Michael Jordan and Nike. Nike and Michael Jordan. The two are synonymous; a positive branding agreement for both the celebrity and brand. Dare I say, when Nike signed Jordan in 1984, one of the biggest celebrity endorsements was born. And, the arena for brand ambassador’s forever changed.
If a brand ambassador is the face and voice of a company regardless, of whether your brand ambassador is a celebrity, or working at a trade show booth on behalf of a client, there are key criteria that should be considered when selecting a brand ambassador (BA).
Kindly find below, my top three tips for selecting a Brand Ambassador:
- If an individual’s sole purpose is to communicate with a company’s target audience and create customer loyalty then it’s all about the ‘P’s. By this, I am referring to the ambassador’s persona…are they personable? Positive? Polite? You want a BA to be all of the above.
- It’s not necessarily a bad thing that every organization cannot afford the Michael Jordan’s of the world; because what they can have is—people who are passionate about the brand (another ‘P’ and arguably the most important P of all). When you have BAs who love the brand, it’s very easy for these good ol’regular folks to sell the brand. Passion is contagious.
- In the experiential marketing industry when anything can go array—anytime and anywhere—to have BAs who are calm under pressure is an enormous asset. The last thing I want is one of my BAs ‘flipping out during a crisis,’ as it does not reflect positively on the client/brand, or the exceptional customer service JGK strives to provide.
Using a brand ambassador works because the individual(s) who represent the company be it at an event, or are a spokesperson for a campaign—personalize the brand. What really resonated with me was a quote by, now retired, Joe Tripodi, The Coca Cola Company’s Chief Marketing Officer who said, "Awareness is fine but advocacy will take your business to the next level."
This is especially evident when you consider the flip side. If a brand ambassador is "to embody the corporate identity in appearance, demeanour, values and ethics," it was no wonder that when the Lance Armstrong doping scandal broke, he was dropped even faster than he could spin his legs on performance enhancing drugs.
Brand ambassadors; if all the right criteria are in place are essential for companies of any size. They are ultimately everyone affiliated with the company—from the President, the security guard at the entrance of the building, to the individual writing the companies tweets. Look out Michael Jordan…BAs are everywhere!