Brand ambassadors and how to create them through experiences

Today, we'll discuss a topic that might seem new, but it’s actually not. It's just that with the rise and ubiquity of social media, it has acquired a slightly different shape and name. However, fundamentally, it remains one of the traditional marketing tools aimed at increasing the credibility of advertising messages. We're talking about the use of key opinion leaders (understood in the broadest sense of the term). Therefore, our topic today will be brand ambassadors and how to create them through experiences.


"It's the same, but not quite the same"


Celebrities endorsing products have always existed, at least since advertising became a sales driver. The trend originated in the fashion world but quickly spread to all sectors of fast moving consumer goods. We've witnessed how renowned actors and singers have advertised tire brands, beer cans, and mobile phone services.


And although the effectiveness of this type of messaging (not too high, by the way) is proven, it hides an inherent problem that's difficult to solve. Consumers are aware of the fact that a famous face endorsing a product says more about the economic appetites of that face than about the virtues of the product itself. In other words, resorting to celebrities can be effective because, to some extent, it amuses us, but it doesn't add more credibility to the consumer's relationship with a brand.


Everything changed with the social media completely reshaping the way we consume information. These platforms quickly became populated by digital analogues of traditional celebrities, the famous influencers. While their credibility is somewhat higher than that of celebrities in conventional advertising, that's not where we want to go. What we're aiming for is the type of a person highly active on social media, with a moderate number of followers of up to 10k approximately, who recommends products uninterestedly. Yes, micro-influencers can become very powerful and effective brand ambassadors.


Love brands captivate with (digital) experiences


And here we come to the core of the matter: how to identify existing brand ambassadors, create new ones, and maintain a fluid and trusting relationship with them.


First of all, we must take social media very seriously because interacting with the public in the digital environment is a fundamental part of the brand experience. It allows consumers to provide their feedback, and brands, to personalize their interaction with consumers. This is the environment where an excited consumer will post an unboxing video, but it's also where they will leave a negative comment if something hasn't met their expectations. And a brand not only needs to monitor this type of content but also offer an appropriate response in each case. 


So, here we have one of the possible ways of creating brand ambassadors through all kinds of experiences and interactive dynamics in the digital environment. Giveaways, creative contests, promotions, gamification, collaborations, but above all, fluid communication guarantee genuine interest and authentic recommendations.


The real world counts too (almost as much as the digital one)


It's true that there's a clear preference for the digital environment among younger generations. It's their natural habitat; they live in it and understand the world through it. However, real-world brand experiences shouldn't lag behind, because they can be a very powerful tool in creating brand ambassadors.


And here, the key is personalizing the experience. It's one of the foundations for creating a truly effective brand interaction. Personal treatment makes us feel unique and different. It predisposes us positively and, in the long run, wins our hearts. So always think about how to personalize the experience for the consumer, whether it's at the point of sale, in an experiential pop-up, or in street marketing actions. The more pampered the consumer feels, the more likely they are to recommend you in the future.


The power of a cause


Finally, if your brand has a differential value, by communicating it appropriately you can create a community of followers who share it. A good example is alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the values of sustainability, understood in its broadest sense. That is, both environmental, social, and economic responsibility.


Therefore, if your brand supports environmental action, a cause related to marginalized groups, providing them, for example, with job opportunities, or implements measures that help promote the circular economy, these messages should be present in your communication plan. People, even in the role of consumers, want to make a positive impact. Therefore, alignment with a brand's values is a very powerful reason not only when choosing it for ourselves but also when recommending it to others.

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