The Power Of Brand Ambassadors-Nazar Kamangar/bridge consulting blogs
We’ve discussed rather exhaustively on this blog the importance of engaging with your customers. After all, a customer who feels valued by you is more likely to return again and again for the service or product that your business provides. But more importantly, customers who believe in what it is that you do will talk highly about you to their friends, family and associates, and that will help you to grow your business exponentially. In short, what you want to do is turn your fans into brand ambassadors.
So what is a brand ambassador? Unlike what it may sound like, it’s not a celebrity serving as a goodwill ambassador. It is actually someone who believes in your brand and communicates that belief passionately, serving as an influencer in their personal social circle and beyond. Apple consumers, for example, are some of the most devout brand ambassadors out there. Anyone who will wait in line for upwards of sixteen hours for a new phone is certainly committed to the brand and they are often vocal about why the iPhone (or iPad or iPod) is the superior piece of technology to anyone who will listen.
So how do you go about turning your supporters into brand ambassadors? First, you need to identify great potential candidates. If you’ve been engaging on your social media networks, you likely have an idea of who is behind you. People who post frequently and engage back and forth with you are great places to start. You can open up a new dialogue asking them how they would rate your product on a scale of one to ten when recommending it to a friend to get an idea of their commitment.
Once you have identified strong candidates, you can start engaging them with your products. For example, companies such as Bush’s Beans will partner with food bloggers to host recipe contests where winners receive some of the sponsoring product. The blogger will usually receive a freebie, they’ll get to share freebies with their readers (and possibly attract more readers to their blog), and the company will receive free press from the original blogger and everyone who hears about the contest for a very low cost. Brands that want to spend a little more capital can follow Walmart’s example; they court the mommy blogging community, flying high-profile bloggers to their corporate headquarters and letting them try new products. This is especially smart, as women are the most powerful brand ambassadors in the world.
Does all this really make a big impact? According to a recent survey, it does. 80% of respondents said they were more likely to try a new product if a friend had recommended it to them. And when those people try your product, they have a whole new network to promote it too. Brand ambassadors can help your product go viral in the best way possible. For more tips and tricks on how to get your fans to work for you, check out this great article on Mashable.