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Shout it. Whisper it.
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Every ounce of what your product or service can be, that's what your advertising must be.

From Customer to Brand Ambassador

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June 12, 2015

From Westchester Community College Grow Conference Presentation, May 1st, 2015. What does it take to not only get new customers, but convert them to loyal brand ambassadors who do the selling for you? The first step is understanding how your brand is perceived in the context of the competitive alternatives. With this in mind, make sure your brand position is meaningful to your target audience and identify the best method to reach them, and how to hit their hot buttons. Only at this point will they comment, share, like, pin, retweet, snapchat, review! Join this workshop and you’ll leave with a clear outline of the steps to create a brand strategy and messaging plan.

How would you like to have an army of people out there who zealously promote your products and company to anyone who'll listen?

That's what you'll get if you set up a brand ambassador program or earn brand advocates. These outspoken proponents of your business become an external salesforce that can do more for your business Word of Mouth and credibility than a paid salesforce can.

It can work for any sized business, in any industry, as long as you have an authentic brand position, brand value, brand loyalty and a brand community. Achieving this takes time and can't be accomplished overnight.

Also what most people don’t realize though is that there is a difference between a Brand Ambassador and a Brand Advocate. Here’s a quick rundown:

In marketing circles the distinction is:

Brand Ambassador

• A brand ambassador is identified as an influencer and recruited into a formal relationship with the brand that includes some kind of compensation (pay, barter, rewards, free products or services).

• The brand is in regular contact to help brand ambassadors better promote the brand and educate their friends and people they come in contact with.

• The brand will give brand ambassadors specific tools and deals to promote online or on the ground.

• There is software that will track and measure the brand ambassador’s effectiveness.

• Brand ambassadors are organized into communities.

• A brand ambassador should give the brand feedback from their circle of influence.

• A brand ambassador program is planned and budgeted for within the marketing budget.

Brand Advocate

• Brand Advocates are the people that love your brand or product so much they are willing to pro-actively recommend it to others.

• Trust is critical to the value of a Brand Advocate’s recommendation and so you can’t “hire” true brand advocates, you “earn” them.

• Engaging your loyal customers turns them into a “volunteer sales force”.

• Brand Advocates self-identify and cannot be controlled.

• Brand Advocates have their own reasons (passion, status, recognition...) for promoting your brand.

• Brand Advocate’s are not paid but they can be rewarded for their loyalty with inside access, coupons, points, and perks.

• Brand Advocate’s are tech-savvy and on social media.

For more on this topic download the slides and worksheets from the presentation