There are three things that never change: death, taxes, and students needing more sources of income. College brand ambassador programs are one way students can make a little extra money while also getting valuable professional exposure by teaming up with well-established brands such as Red Bull, Starbucks and Chipotle. And well-managed ambassador programs are a win-win for both the brand and the ambassador!
Let’s start at the beginning. Whether it’s through social media marketing, event planning, word of mouth marketing, or being a literal walking advertisement, college students can support branding and sale conversions for any company. Campus brand ambassadors give companies access to the university demographic. Not only large in geographic size, this unique group has a constant influx of new consumers, many of whom haven’t established their everyday buying habits yet.
But what exactly do campus brand ambassadors do? And which brands are the best at leveraging their ambassador programs? Keep reading for a deep dive into college brand ambassador programs.
What is a College Brand Ambassador?
Student brand ambassadors, also known as campus reps, market a brand to people within a specific area: their own college campus. More than just a geographic location, a college campus includes multiple customer demographics, ranging from students to professors to staff. An ambassador’s job is to promote the brand’s products or services through events, merchandise, branding, and/or incentivized programs. Specific examples of ambassador duties include:
- Running booths at fairs
- Building a presence at sporting events or Greek life parties
- Posting on social media
- Brainstorming ideas to drive awareness and increase sales on campus
- Providing feedback on products or services
In short, brand ambassadors serve as the “face” of the brand they represent and are useful for any company marketing to the college-aged demographic and beyond.
What are the Benefits?
Benefits for the Brands
For a brand, the benefits of an ambassador program include awareness and exposure. By hiring students, a company creates a direct link to college markets. The U.S. Department of Education lists more than 4,000 academic institutions that grant degrees. For any brand, this represents a staggering number of new markets, both large and small, to potentially promote within. The fact that many students need and want to work also encourages companies to launch college ambassador programs. According to a study, 70%-80% of college students are actively working while enrolled in classes. This creates a substantial market for brands to find eager students looking for part-time employment. Companies can distribute their products and have a presence at events far from the reach of their full-time employees.
Benefits for the College Ambassadors
Compensation is the most obvious benefit for college ambassadors to take the job. However, compensation looks different to each brand. Some programs offer merchandise and product purchasing perks. Many programs pay hourly. Others pay commission based (merchandise circulated, leads generated). And, some programs even provide a salary. According to Indeed, the average compensation for a student brand ambassador is about $10.50 an hour. That pay is similar to many retail or university jobs, providing helpful extra income to anyone taking a full class load.
Another advantage of these sorts of positions is professional growth and networking. Not only can college brand ambassadors gain business-related skills that can be applied long after they graduate, but they gain familiarity with prominent national or even international companies. Needless to say, these types of relationships can be extremely beneficial (resume boosters!) when it’s time to join the workforce.
Lastly, time management is a key aspect of any college student’s life. Taking a job as a college brand ambassador or campus rep provides flexibility that traditional jobs don’t. A majority of these positions are remotely based, so most of tasks rely on a student’s ability to achieve goals and perform them alone or with a small team of other reps on campus. With solid time management skills, these types of jobs can coincide effectively with a student’s full-time class schedule.
College Ambassador Programs
Now that we’ve covered how college ambassador programs work and what their benefits are, let’s look at some of the strongest programs out there.
Apple is a hugely successful American-based technology company, known for producing items such as the iPhone, iMac and MacBook, iPad, and more. The brand thrives on repeat customers, releasing new versions of products nearly every year, causing many customers to update to a new Apple product annually.
APPLE’S AMBASSADOR STRATEGY
Apple uses brand ambassadors in line with its marketing strategy, centering activities around product demonstration or education on their products. Because the company relies on repeat customers, having qualified representatives on college campuses is vitally important. College reps help provide the high level of customer service that each Apple user is meant to experience.
- Event Planning
- Product Demos
- Connecting with Student Groups
- Driving Apple Initiatives
- Fostering Campus Relationships
HOW TO APPLY
If you’re an active student at a participating institution, you can learn more information and apply here.
Amazon is an American technology company that specializes in e-commerce and mass-scale production. From its origin as an online marketplace for retail books, Amazon has grown into one of the largest e-commerce marketplaces in the world. It’s also one of America’s largest private employers. According to Forbes, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is currently listed as one of the richest people in the world.
AMAZON’S AMBASSADOR STRATEGY
Amazon Prime has a popular student discount that allows special membership pricing for students. The company’s campus ambassador programs are marketing tools to increase membership and grow awareness. They station ambassadors at campus events to distribute Amazon merchandise as well as put on demonstrations to showcase the benefits of the Prime program.
- Create Prime student content for social media channels
- Attend on-campus events to showcase the Prime Program
- Participate in weekly calls and sessions with Amazon Employees
- Report activity with event plans, meeting notes, and social media activity
HOW TO APPLY
You must be a full-time college student that maintains a 3.0 GPA or higher and be willing to commit 6-8 hours a week per semester to be considered.
Red Bull is a wildly popular energy drink distributed by Austrian company Red Bull GmbH. The company produces the leading energy drink in the United States, achieving over $4.5 billion in sales in 2018. With its distinct logo and branding, Red Bull is known for sponsoring athletes as well as participating in numerous major global sporting events.
RED BULL’S AMBASSADOR PROGRAM
This is one of the most recognizable brand ambassador programs due to its iconic Mini-Coopers driving around with a giant Red Bull can on top, distributing free drinks to caffeine-crazed students all over college campuses. Red Bull strongly utilizes guerrilla marketing tactics to target its audience, as it has a younger demographic that is not easily reached by traditional marketing. Because of this, ambassador campaigns have a large social media presence, relying heavily on mediums like Instagram and Twitter.
- Help establish Red Bull consumption in diverse situations
- Support sales teams
- Distribute product for trials
- Represent brands at various events
HOW TO APPLY
To join almost 4,000 student marketeers for Red Bull, find more information can be found here.
CP Custom Prints
CP Custom Prints is a California-based company that sells custom gear, such as T-shirts, hats and sweatshirts in their online store. Their market is primarily college students.
CP CUSTOM PRINTS STUDENT AMBASSADOR STRATEGY
Because of their target market, CP Custom Prints relies heavily on their ambassadors. The students work on a commission base, so it is up to individual ambassadors to sell the company’s products to their peers, focusing on student groups, Greek life, and more. Their target customers are groups that will order in mass, and also become repeat customers for special occasions. Student ambassadors become the point of contact for these ongoing transactions.
- Serve as the point of contact for orders from your university
- Earn commission from orders you oversee
- Market at campus events to student groups, Greek life, etc.
HOW TO APPLY
To become a student ambassador, you can apply through the site.
Coca-Cola is a beverage company and one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Aside from its signature beverage, Coca-Cola’s portfolio includes other well-known brands such as Minute Maid, Smartwater, Vitaminwater, and more. With such a vibrant global presence, Coca-Cola thrives on traditional marketing and is known for some of the most iconic TV commercials of all time, including this memorable piece from 1971.
COCA COLA AMBASSADOR STRATEGY
Because Coca-Cola has such an extensive product list, the goal of its college ambassador program is to gain access to consumers at an age when their consumption habits are not set, then expose them to products made by Coca-Cola. Via a 3-day training session, ambassadors gain the tools they need to set up events on campus as well as be active on social media to promote the brand.
- Build brand awareness
- Create social media content for your campus
- Increase sales of Coca-Cola products
- Establish and run events with product giveaways and incentives
- Learn the logistics of ordering and distributing products
HOW TO APPLY
To learn more about becoming a student ambassador for Coca-Cola, find details and apply through their student zone.
Is a Brand Ambassador Program Right for You?
Are you currently a student studying marketing, communication, or a related field? Do you want to work with a recognized brand name to boost your resume? Do you need extra income? If any or all of these apply to you, applying to a campus ambassador job could be a good fit.
These positions are not only flexible with a full-time class schedule, but they bode well for making professional connections for a future in a diverse workplace. Many programs have positions in campuses all across the country, so you can probably find one wherever you’re studying. Whether you work with a huge company like Coca-Cola or a much smaller brand, being an ambassador helps prepare you for life after graduation. If you are a brand or company and are looking to launch a college ambassador program or upgrade an existing program, BrandChamp can help. Our all-in-one platform streamlines ambassador management, letting you track ambassador performance and automate rewards all in one place. If this interests you, we invite you to schedule a time to learn more.