Ambassador: How They Can Transform Your Brand

Ahhh brand ambassadors, we’ve seen some good ones and of course some bad ones in our time but one thing is for sure, the perfect ambassador can provide massive benefit to a brand when utilised correctly.

Ahhh brand ambassadors, we’ve seen some good ones and of course some bad ones in our time but one thing is for sure, the perfect ambassador can provide massive benefit to a brand when utilised correctly.

Since the turn of the millennium, various studies have shown that having high profile public figures endorsing you can improve sales enormously. Take Nike as an extreme example, they signed Tiger Woods in 1996 and saw a $50million increase in sales on golf balls by 2002.

This isn’t a new phenomenon however. Through the 1760s, royal endorsements were used as a type of celebrity branding to promote products. The first product that used celebrity endorsements was in the 1760s, where Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, producers of pottery and china ware, used royal endorsements as a marketing device to show value in the company and promote their products to the public.

At this point you might be thinking “Oh that’s great but I can hardly get Tiger Woods or The Queen to promote my business so what’s the point of this article”. Fear not however, in this piece we will highlight all the benefits while also showing you how this tactic can work on a smaller scale for your business.

Benefits of Using a Brand Ambassador?

Positive Association

Consumers idolize ‘celebrities’ in one way or another and want to emulate them and their lifestyles. When they see their favorite celebrity or sports star using or endorsing a brand or its products, they will have a stronger inclination towards that brand. The association can even foster a belief that the brand or products were a significant contributor to the person’s success.

Brand Recall

When a brand is associated with a big name, it instantaneously drives brand recall with consumers. If you want to elevate a brand in the minds of consumers in just a second, look to the power of celebrity.

On average, people are exposed to some 3,000 advertisements per day across all media, leading to massive marketing overexposure. That’s why you must stand out from the crowd and use people whom your audience already have positive feelings and impulses towards which will make them take notice.

Increased Sales

The potential positive effects on product sales cannot be understated. According to a Marketwatch claim in Social Media Week, just one single endorsement can spell an increase in sales by 4%, almost immediately. Now imagine what a properly structured long term campaign could do!

Content Creation

Having a well known brand ambassador on the books allows you to create a wealth of content showcasing your brand. Yes you can do this without an ambassador but the difference is that people will watch/read/engage with the content much more when it involves a high profile name.

Take AIB for example, as part of their sponsorship of GAA in 2016 they would have brought together ten brand ambassadors for one day and created nearly one hundred separate pieces of short form content that could be seeded out on social media across the whole season. This led to an upsurge in social reach, engagements, and ultimately culminated in them winning a European Sponsorship Award for best social media campaign that year.

Check out a mashup of the best bits here:

Media Coverage of Ambassador

Another advantage is of course, media coverage and lots of it! You might know the struggle of trying to get you brand or product covered within the mainstream media, constant pitching in to journalists and letting people try your products for free. Well now you have a star ambassador this all becomes a lot easier as you can put them forward you media interviews on the provision that they use your branded pictures and mention your products in the piece. (https://www.offtheball.com/sport/conal-keaney-on-why-hes-comeback-dublin-148623)

Reaching New Audiences

One thing that is essential when promoting a brand is to identify your target audience in detail. Once you have identified you target audience you then need to pinpoint where they consume their media/information and from there you need to come up with a plan for how you are going to embed your brand here.

There may come a time however when you want to reach a new audience without changing your whole brand values. That’s where the right brand ambassador can come in handy. Identify in detail this new audience you want to reach and then make a list of who they are fans of and aspire to be like. This then becomes your target brand ambassador list

Examples of a Brand Ambassador

Nike X Prefontaine

When someone mentions brand ambassadors or celebrity endorsements it is impossible not to look at Nike as the gold standard. You might be thinking of Colin Kaperick, Michael Jordan, or Tiger Woods, but that’s not who I want to talk about today.

Yes, today Nike can afford to pay massive sums of money to the biggest names in sports but they weren’t always the biggest brand in sports. It is possible that their first high profile ambassador, when they were still a relatively small company in Oregon will go down as their most important.

Steve Prefontaine transcended the sport of distance running, he was a hard nosed front runner with levels of charisma which are unlikely to ever be seen on the track again. When he first hooked up with Nike he was a college athlete with huge potential but it certainly wasn’t a big money deal.

Before the advent of the internet Nike utilised Prefontaine for what might now be known as informative content marketing. Pre visited high schools, colleges, sports stores and running clubs. Every place he went, he would take time to go for a jog with the kids. He would analyze their form, and talk to them. These simple acts had a huge impact on Nike sales.

Think about how, with all the advantages we have these days, how much easier it is to leverage these ambassadors to grow your brand.

Under Armour X The Rock

Not long into 2017, Under Armour’s stock was at an all time low. Revenue forecasts looked grim, and retail sales were down. The consensus on Wall Street was clear: The interest in overpriced athletic products has peaked. Under Armour’s stock plummeted 30% in volatile after hours trading. Many Wall Street analysts downgraded the stock, and led to further speculation. It seemed the company was just a few quarters away from bankruptcy, or total failure.

When The Rock signed on to represent Under Armour in early 2017, nobody really batted an eye. But there was a group of people who knew all about it: The Rock’s 70,000,000 (at that time) Instagram followers.

The Rock had already built what Under Armour wanted but never could: A devoted group of loyalists focused on self-improvement. This was the defining moment in a billion dollar turnaround that would see Under Armour bounce back from certain doom.

So why was The Rock so perfect?

He presents as a father figure, CEO, and hustler all in one, while also being squeaky clean. Perhaps that’s part of the magic of why his rebellious, go your own way image pays off. It certainly has for Under Armour and any other commercial property associated with him.

AIG X The Dublin Football Team

Sometimes your brand ambassadors can be a whole team and no better team than the best GAA team of all time (hopefully no Kerry people are reading)!

AIG were a bit of an unknown quantity when they first came to Ireland but their association with Dublin GAA has helped them become a powerhouse in the Irish insurance market.

AIG Head of Consumer Marketing and Sponsorship John Gillick said “It has been beneficial in terms of increasing brand awareness, trust and credibility as well as helping us achieve our business objectives through the use of a strategic sponsorship activation plan. Success on the pitch helps, but clever activation tactics can help drive customer leads, acquisition, retention, brand sentiment, key relationships and loyalty.”

The association saw prompted brand awareness for AIG increased considerably along with key business performance metrics such as web traffic, calls, quotes, sales, customer renewal and retention numbers.

Adidas X Music

Adidas are one of the biggest sporting brands on the planet but their brand collaborations outside of sport are what impresses me most and have had the most significant impact on revenue in recent times.

Adidas figured they had reached awareness saturation in the sporting market so decided to focus their efforts on the next biggest purchasers of their goods. Fashion conscious young men and women and to do this they piggy backed on the profile of some of the biggest musicians on the planet.

The likes of Kanye West, Stormzy, Pharell, Childish Gambino, Rita Ora and Pusha T have brought Adidas of the pitch and onto the streets. They have seen phenomenal return on these partnerships.

The long-standing collaboration with Kanye has been hugely rewarding for the sportswear giant. Since the Adidas Yeezy Boost was named Shoe of the Year in 2015, West’s streetwear designs have garnered a cult like following.

“While Kanye is important from a business standpoint, he’s really important from a brand-building standpoint. Kanye is not an American brand; Kanye is a global brand, and Yeezy is a global brand, so we’re looking upon it as a brand driver more than a business driver for us, and that will be the case also for 2019.”

The remarks come on the heels of Adidas’ fourth-quarter earnings report, which saw sales rise 3.5 percent to 5.23 billion euros ($5.91 billion) and profits soar 29 percent to 93 million euros. For the full year, revenues climbed 3.3 percent to 21.91 billion euros, and net income increased 19.5 percent to 1.7 billion euros.

How Will This Work For My Small Business?

We have had the pleasure of using this tactic with many of our clients to massive effect and at a low cost.

Bodibro Ambassador Media Launch

Our client Bodibro recently wanted to gain more cut through in the extremely competitive sports apparel market so we decided to bring together a team of GAA Stars for them which has propelled the brand forward. This single day activation has not only provided them with massive amounts of media coverage but also created a suite of content that they have been able to leverage through social media to give then sustained audience association with these players and in turn increased sales.

Check out the case study here – https://www.futureproofmedia.ie/bodibro

Future Proof Ambassador Media Launch

We believe in this tactic so much we even used it to launch our own business!

We leveraged to star power of our brand ambassadors to get our company featured in nearly every media outlet in the country.

Feel free to get in touch if you want to hear more.

Since the turn of the millennium, various studies have shown that having high profile public figures endorsing you can improve sales enormously. Take Nike as an extreme example, they signed Tiger Woods in 1996 and saw a $50million increase in sales on golf balls by 2002.

This isn’t a new phenomenon however. Through the 1760s, royal endorsements were used as a type of celebrity branding to promote products. The first product that used celebrity endorsements was in the 1760s, where Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, producers of pottery and china ware, used royal endorsements as a marketing device to show value in the company and promote their products to the public.

At this point you might be thinking “Oh that’s great but I can hardly get Tiger Woods or The Queen to promote my business so what’s the point of this article”. Fear not however, in this piece we will highlight all the benefits while also showing you how this tactic can work on a smaller scale for your business.

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