Every business has a face. Now I’m not talking about the receptionist as the first person a customer comes into contact with, no. I’m talking about the person who stands on the front line, in the public eye and says, “This is my brand and I want you to love it as much as I do!”

In small business it is often the owner that represents the company in the public eye. Whether their face is on a giant billboard, the side of a bus, smiling down a camera or speaking at a public event, it is their face and their personality that represents the company and in turn the brand. One false move and that brand is tarnished. Selecting the right ambassador for your business is therefore paramount.

If you are the face of your own business it can be time consuming and some allow their ego to get in the way. Don’t fall into this trap! You need to remain mindful that you also need to work on the business. So if you are not the best ‘face’ to represent your brand, how do go about recruiting the right ambassador?

You want the face of your business to be able to represent the key values and messages of your brand. They need to act the part, look the part, talk the part, be unwavering in their professionalism and most of all be relatable to your customers. In an age of social media, this is particularly important…I wouldn’t imagine the young Nick Kyrgios getting such a gig for Tennis Australia anytime soon. Pressure to find the right ambassador for your brand is heightened in this social age, but social media can be a strong advantage in creating brand awareness if you have the right ambassador. Jennifer Hawkins, or ‘Jen’ as many of us refer to her has been a gem of an ambassador for Myer. Her charm and squeaky clean image give her excellent credibility. Does she have that lucrative X-factor? I will leave that to you to decide. Nevertheless there is no question, Jen has certainly enhanced the reputation of the Myer label.

A high profile is important if your ambassador is a public figure. If you choose the right person, or character as is the case for some brands, they can positively influence any PR campaign. An ambassador is sometimes presented in the form of a group. So don’t be narrow in your thinking, the next awesome foursome may just be around the corner. Choose wrong and damage control manoeuvres will need to be actioned. Remember Tiger Woods fall from grace? The brands for which he was an ambassador all ran for the hills when news of his infidelity broke. An extreme example sure, but my point is clear. Another alternatively is to use your loyal customers or employees as advocates of your product or service as their passion is genuine. It has been done many times before and very successfully.

Public profile and a great image is not enough though. Your ambassador needs to have excellent people skills. The ability to talk to people of all ages and backgrounds as well as smoothly tackle any tricky question is a must. Your ambassador also needs to know and understand your product so they can clearly articulate your brands key messages with confidence. The smart ambassador will always find a way to engage their audience and no matter what the topic of discussion, bring the message back to your brand. Being approachable is also essential. If they are not friendly towards their fans, their fans will turn their backs and find someone else to be loyal to.

Being the ambassador of a brand is a position of responsibility. A poor ambassador can negatively affect sales, customer perceptions, business opportunities and of course, the bottom line. On the other hand, a great ambassador will achieve the opposite! The best ambassador for you is the one that best suits your product or service. If you have multiple campaign programs, you may have multiple ambassadors – you can never have too many ambassadors so long as they are the right fit, right? The best brand ambassador will engage your audience and make them feel a part of your brands family. A relationship is what it is all about. So who do you think would make a great ambassador for your business and why?

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