Brand Ambassadors: Choosing and Maintaining a Relationship with the Right Person

Brand Ambassadors: Choosing and Maintaining a Relationship with the Right Person - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit: Underwear for Men

Brand ambassadors are a great way for any company to grow its online and offline business. A brand ambassador is defined as someone who is passionate about a brand or product and shares their love on their own accord.

As more business transactions are conducted online, the consumer journey gets further fragmented. Having a strong brand ambassador program has become an increasingly important part of your marketing campaigns for two reasons:

  1. Even in the digital age, people want to do business with people. A brand ambassador adds a human element to your marketing initiatives and offers someone your prospective and current customers can relate to when they see and hear your messaging.
  1. To effectively grow and maintain a social media presence it takes a lot of content and requires a great deal of engagement to ensure the people that matter actually see your messaging. A brand ambassador can help support content creation, broaden your reach and even add credibility to your brand.

The following outlines best practices for choosing and maintaining a relationship with the right brand ambassador.

How to Select a Brand Ambassador

A brand ambassador’s sole purpose is to present your company in a positive light. A brand ambassador should be someone that gets people excited about your company and gets them drinking your brand’s Kool-Aid.

When the right person is selected, a brand ambassador will increase overall brand awareness and sales. If your brand ambassador is going to be the face and the voice of the company, select someone that represents your customers. The ambassador has to be someone they can relate to.

If you want your brand ambassador to help grow your social media presence, select someone with a large network of active social media followers, but make sure those followers represent your customers too.

Since not all marketing budgets allow for top dollar endorsements deals, a brand ambassador isn’t just someone you hire to be your spokesperson. A brand ambassador program can include your customers and employees.

When targeting your customers to become brand ambassadors, it is important to define what you want them to do. Brand ambassadors can appear in ad campaigns, give testimonials, attend corporate events, write content, submit photos featuring your products, and so much more.Brand Ambassadors: Choosing and Maintaining a Relationship with the Right Person - Duct Tape Marketing

Once you determine the role, invite your customers to participate in the evolution of the brand. You can do this by sending email blasts, and by posting messages on your website and social media profiles.

At the start of the year, my company created a contest to search for our next brand ambassador. To find someone that truly represented our customers, we leveraged our Facebook fans. We quickly discovered our customers were thrilled to submit photos and videos that we could use in our marketing efforts. The program continues to evolve and now includes a dedicated page on our website that allows customers to submit photos and videos in return for discounts and complimentary product.

In addition to customers, another great place to find ambassadors is within your company. The person at the top, the person who answers the messaging apps, and the person who makes the sales calls, has the power to be an effective brand ambassador, once you arm them with the right tools.

By meeting regularly, you can ensure everyone says the same things about the company. Share corporate success stories and anecdotes so they can craft a message that is natural for them to share while they are going about their day. Encourage them to support all of your social media efforts by publishing a calendar of key dates and promotions.

What Should You Expect to Pay

When hiring someone an ambassador, in addition to compensation for duties, it is typical for a company to pay travel expenses (i.e., flight, hotel and rental car) to and from events. Some ambassadors require first class flights and per diem. Be sure to create a contract outlining everyone’s expectations.

While brand ambassadors can be paid for their work, not all require compensation. Some do it because they simply love your brand. If you are compensating for participation, evaluate the investment the same as any other form of media — what you put out should be proportional to what you put in. If you are not compensating for participation, make sure your brand ambassadors have access to free product and other perks you can throw their way.

Maintaining a Relationship

Maintaining a relationship with a brand ambassador requires relationship building. You should regularly check in with your ambassadors to ensure they are still “excited” about your company. Once a month is a good place to start to ensure you are not over or under-communicating

It is very important for your ambassadors to know what is expected of them. In the contract outlining your expectations, include a work and event schedule. If they are generating content for your website, make sure they know the deadlines and send reminders. If they are attending events, make sure they know what to wear, who to talk to, and what to say.

When someone knows they are helping move the needle, it motivates them. Be sure to send event follow-ups and clippings (photo and video recaps). Make sure they are the first ones to know about company news.

The key to growing any corporation lies in having a strong team that can execute with results. Whether you decide to hire an outside spokesperson, engage customers or leverage employees, it comes down to consistency and dependability. If the messaging is consistent and the promises made are things your customers can depend on, your brand ambassadors’ efforts will generate results.

John PolidanJohn Polidan is the Chief Executive Officer of Underwear For Men and regularly offers advise to startups and entrepreneurs on business leadership, marketing, prototypes, patents and lean manufacturing. To read John’s startup story, visit: For his LinkedIn profile, visit:

How to Build an Unbreakable Brand Culture

How to Build an Unbreakable Brand Culture - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit Pexels

Within every company, big or small, brand and culture must unite to create a solid foundation for a lasting, successful business model. Individually these concepts serve a different purpose, but when combined, they are a driving force that enables long-term and sustainable growth.

Creating a brand culture isn’t easy. It takes a great deal of hard work, time commitment, and patience in order to create an identity that will endure the test of time, especially in today’s ever-changing society. However, there are several steps which business owners can take to invent their brand’s culture:

Step 1: Define (your brand)

A brand is one of the most valuable assets a company has. A strong sense of branding will lead to a stronger sense of pride for current employees, as well as a stronger presence for both prospective staff and customers. Your brand is what you stand for and what you offer to consumers and, in order to be successful, it needs to be unique.

For example, any pizza place can brand itself as a shop that sells pizza, but a truly unique brand has something to offer that others don’t. Whether it’s a unique pizza delivery model, one-of-a-kind toppings or unbeatable prices–they can easily entice people to eat their pizza over other pizza, and they capitalize on it.

What makes your company special? What sets you apart from your competitors? Define this and own it.

 Step 2: Write (your mission, vision, and values)

Once you’ve defined your new brand, write down your company’s mission, vision, and values. These should align with the brand and become the words each employee lives by. Companies that develop these laser-focused, non-negotiable values tend to see higher customer and employee satisfaction, as well as increased revenue.

Take note: your company’s values must be committable in order to be effective. Zappos, an online shoe and clothing store, has excelled at this. The company has a list of 10 core values, one of which is simply to “be humble.” In this video, CEO Tony Hsieh discusses these values and how they were ingrained into the company to create its unique culture.

Step 3: Create (your identity)

Utilizing your new brand, mission, vision, and values, you can now create your company’s identity – or how your company will be presented to the public. This includes the visual statement (color schemes, designs, slogans, etc.) that exemplifies the business’ services, employees, and overall philosophy.

While creating it, remember that this identity will become the permanent lens through which your company views itself. It must clearly and accurately portray everything that has been created so far – your brand’s mission, vision, and values.

As an example of a clear and effective identity, take a look at Treadwell, a small flooring company that specializes in building practical, durable floors. Treadwell partnered with Perky Bros, a creative branding agency, to create its entire brand identity – including logo and website design – with only one request: That the identity is centered around “standing upright and walking the walk” to help their clients feel confident in their product. The result? A combination of dark, bold colors with solid geometric lines that embody the strong and confident look Treadwell hoped for.

Creating this identity isn’t always an easy task. If you’re struggling to translate your brand into your corporate identity, a brand activation agency might be something worth looking into.

Step 4: Educate (your employees)

An employee’s personality and character have a tremendous impact on company culture. Employees are often your brand’s biggest advocates, and building a vibrant culture allows employees to thrive and personify your brand in a positive way.

For that reason, each employee needs to be educated and fully understand the company’s mission, vision, and values beyond just memorization; they must understand why each one exists and what it means to the company, its employees and the public. To truly build the culture you desire, these values should be ingrained in each of your employees and apparent in their daily work.

Step 5: Hire (your best-fit prospects)

Beyond educating any current employees, hiring new employees who fit within your company’s culture and share your company values is vital to building an honest brand. Does your company value cross-department collaboration? Do you have a culture where encouragement and empowerment are the driving force for the company?

If an individual’s personality or work style contradicts it, you are effectively poking a hole in the bottom of the ship that is your brand’s culture. A ship cannot float unless all of its pieces work together, and your culture will sink if the wrong tools are utilized.

In addition, hiring top talent improves employee retention, reduces turnover, and increases productivity. According to a recent study completed by Columbia University, job satisfaction and employee turnover are directly affected by satisfaction with workplace culture.

Step 6: Tell (your story)

Now that you have found your brand, identity, and the right employees, it’s finally time to present your brand and its culture to the public. What’s the best way to do this? Storytelling.

A story has the ability to capture its audience by engaging them and evoking emotion. Without a story, it is impossible to hold the attention of the people watching – or, in this case, the customers who are considering purchasing your product or service.

Your job is to tell the story with all that you have built; tell a story that will captivate and convince your audience (consumers) that they cannot live without your products and services.


The brand culture you create should translate directly to the products or services you offer, and how your company interacts with clients. Each piece should line up strategically and creatively to have the maximum impact. When you establish a clear brand culture, and hire individuals who will complement it and carry it forward, your company is more likely to see the steady, long-term and sustainable growth small businesses can only hope for.

Alyssa ArmstrongAlyssa Armstrong is a digital marketing coordinator at Sparxoo, an integrated digital marketing agency based in Tampa, Florida. At the Xoo, Alyssa helps bring her clients’ brands to life with social media management and content creation. She works with clients of all sizes in industries ranging from education and technology to sports and entertainment.