In today’s influencer-centric world, consumers want real reviews from real people they relate to. One way that brands are leaning into this trend is through brand ambassador programs. Brand ambassador marketing is a powerful advertising tool that capitalizes on word-of-mouth marketing techniques. Best of all, a well-managed brand ambassador program drives sales and increases brand awareness while deepening consumer relationships with the brand.
Take a look at some of the top brand ambassador programs out there today, including several popular college brand ambassador programs.
# 1. Jack in the Box’s Jackletes
Jack in the Box recently welcomed its inaugural class of Jackletes — college athlete brand ambassadors. Compared to their peers, they took it a step further to deepen their brand awareness when selecting ambassadors — only people with some variation of “Jack” in their name. The names of the inaugural Jackletes are:
- Angel Jackson
- Jack Jones
- Jack Pineda
- Jackie Nylander
- Jackson Stone
- Jacquelyn Hill
- T.Q. Jackson
- Jack McCallister
- Jacqueline Dianis
- Jack Pulliam
“Jack in the Box has always been a brand with a focus on those usually overlooked… the curly fry in the world of regular fries,” said CMO of Jack in the Box Ryan Ostrom. “That’s what sparked the motivation of our inaugural Jackletes roster to include both mainstream and under-represented collegiate sports.”
With their entire menu available all day long, Jack in the Box has always had a special relationship with college students. Jackletes have their status for life and will also be given exclusive access to upcoming events and new menu items, $5,000 for the sponsorship, and a $500 food credit for their favorite menu items at Jack in the Box.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next Jacklete, and you’ve got “Jack” in your name, send Jack in the Box a DM on the social platform of your choice and tell them why they should choose you.
#2. Red Bull
If you’ve attended or visited a college, or even walked close to a college campus, you’ve likely seen Red Bull’s ‘Wings’ Team. The Wings Team hires college students who integrate Red Bull products into the college lifestyle. They hand out free products during late-night studying sessions at the library or early morning as students are on their way to class. You can’t forget the cute Red Bull Mini Coopers that cruise around campus!
Red Bull ambassadors are far more than meets the eye. The teams of motivated and dynamic students work within their communities to establish an identity for the company. Above all, Red Bull seeks ambassadors who are well known by their peers and have the power to influence their decisions (think influencers before influencers were a thing).
Red Bull’s brand ambassador program mixes high-energy ambassadors with the high-energy brand to forge deep connections between brand and consumer. But, the program doesn’t only energize Red Bull’s target audience. It’s also an exclusive, professional opportunity since the program helps jump-start brand ambassador careers. These ambassadors have big responsibilities, including being assigned to certain regions to share Red Bull via guerrilla marketing and online sharing. Additionally, they work with Red Bull-sponsored athletes, attend Red Bull events, and identify strategic opportunists to hand out Red Bull.
If you’re interested in becoming a Red Bull Student Marketer, click here.
#3. Maker’s Mark
Maker’s Mark ambassadors share their passion for bourbon with family, friends, and acquaintances in exchange for some pretty sweet perks, including a personalized barrel of Maker’s Mark with their name engraved on a gold plaque. When an ambassador’s barrel finishes aging, their one-of-a-kind bottle is available for purchase with their name on it!
Bourbon barrels take six to years to age, so the program’s focus is on creating a years-long connection between the brand and ambassador — no easy task. Something as timeless and downright awesome as a personalized bourbon barrel and a bottle with your name on it forges a lifelong story and brand connection for the ambassadors — and their network.
To apply to be a Maker’s Mark ambassador, click here.
#4. Victoria’s Secret PINK
PINK by Victoria’s Secret targets college students and, therefore, recruits college-aged women to be their brand ambassadors on campuses around the country. To be a PINK ambassador, you must have a network of online and offline connections and a record of campus involvement. This shows the brand that you’re prepared to build a community and spread the PINK love.
Like the brand, PINK ambassadors have to embody the “energy, excitement, and fun of college life,” in addition to active membership in PINK’s brand loyalty program. Once accepted, PINK brand ambassadors go through brand training and then start:
- Collaborating with campus organizations and their local PINK store
- Organizing guerrilla marketing
- Spearheading engaging events for other women on campus
The ambassador program offers exclusive products, deals, and insider surprises and lets ambassadors have some say in new product releases via networking opportunities with PINK leadership.
Currently, PINK rep applications are closed. Email PINKCampusRepRecruitment@victoria.com with any questions.
Popular athleisure brand Lululemon was one of the first brands to use ambassadors. The company uses two types of ambassadors:
- Global Ambassadors: Elite athletes and fitness gurus.
- Store Ambassadors: Local yoga instructors, lesser-known fitness experts, and other smaller influencers who partner with their neighborhood stores.
Lululemon ambassadors host classes at their local stores, online, and at community locations while they show how Lululemon gear performs in real life. Ambassadors build authentic relationships through fitness. They talk one-on-one about the brand, its values and mission, and why they love it. Usually, ambassadors are active on social media, regularly posting workout shots using a broad range of Lulu products.
In exchange for their efforts, ambassadors receive increased exposure and mentorship. Top ambassadors attend a multi-day summit with company leaders and often teach classes at larger company events. Ambassadors try new products before anyone else. And, they are the first to share their thoughts with followers, friends, and family. Additionally, Lululemon ambassadors provide feedback on how Lululemon products are performing and what the brand can do to connect with a broader community.
To find your local Lululemon store and start the conversation about becoming an ambassador, click here.
#6. The Sephora Squad
The Sephora Squad is a fairly new program, launching in 2019. Impressively, it’s already on the list of best ambassador programs. Sephora calls its ambassadors “influencers,” but since they are recruited for the short-term (one year), they are technically ambassadors.
Each year, the brand reviews applications for the beauty lovers and trailblazers most aligned with their values of belonging, acceptance, and beauty of all kinds.
Perks of being a squad member include:
- Getting to try new, sought-after products before everyone else.
- Networking with industry leaders and other ambassadors.
- Connecting and collaborating with the Sephora team.
- Receiving professional coaching.
Ambassador content frequently becomes the basis of Sephora’s ad campaigns, which leads to more authentic marketing. (If you ask us, user-generated content is priceless!)
Click here for the Sephora Squad’s application steps, which include:
- Verify your account.
- Connect your Instagram.
- Fill out the online application.
- Recruit testimonials from your followers.
Sephora makes unique web pages for applicants. Then, people who know them leave testimonials about their impact on the community.
Keep in mind, the application window is short. In 2021, it was March to April, so keep your eyes peeled for next year’s!
How BrandChamp Can Help
As you can tell, brand ambassador programs are jam-packed with benefits for brands. Most importantly, they bring real people to the front of your brand. This approach fosters deep and long-standing relationships with a much broader audience.
If you haven’t already, look into launching a brand ambassador program for your company. You may be thinking, ‘But, I don’t have the time or resources to manage yet another program!’ That’s where BrandChamp comes in. Our brand ambassador management software makes managing these programs easy, fun, and stress-free. We provide all of the tools needed to manage and grow your brand ambassador program. From recruitment to onboarding, tracking activities, commission, managing user-generated content, and much more, BrandChamp is here to help.
To find out how to launch a brand ambassador program for your brand, or upgrade an existing program, get in touch with us today!