Have you ever been so smitten with a product or company that you just want to be part of the good juju that surrounds that company? You would help with promotion for free. You just want to tell your friends on Facebook, at dinner parties or over coffee how cool you think that company is? These actions create the makings for a brand advocate or brand ambassador.
A brand advocate is a marketing term for “highly satisfied customers and others who go out of their way to actively promote the products they love and care about”. According to a study by Bzz Agent, brand advocates or ambassadors are 50% more influential than an average customer. Often a positive experience with a brand or a successful customer-service relationship motivates a brand advocate to express their positive feelings towards a brand. Traditionally, a brand advocate would sing praises of a brand and this circulates through ‘word of mouth’ or on forums such as Twitter and Facebook by ‘tweeting’ about a brand experience or ‘liking’ the brand itself.
My husband just created a new adventure tour business called Big Island Off Road Adventures. He went out on a trial tour today on a 40 mile back road adventure along Mana Road, alongside the Mauna Kea volcano. He came back and was so jazzed about where he went, what he found and how excited he was to share the experience with others. I told him, “Tell your friends on Facebook”. He said, “Oh, that’s too self promotional. I can’t do that.” That’s when I told him he had to be his own brand ambassador. If you don’t love what you do, think you are offering an unbelievable service or product to the world, then why the heck would anyone else join you on your journey? You have to be your own cheerleader.
Don’t you feel more connected to a product/service/business when someone has a passion for it? Telling people about what you do or make is not “bragging” or “selling” if you do it with a feeling that you are helping someone solve a problem or create an amazing new opportunity for them. My husband, by offering people a chance to get away from it all on a 4WD adventure tour to remote and unique beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii is something to get excited about. I need to put a pom pom in his hand.
I created a Facebook post for him on my 365 Things to Do in Kona page, then posted it to his Big Island OffRoad Adventures tour page and THEN, I told him to post it on his personal Facebook page. With enthusiasm..and a story about how he felt.
People LOVE watching their friends do something they love. They want to cheer you on, be part of the story and tell THEIR friends, too. By being your own brand ambassador, you can start the energy flowing outward to bring others into your sphere of YIPPEE-dom about what you do. Forget the sales pitch. People can smell that a mile away. Being truly happy, excited and thrilled about your company, what you do and how you do it will get others enrolled in your success and they will want to spread the word, too. Reward them. Your reward will be even more happy customers telling their friends about you, but don’t ever forget, that you are the head cheerleader. YAY!
I was a brand ambassador for the Inman News Real Estate Connect conferences for a few years including this past summer in San Francisco. I would swing from the Golden Gate Bridge to tell my friends in the real estate industry to attend the bi-annual conferences. I’m a bit of a freak that way. The same way I’ll tell anyone who asks me what my favorite Kona coffee is, who cuts my hair, who does my face, etc. If I love a product/service/small business owner, I am going to share. (The photo of Byington Winery should give you a clue on which winery I love in the Bay Area!)
If you want some tips on being your own Ambassador or creating a program for your business, check out this post by my friend Mack Collier about 10 things to start your own brand ambassador program.