The 5 Most Important Traits in a Brand Ambassador

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5 Important Traits in a Brand Ambassador

Take a moment to think about the last time someone offered you a word-of-mouth referral. It may have been a recommendation to check out a restaurant, buy a certain skin care product, or download a new app. Whether you followed through on the suggestion or not likely depended on the relationship you have with the person who gave it to you. If you are suspicious of their motives or feel like they don’t have your best interests in mind, then you are not going to want to take their advice.

Word-of-mouth referrals can be powerful drivers in marketing. Depending on the quality of the source, consumers will act on that referral or disregard it altogether. Ultimately, trust is the deciding factor in whether someone chooses to act on a suggestion or tune it out entirely. This is why choosing the right brand ambassadors to represent your brand at an event is so critical.

So the question you need to be asking yourself is: what kind of responses do your brand ambassadors elicit from your potential customers? Are they seen as trustworthy?

The Importance of Brand Ambassador Marketing

The definition of a brand ambassador will vary depending on who you ask. We define brand ambassadors simply as someone who guides the consumer experience and creates a positive connection to your brand. They do this by demonstrating the value of your products or services and embodying your brand’s values.

It is smart to choose brand ambassadors who can relate to your target audience. In some cases, you might want a brand ambassador who is also a person of influence in that sphere. Some of these social media-savvy brand ambassadors have built a specific community of followers online and can help to promote your brand.

While some brands need a person with that kind of extra reach, it’s important to know that a large following isn’t necessary for success. It is a brand ambassador’s passion and trustworthiness that makes their influence valuable.

Marcus Andersson and Per Ekman explained the power of effective brand ambassador marketing in their 2009 article, “Ambassador Networks and Place Branding.” Brand ambassadors can reach groups of people that corporations may not otherwise be able to reach. It is their ability to relate to and interact with your audience face-to-face that is so powerful.

The 5 Most Important Traits in a Brand Ambassador

Yet, as we have already established, not all brand ambassadors are created equal. Some people will not be a fit for your company, and choosing the wrong person to represent your brand is a mistake that can haunt you.

So what are the key traits you should be looking for in a brand ambassador? If you are in search of the right person for your brand ambassador marketing campaign, here are the five most important traits to look for.

1. Passion

Some people have a natural ability to draw others to them. The right brand ambassador should be passionate and exude a positive energy that will attract other like-minded people to them.

Your brand ambassador helps foster a strong connection between your customers and your brand. For that reason, they should be passionate about both your products or services and building relationships with others.

2. Professionalism

A brand ambassador may not technically be directly employed by your company. However, they have a significant amount of influence over how your company is perceived. You will want someone who is reliable, open to feedback and has a high standard of conduct for themselves. This includes in-person as well as their online persona.

3. Versatility

Brand ambassador marketing requires versatility to be successful. You will guide the direction of the person’s message through brand messaging and talking points. However, it is their unique voice and ability to speak to the needs of each person they meet that makes the message work.

Depending on the types of activities your brand ambassadors engage in (live events, street teams, guerrilla marketing, etc.) they will have be creative to deal with challenges that crop up along the way. Your brand ambassador should be open to constructive feedback, trying new strategies, and reevaluating what works and what doesn’t.

4. Engagement

If you are looking for a brand ambassador to help you push your message pre- and post-event, you will need someone with an established social media following. But it is not necessarily the person with the largest number of followers that you should look for. It is the person who has high engagement with their audience.

While it is natural to gravitate toward social media celebrities who have huge followings, the reality is that bigger is not always better. The number of the followers isn’t what is important, it’s the level of influence that person can leverage.

5. Authenticity

This 2016 study surveyed 2,000 consumers ranging in ages from 20 to 39. The overwhelming finding was that consumers are tired of being targeted by companies on social media. 56 percent of people admitted to cutting back or quitting social media altogether just to avoid exposure to the high volume of paid advertisements.

A brand ambassador is not a traditional salesperson. They should have a genuine appreciation for your product or service. This sentiment will come across naturally when they are sharing it with others. If your ambassador is being disingenuous or recommending something they don’t believe in, it will be clear. This is especially true with social media brand ambassadors who are communicating with their networks.

Getting Started with Brand Ambassador Marketing

When you align your company with the right brand ambassadors, you will increase your customer engagement and brand loyalty both instantly and over time.

A brand ambassador can bring trust and visibility to your brand by acting as a positive spokesperson for your company. The ambassador you select will become an extension of your brand. It is important to find the right person.

 

Are you interested in brand ambassador marketing? Since 1999, EventPro Strategies has supplied clients with the top brand ambassadors in the United States, Canada and internationally. Contact us today to learn more about partnering with our team. We will help you find the right brand ambassadors who will drive results for your marketing event.
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Creative Technology for Your Experiential Marketing Campaign, Giving an Event a Social Presence, & Event Marketing Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making [The EPS Water Cooler]

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Experiential Marketing Campaign

The event marketing landscape has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Year-over-year, companies evolve each experiential marketing campaign through new tactics and technologies. They are also better able to track the performance of their campaigns. This increased visibility has shown that, in most cases, event marketing resonates with consumers. It also actively drives sales. As a result, campaigns are not the only things evolving. Budgets continue to grow, and this increased investment produces bigger and better programs. This week’s EPS Water Cooler features creative technology for marketing events. We also talk about why Gen Z wants brands to be their sidekick – not their hero. Read More

How to Deliver the Best Brand Experiences

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Deliver the Best Brand Experiences

One hundred and fifty. That’s the number of friendships you (or I) are capable of maintaining, also known as “Dunbar’s number.” This was discovered by Robin Dunbar, an Oxford professor of experimental psychology. He claims any number over 150 is more than the typical human brain can handle. But, what does it mean if the average Facebook user has 338 “friends?” Does his research still stand? It does, thanks to further analysis that shows online interaction does not strengthen the bonds of the weaker links. Even with our growing adoption of social media, Dunbar’s number stands true. And, that’s because these lesser relationships lack one vital ingredient – the “synchronicity of shared experience.”

According to Dunbar, we need “face-to-face time” to establish “deeper connections.” And, he says, “the time we invest in superficial relationships comes at the expense of more profound ones,” which poses another question. Are we wasting our time on social media? The answer is a resounding no.

A study out of the University of California, San Diego finds being on social networks may help us live longer. This is possible by boosting our social circles, which has proven time and again to extend one’s life. Yet, harmony must lie with other areas. The study’s experts say,  “Interacting online seems to be healthy when the online activity is moderate and complements interactions offline.” The same could be said for the best brand experiences. A healthy balance of online interaction and face-to-face time is necessary for success. That means digital marketing and experiential marketing must co-exist.

Why Brands Need Balanced Marketing

The numbers are in. Digital marketing alone is incapable of doing the job brands need. For example, over 40% of those engaging in social media have yet to determine its impact. Yet, we do know 65% of us pay no attention to online ads and will “skip” them without blinking. Instead, we’re on the hunt for an experience. And, this is particularly true for millennials, of whom around 75% prefer to buy an experience over material goods. This is pushing many brands to strike a balance. They’re offering an experience to encourage the sale of their products. And, they can prove the effectiveness, with almost 45% of brands realizing a 3:1 ROI. Read More

EPS Featured Event: Mayfield Ice Cream Mobile Tour

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This week’s EPS Featured Event is the Mayfield Ice Cream Mobile Tour! The tour, with the cutest ice cream truck EVER in tow, is making stops across the southeastern United States.  EPS is providing local brand ambassadors to promote the beloved southern staple (and its recent “brand restage initiative”) at retail locations, community events, and sporting events.

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At each event, our promotional staff interacts with and engages consumers, distributes Mayfield ice cream samples and coupons, and relays key brand messaging.  The promotional teams are having a great time promoting Mayfield and consumers are loving free ice cream samples on a hot summer day! Read More

Event ROI Metrics, How to Build a Viral Event, & the Science Behind Capturing Audience Attention [The EPS Water Cooler]

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Event ROI Metrics

Marketing events are a powerful way to connect with consumers and reach marketing goals. When onsite, it’s easy to witness the positive impact your events have on client and consumer relationships. Yet, establishing event ROI metrics and gathering actionable data is critical to prove event efficacy. To be successful, companies need a systematic and clear approach to setting and reaching event goals. This week’s EPS Water Cooler looks at establishing and proving event ROI. We also feature an article on designing an event to go viral, and why experiential is outpacing other marketing channels. Read More

7 Traits of the Best College Brand Ambassadors

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College Brand Ambassadors

By the way, intelligence to me isn’t just being book-smart or having a college degree; it’s trusting your gut instincts, being intuitive, thinking outside the box, and sometimes just realizing that things need to change and being smart enough to change it. – Tabatha Coffey

Before The Profit or Undercover Boss, Tabatha Coffey was the business expert and reality star you wanted to walk through your door. On TV, Coffey first traveled the country helping hair salon owners revive their failing endeavors in Tabatha’s Salon Takeover. Then, she expanded to help other small ventures in Tabatha Takes Over. It was her own experience as a salon owner that lent to their success. Yet, it was a combination of factors, almost a grassroots marketing campaign, that earned her celebrity status.

Coffey is an impressive hair stylist who had early emphasis on education. Hers began with a four-year apprenticeship in her Australian homeland. And, it continued with three years of training in London. After moving to the U.S. and opening her salon, she competed on the reality show, Shear Genius. And though eliminated, viewers loved the “blunt, direct” way she talked to peers. In turn, she earned the title of “fan favorite,” launching her solo TV career for the next five years.

After her show’s end, she sold her salon to get back to her passion of education, teaching others the trade. And, in 2016, a leading hair care brand, Matrix, recognized her hard work and named her its Global Business Ambassador. In this role, Coffey spreads the word on the company’s products and education programs to increase its worldwide brand awareness. Her choosing comes as no surprise, due to her training, hard work and other valuable traits. Some she mentioned in the quote above, knowing her success wouldn’t have been possible without intelligence in many facets. We could say the same about the best college brand ambassadors.

Why College Brand Ambassadors Matter

Back-to-school season is fast approaching. And, it’s not just for grade-schoolers. In fact, more money is spent on college students due to their higher ticketed items. Last year, the shopping period alone was expected to bring in $48.5 billion. And, luckily for brands, opportunities exist to reach college students year-round. The key is to be smart in reaching this target audience, which is now in transition.

Millennials are graduating and ushering in their younger cohorts, Gen Z, whose total spending power stands at $44 billion. But, considering their influence on household purchases, it may extend closer to $200 billion. With these individuals soon to enter the real world, there’s no better time than now to get in their good graces. The challenge becomes the best way to do this.

A report by Think with Google says “Gen Z is the most informed, evolved, and empathetic generation of its kind.” They look for brands of the same mindset. And, they place high value on “information, stimulation, and connection.” Personal interactions are how brands can deliver on all three. That makes college brand ambassadors an effective means to make Gen Z their consumers.

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Experiential Events: How to Be on the Next Level

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Experiential Marketing Events: How to Be On the Next Level

At the beginning of the year, we published the best of event marketing in 2016, as well as our 2017 must-watch experiential marketing events and trends. Now, already 6 months into the new year, one thing is certain. Experiential marketing gets more exciting by the day.

Nintendo kicked off this big year by immersing gamers of all ages in hands-on demos of its latest system, Nintendo Switch. Then, in March, TV network Bravo launched a street team of (nearly) naked models at SXSW. Come April, we saw HP transport Coachella attendees through space and beyond. And through it all, we continue to keep an eye on mattress brand Casper. Their marketers are helping people sleep everywhere. Literally.

Though several, these are only a few experiential marketing events raising the bar for brands far and wide. And, we know there will be many more terrific campaigns before we move on to 2018. But for now, it’s time for brands to stay focused. It’s the time to plan for how they, too, will take their experiential marketing events to the next level.

Why Experiential Marketing Remains the Strategy

Numbers have been selling marketers on the demand for brand experiences the past few years. These came from early adopters who paved the way by evolving with consumers’ need to connect. To stay in step, they expanded basic event marketing to new levels. Now, we are seeing full interactive experiences that allow brands to show their authenticity and build real relationships with consumers. This move has become vital, since almost 75% of millennials prefer an experience over goods. And, we see it working, with 65% buying from brands on the spot. In short, it should come as no surprise most marketers are realizing the value of event marketing and jumping on board. And others continue to up the ante.  Read More

This is Why You Need an Event Staffing Agency

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Why You Need an Event Staffing Agency
Everyone who runs a business has one main goal: to drive revenue. No matter what your objectives or industry, without revenue (and in most cases profits) it is impossible to stay in business. While brand awareness may be a key component of your experiential marketing events, driving revenue is likely at the heart of the activation.
 
Experiential events are effective. This is why companies are increasing their event marketing budgets each year. Immense resources go into event planning, strategy, execution, and attendee engagement. For those on your internal team who are tasked with overseeing the event in its entirety, it can be tricky if they are required to wear too many hats. Their work can slip, they can get burned out, and your event (and eventual profits) can suffer because of it. Yet, there is an easy way to increase sales, improve your event outcomes, and reduce your internal team’s workload: hire an event staffing agency.

An Event Staffing Agency Can Help You Increase Revenue

Outsourcing event staffing and logistics can positively impact your marketing event, and thus your business. An event staffing agency removes the burden of recruiting, screening, on-boarding, training, and day-of staff management. This allows your team to focus on developing your brand presence and executing your event on a high-level. An event staffing agency specializes in providing exceptional staff. These people are professional brand ambassadors. They have experience and understand the best ways to capture and maintain the attention of attendees and passers-by.
With an event staffing company, you are hiring trained advocates to promote and sell your work. Here are seven key areas in which a staffing partnership can make a dramatic difference in achieving your marketing goals.

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Avoiding Promotional Staffing Issues, Top Technology Solutions for Measuring Trade Show Traffic, & Optimizing Events for Gen Z [The EPS Water Cooler]

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How to Avoid Promotional Staffing Issues

In experiential marketing, you get one shot. Events exist in the here and now, and the initial interaction that you have with attendees can make or break how they perceive your brand. The data shows that marketing events are powerful. The research survey EventTrack 2015 found a staggering statistic related to the impact that events have on attendees. The report noted “a significant 98% of the respondents said that, assuming the product or service promoted was one they were interested in, participating at the event or experience made them more inclined to purchase.” When engagement is done correctly, brands enjoy significant dividends. If it is not, tremendous opportunity is wasted. Paying attention to every aspect of your event, from the people you hire to your post-event engagement plan, is critical. This week we highlight an article detailing how to avoid promotional staffing issues at events. We also talk trade show tech, fresh social tools for events, and more. Read More

Are Your Event Staff the Root of the Problem?

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Event staffDid you know that 80% of businesses will fail in their first 18 months? Other data show that 96% will succumb in 10 years. No matter the statistic, we know many entrepreneurs won’t have the outcome they worked so hard for or dreamed of. So, where do they go wrong?

A Forbes article lists five reasons. One being the lack of a “profitable business model with proven revenue streams.” While this is not readily overcome without a significant overhaul, businesses can address the other reasons with greater ease. For example, new businesses may be ignoring the need to connect with customers “through deep dialogue.” They may not have differentiated themselves in the market. Or, if they have, they failed to describe their uniqueness to their target audiences. In all of these cases, experiential marketing can help by connecting with consumers on a personal and meaningful level. 

The Link Between New Businesses and Experiential Marketing

With the formation of a new business, entrepreneurs make a plan and hire a team to set it in action. And though this doesn’t begin to cover all the detail that goes into the endeavor of starting a company, the same requirements are necessary for an experiential marketing campaign. It’s success is largely dependent on a solid event plan, measurable goals, and a team that can carry it out. And, much like a business plan, the outcome of an experiential marketing event can carry significant weight for the success, and even longevity, of a business. In fact, the Event Marketing Institute reports 65% of brands can show a direct tie between experiential marketing campaigns and sales. These experiences encourage 74% of attendees to buy the promoted products, and 70% will thereafter make regular purchases from the brand.

This is why companies, both veteran and new, embrace experiential marketing to reach their most important goals. These include product launches, market differentiation and brand awareness, relationship building, revenue generation, and more. To fulfill these objectives, they must have the best event staff on-site every single time. Otherwise, marketers risk the success of their event, and even the integrity of their business. So you must ask, are your event staff equipped to succeed? Or is your experiential campaign set up for failure? Read More