Brand ambassador marketing is a powerful strategy to build a community of passionate customers to advocate for your brand, increase social media engagement and improve brand loyalty.
In this post we’ll examine the four key benefits of an ambassador program with examples from leading brands from around the world.
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Community Driven Brand
Brand ambassador programs are a great way to build an authentic community that helps to highlight and promote your brand. The association of your brand with a community of influencers and thought leaders can be an extremely powerful marketing tool.
Ambassador programs that focus on building community put you at the center of a group of passionate consumers. It gives you an opportunity to pair your brand with your community, to create meaningful stories that resonate with consumers and create lasting relationships.
Ambassador Program: Lulu Lemon
Lululemon is a great example of a company with a thriving community of brand ambassadors that have helped propel growth. According to Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin, “We’re very focused on our grassroot model.” When asked about the brands experience with ambassadors the CEO shared, “We think it’s incredibly powerful. We love it.”
Lululemon’s brand ambassador program has three different types of relationships that include Global Yoga Ambassadors, Elite Ambassadors and Store Ambassadors.
- Global Yoga Ambassadors are a small group of experienced instructors that bring different types of yoga practices to the Lululemon community.
- Elite ambassadors are made up of professional athletes in a variety of sports including soccer, cycling, volleyball and many others.
- Store Ambassadors consists of a community of local influencers around store locations that teach and host events that include yoga, personal training, running and other active lifestyle activities.
- According to Lululemon’s Global Yoga Ambassador, Ryan Leier who started as a Store Ambassador, “The reason why I’m so loyal to them is because they are so supportive in giving to projects that are either super fun or super needed.”
As Lululemon grows, their brand ambassador program continues to be the centerpiece of their marketing strategy and promotes continued grassroots support for the brand.
Passionate and Authentic Voices
Building a brand ambassador program helps to cultivate customers passion for a brand. An ambassador program increasing engagement, provides incentives and rewards participants. This passion is reflected in how ambassadors talk about and promote a brand in an authentic way to friends, family and their audience on social media.
With recommendations from friends and family being the most powerful driver in purchasing decisions, having a passionate community who are authentic and love promoting a brand is a great way to drive visibility and referrals sales.
Ambassador Program: Makers Mark
Makers Mark is a legendary bourbon brand that has developed a vibrant brand ambassador program. Their program is focused around their community’s passion for the brand. Makers Mark provides ambassadors with everything they need to help build awareness and drive new sales.
Every ambassador gets access to “The Embassy”, a private online community. This gives them access to a lot of perks like personalized business cards for ambassadors to give out at bars and even a picture of a barrel with their name engraved on it. Ambassadors can even visit Makers Mark to check out their own personal barrel.
Makers Mark’s ambassador program has helped to further solidify the bourbon brand as a classic, iconic brand by leveraging aficionados passion for the drink. It also helps Markers Mark identify bars and restaurants that would be a good fit for the brand that don’t carry their classic bourbon.
Amplify Social Reach and Engagement
Brand ambassadors are really helpful in a amplifying reach and engagement on social media. Having a community of ambassadors ready to share new products and share posts helps you reach a much larger audience for a fraction of the cost of paid advertising. This is a great way to build awareness for new products, increase referral sales or get posts to go viral.
Ambassador Program: DropBox
DropBox is one of the best examples of a technology product that effectively leveraged brand ambassadors to promote the brand on social media. When customers signup for DropBox they receive rewards for introducing their friends and colleagues to the product. This leads to large numbers of customers promoting signup links on social media that get reshared/retweeted.
Since DropBox is a cloud storage solution, the more an ambassador uses the product the more space they need. In return for each new signup, the ambassador can get additional storage space for free. This rewards ambassadors that are able to really promote the product on social media.
The strategy of rewarding brand ambassadors for sharing DropBox’s product to drive new signups was responsible the company’s explosive growth. It also helped them save millions that would have been spent on marketing and advertising while building almost fanatical brand loyalty with ambassadors.
Increase Brand Loyalty
Brand ambassador programs are a great way to increase brand loyalty. This loyalty extends to both ambassadors and customers of a brand.
By building a community with the help of your ambassadors, it positions a brand as an authentic cornerstone of the community while helping them engage and retain customers. With so many different brands available today, customer loyalty is an important part of continued sales growth.
Ambassador Program: Fiskars
Fiskars makes a variety of consumer products that include gardening, crafting, school supplies and home improvement products. Their brand ambassador program taps into the creativity and passion of customers to create a thriving community.
Fiskars launched their brand ambassador program by recruiting some of their most vocal and influential customers to contribute to a community blog about scrapbooking that had the theme “Born to scrap!”.
Brand Ambassadors are called “Fiskateer’s” and have a variety of rewards that include exclusive events and access to a private online community to connect and share with other scrapbooking enthusiasts. This approach positioned the brand as the center of an online community of scrapbookers and made it possible to hear directly from their most passionate customers.
Thanks to the Fiskateer’s, the brand has been able to position itself as a center point of the scrapbooking community online. It also enabled them to strengthen relationships and brand loyalty by creating a two way conversations between the brand and ambassadors.
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