The Importance of Brand Ambassadors
Ambassador v. Influencer
Brand Ambassadors have developed a category and presence on social media to advocate for specific brands, organizations, movements, or even up and comers. A Brand Ambassador is a person associated with or who endorses a product, company, service, or person, usually to the benefit of both parties. Ambassadors can often be mistaken with Brand Influencers, which are research-backed and experienced-based consumers who specialize in deciphering different products and supporting the one they deem superior. Influencers tend to specialize in industries like technology, beauty, makeup, fashion, or sports and are reputable due to experience, education, or acclamation. However, ambassadors tend to have no reputation with a product or organization and usually support the product because they like it, appreciate it, support the company or are being paid to say they do at least.
These days, with a number of young people engaged on social media networks such as Instagram, ambassadors are starting to have more of an influence than even Brand Influencers or bloggers. It is common to see celebrities holding under eye cream on their public social media accounts or endorsing different products similar to commercials.
For example, professional model and Miss California 2016, Nadia Mejia was not as prevalent on social media until she signed with the modeling company NewMark Models and began to frequently endorse products through her social media accounts. However as her fame grew, her endorsements stopped unless she was doing campaigns for major designer or corporate companies that she was also modeling for. Mejia acts as a representation for why companies are now targeting younger women who have a significant social media following to provide low costing advertisement. One post can be seen by thousands of followers, and the account may not even have reached a public level of fame yet.
Younger women see these celebrities modeling and endorsing products and when approached by companies feel flattered to be given the opportunity to act as an image for a brand.More currently we are seeing young women joining companies such as Sand Cloud Towels, Pura Vida, Toms, and PINK by Victoria’s Secret as unpaid ambassadors who can engage with their followers by posting themselves using, holding, and loving the product.By “being part of the team” and learning to market themselves these women are harnessing a marketing power that can up their follower count, likes, and improve their social media brand, as well as the companies. A large segment of these women are being found at large universities; many of which are members of sororities where their number of connections and followers can reach the thousands. Young women are learning to harness a social media presence that resembles fame through the endorsement of different products often with no commission except a shout out, virtual thank you, or least commonly a free product.
With the use of Brand Ambassadors heightening, the importance of their treatment must come to light. These men and women may be “part of the team” but can often be taken for granted and overlooked. Brand Ambassadors tend to care about the companies they endorse and can go so far as to start community programs and clubs benefiting their organizations. Their work is commonly philanthropic and must be rewarded. These business minded individual’s social media influence will continue to grow to new heights exceeding some celebrities and politicians so their use and endorsement are important to cherish and respect.