How to Start a Brand Ambassador Program

In yesterday’s Advisor, we talked about the importance of having brand ambassadors and what they can do for your company. Today we’ll show you how to start a brand ambassador program in your organization by exploring different ways to implement it.

One of the most important decisions to make regarding a brand ambassador program is who to select as your brand ambassadors. One of the main considerations is personality—Are your potential brand ambassadors open and inviting? Are they the type of people to enjoy conversations with strangers? In general, look for extroverted qualities when hiring brand ambassadors.

There are a couple distinct groups to tap into when going through the hiring process depending on your product and target market.

College students are a popular choice, especially because ideas spread fast on a college campus. It’s easy to get someone in a young generation to try something new, and they in turn start trends that pass on to other age groups.

Besides college students, oftentimes companies hire brand ambassadors as part-timers, which tends to also attract a younger demographic of job applicants, including people right out of college.

Another popular structure for brand ambassador programs is using online influencers. Influencers already have an established niche and can give you specific details about their audience so you can determine if there’s a good fit.

Hootsuite® is a large online brand that effectively utilizes online influencers to spread their message. They use Influitive®, a software service that makes it easy to communicate with and assign tasks to online brand ambassadors. Consider this service, or something similar, if you’ll be recruiting a large number of brand ambassadors and want to be consistent with messaging.

Finally, allow regular people to be your brand ambassadors by creating an affiliate program. Those who apply to be affiliates and who successfully send sales your way make a commission off each sale—you decide exactly how much.

Whoever you choose to represent your brand, make sure that they’re excited about the product and can clearly articulate why. After you’ve picked your ideal brand ambassador candidates, there are a few more important things to keep in mind.

First, make sure to lay down a blueprint of expectations for ambassadors. Create a structure, but make sure to leave room for some creative freedom.

Throughout the course of the brand ambassadorship, make sure to clearly communicate and track initiatives. It’s a good idea to create some sort of incentive for reaching a desired goal. If it makes sense, you can even “pay” for the incentive by giving brand ambassadors your product for free.

Brand ambassador programs change as companies learn what works and what doesn’t. If you’re in the process of setting one up, be open to change as you test different structures.