If you cast your mind back a couple of weeks you may remember that we started the ‘glossary of branding terms’. The idea behind it was to make sure that you never got caught in a meeting full of branding jargon… we hope it helped and in fact, we hope that it continues to help.
Having read back through it we noticed that ‘Brand Ambassador’, ‘Brand Influencer’ and ‘Brand Champion’ may have caused some confusion so we felt that they deserved to have a specific blog post dedicated to them in their very own right. So here’s our piece on ‘Brand People’.
First, up the one, you probably have the most clarity on. Some of the most renowned Brand Ambassadors come from the world of sport, celebrity and fashion. Puma pays a small fortune to be alongside the world’s fastest man, Adidas still love Beckham even though he hasn’t played since 2013. And then there’s Gary Lineker, a man who has spent 21 years playing the fool and helping to sell crisps and all because he started out at the company’s local team, Leicester City.
Ambassadors have become a significant part of the modern-day marketing mix Modern-day personalities can earn just as much from sponsorships as they do from the actual sports that they excel at.
One of the most important things to consider when looking at a suitable brand ambassador is how ‘celebrity’ and ‘brand’ will fit together and for those of you without the benefit of a marketing director on a six-figure salary, here are a few very handy tips:
- Who fits with your brand (is there a link or a background story).
- Consider if it’s possible for the celebrity to damage your brand.
- Try to establish a relationship (contact through their agent).
- Enlist some PR support to help manage the process.
- Keep a track of the results that are generated (media coverage)
So I hear you ask, why the hell is he banging on about celebrity ambassadors? I don’t have a budget for that. Well, have you heard about a very similar and relatively recent type of ambassador? Let me introduce the brand influencer…
Influencers across multiple media platforms but many live online and increasingly require a paid arrangement to do business but crucially don’t burn an extremely large hole in your marketing budget. They:
Write about brands they have an affinity for.
- Protect their personal brand, as that is as important as the brand they choose to represent.
- Treat their blogs and other social channels as a business.
- Work for compensation, meaning brand ambassadorships, money, and product exchange.
- Have large, engaged followings and, typically, specific areas of expertise.
Depending on your sector and whether you’re a service or product led business these are the sorts of people that small to medium enterprises should be looking to engage with. Influencers might be an important part of your brands’ marketing mixes, as these individuals could be invaluable for driving engagement and bringing in new audiences. They work especially well for B2C businesses.
And finally – although part of the same family, Brand Champions are slightly different. The main difference is that these people aren’t paid to undertake the promotional role, they’re often direct employees but not always. These people have a powerful role to play as they live, love and breath the brand that they’re involved with.
The late Steve Jobs used to enthuse constantly about Apple’s everyday shop employees and these people are the living embodiment of Brand Champions. The Apple shop staff look and sound like people that would use Apple products as part of their everyday lives and as a result, they seem approachable and we trust them to offer sound advice.
As with the search for Brand Ambassadors here are some top tips on what to look for when fostering your Brand Champions:
- Be authentic and true to your brand values when engaging with them
- Deliver an engagement experience that’s fresh and engaging.
- Be generous and acknowledge others that play their part in the brand.
- Reward your champions.
- Network with them and connect them to others
- Collaborate with your champions.
The point is, Brand Ambassadors, influencers and champions all play such an important part in how brands are perceived but our simple take on it here at Just Enough Brave is as follows: they can be a fantastically powerful part of your marketing but in fact, are sorely underutilised by small to medium size businesses.
Hopefully, you’ll find this post helpful and if you’d like to find out how you can benefit from creating marketing opportunities from brand people, then get in touch and let’s start developing your next campaign!