. Personal recommendations from trusted sources, like friends or family, have a higher conversion rate than traditional advertising. Given that brand ambassadors are often individuals within one’s social circle, their endorsements carry significant weight.
While both brand ambassadors and influencers offer unique advantages, the authenticity, long-term commitment, and community-building capabilities of brand ambassadors make them a preferable choice for many brands. By fostering genuine relationships and prioritizing community over transactions, brand ambassadors provide a more holistic and effective approach to brand promotion.
Dina Assaf – Head of Campaigns, Nine71