DEFINING THE ROLE OF BRAND AMBASSADORS FOR COMPANIES

I think it’s important to start by defining what a brand ambassador is and its role before we outline sponsorship or brand guidelines. This is important for those who intend to become brand ambassadors for various companies – it’s important to know what you are getting yourself into. 

A brand ambassador also called a ‘brand representative’ is therefore an individual that is engaged by a company to promote and raise awareness about its brand, products or even services. In a sponsorship agreement for instance, a brand ambassador does so by endorsing, recommending and referring the company’s brand and products to others in their network either by word of mouth, promotions at events or more especially on social media platforms. A brand ambassador enables a company to leverage their broad reach and direct influence to increase brand awareness – this increased awareness can drive sales and ultimately contribute to the increase in profits for the company. 

There are generally a few kinds of people engaged as brand ambassadors: celebrities or lifestyle influencers and even individuals who are sport stars from the football, rugby or even cricket disciplines to name but a few. These days, the duties of a brand Ambassador include promoting the goods and services of the company to their following on social media, or in traditional media platforms or even with other friends and family. This is done by educating people about the company’s products through demos, videos, posts, to name a few. It is also often done through content creation, which can include blogs, newsletters, product reviews on traditional or social media platforms. The consequence of the brand ambassador’s efforts or primary responsibilities should be to help in any way possible to create a platform for sales leads to be generated by building rapport with customers and vendors. A brand ambassador may at times be required to attend a variety of promotional events including trade shows, product launches, and other business or media events to promote the company’s products or services.

Often, a brand ambassador will become the first point of contact for questions from the prospective consumers they influence or engage with. It is important to ensure that these prospective customers and their questions especially technical ones are passed on to experienced sales people that can assist them with the specific information they need. To help in fulfilling your duties, as a brand ambassador – you should at least maintain basic knowledge of the company’s products and or services. It is important to understand the vision and the business goals of the organisation that you are representing.

Brand Ambassador Agreements and their ImportanceBrand ambassador agreements or guidelines are there to record the terms and conditions of the partnership between ambassador and company in a formal manner. In the case of a sponsorship agreement between two organisations, which includes the use of brand ambassadors, sponsorship guidelines are necessary to outline the requirements and ensure that these are clear for all those concerned.

A brand ambassador agreement, guideline document or even a briefing session should be used to specify all the duties that an ambassador is expected to fulfil. It’s important to have brand guidelines in any brand ambassador or sponsorship agreement. These are normally highly brand specific – they depend on the messaging and the reputation behind a company’s brand. This may also depend on the particular demographic or audience that the brand is trying to target, as different groups of people tend to respond to marketing campaigns differently. This section should outline what content the brand ambassador should create to comply with the company brand’s vision and goals and should be as detailed as possible. So, for instance, if the brand wants the ambassador to make social media posts, this section should specify how frequently the posts should be made and whether certain statements or words should be explicitly mentioned, this might include a requirement to include a slogan or motto. It should for instance, also specify which social media channels/platforms the posts should be made on. Also, brand guidelines should specify the voice, tone, and style of language to be used when making communications or representing the brand – this will help the ambassador communicate consistently with a company’s brand. An approval process for PR or Marketing-related campaigns is there to maintain a clean image and consistent messaging, many companies require that any content or communication created by their brand ambassadors are vetted before they go live. This process helps maintain a consistent and clear brand message. In most cases, companies will require approval to be obtained for any pieces of content that will be used on traditional or social media platforms. And finally, as with any other relationship, relations between a company and a brand ambassador can unfortunately go haywire. It is therefore important that a brand ambassador agreement specifies how the contract can be terminated. In this respect, it is common for brand ambassador agreements to include a clause that states that either party can terminate the agreement without cause with 30 days’ notice to the other party. It is essentially to know all of this information before getting into any brand ambassador agreement or at least have a legal person check this for you before you sign on the dotted line. Miranda Lusiba is the Founding Director of Strangé Consulting – a boutique PR Agency specialising in Communications, Freelance Writing, Media Relations, Reputation Management and Media Training. #pradvice

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