Design brand ambassador programs drive sales, build brand awareness, and help your home decor, design, or furniture business create a community.
- But how do you create a design brand ambassador program?
- What’s the difference between influencer cooperation and ambassador programs?
- And how do you develop a brand ambassador program for your design company?
This article is for brand owners who are considering building an ambassador program as part of their marketing mix.
What is a brand ambassador program?
A brand ambassador program is a great way to connect with customers and create advocates for your brand. When done correctly, a brand ambassador program can generate positive word-of-mouth marketing and increase sales.
Brand ambassadors act as cheerleaders for your business. They are passionate about your brand, promote it on their own channels, and build a community around your brand. Building a community around a brand is nothing new, but modern media platforms make it simpler than ever.
People who believe in a certain brand have always felt a need to build communities and interact with each other. Sometimes the communities are built by the brands themselves, but sometimes people self-organize around a specific topic or brand.
A brand ambassador program formalizes the process of recruiting and training brand ambassadors, keeping them up-to-date on brand news, launches, and promotions. It also provides the ambassadors with promotional materials and rewards their ambassadors for their marketing activities.
Ultimately, a brand ambassador program is a marketing initiative where the marketing team creates carefully designed targets they intend to reach with the initiative. An ambassador program is a long-term play consisting of both short campaigns with ambassadors promoting a specific product launch, and long-term brand-building activities.
Read also: how to become a successful brand ambassador.
Why build a brand ambassador program?
By creating a network of ambassadors, design and decor companies can reach a larger audience more easily and create an engaged community of people who promote the brand. Additionally, consumers can tap into this resource when looking for ideas or product recommendations. The benefits of a brand ambassador program:
- Increased social media reach
- Community of like-minded who also love your brand
- Extra source of content
- Save money on marketing
- Easy to find influencers who truly love your brand
In addition to increasing sales, design brands often increase their social media presence and reach. By working with an engaged group of ambassadors who promote the brand to their audiences, the brand is exponentially increasing its reach.
Community of like-minded who also love your brand
Building communities around brands is the number one long-term growth strategy a brand owner should focus on. When you have a loyal base of fans, your community is going to be built faster, allowing you to hit your growth targets.
Extra source of content
Brand ambassadors are often digital creators, which will also result in a stream of new content for the brand. Brands that use user-generated content often increase their trustworthiness and sales, and 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has user reviews.
Save money on marketing
Marketing costs money, and every brand needs to have a budget set for it. By working with ambassadors, your brand will save money that otherwise would be spent on advertising or influencer marketing.
Hang on, brand ambassadors are not the same as influencers?
No, the biggest difference between brand ambassadorship and influencer cooperation is that influencers get paid per campaign or per term, and they are contracted by the brand to do specific activities to promote the brand. Ambassadors, on the other hand, are often self-activated loyal fans and devotees of the brand, who promote the brand because they truly believe in the brand’s mission.
Easy to find influencers who truly love your brand
Of course, there might be some mixed deals between the ambassador and brand, where the brands create specific deals with certain ambassadors to achieve specific goals, but a brand ambassador program doesn’t by itself have the same structure as influencer partnerships and cooperations.
When you start building an ambassador program, you can find great influencers among your ambassadors and further develop your cooperation!
What’s the difference between brand ambassadors and influencers?
The most common differences are:
- the ambassadors are not compensated to be ambassadors, but might rather enjoy several perks such as discounts on the products and samples, or a percentage of the sales, but generally, the ambassadors are not paid explicit compensation.
- ambassadors can be micro-influencers with very little to no social following, whereas influencers often have a big social following.
- influencers are contracted by the brand and the contracts of the cooperation are often very detailed.
- for many, being an influencer is a job, while brand ambassadorship is merely a passion. However, many ambassadors can get a contract with the brand, which also builds the ambassador’s brand and business.
- the level of commitment is not necessarily higher when you work with influencers vs ambassadors, but in the case of influencers, it’s defined in the contract.
Consumers trust influencers more than they trust celebrities when it comes to promoting brands. While celebrity cooperations often are out of reach for brands, influencer cooperations are very popular.
But consumers trust the ambassadors even more because they know the ambassadors are often not compensated to promote a certain brand, and they truly are passionate about the brand and products.
Who should choose to invest in a brand ambassador program vs influencers?
Brand ambassador programs are a better fit for brands with an established customer base when they need authentic content. Brand ambassador programs are particularly beneficial for complex products/services, often at a higher price point.
Meanwhile, companies in their infancy, or companies that are entering new markets, can gain a lot from partnering with influencers. Brands can take advantage of an influencer’s audience for immediate exposure to their products or services.
If you are launching a brand overseas, you most likely want to activate your brand launch with some selected influencers, and when you grow and become more of a household name, the ambassadors start to come to you.
I see many new brands create brand ambassador programs only to find that it’s not working for them. The reason is that for the ambassadors to want to be associated with the brand, the brand itself needs to have a solid reputation.
The brand ambassadors are building their own personal brands and see the brand cooperation as a way to boost their own brands, which often doesn’t give the desired outcome if the brand is not well-known in the industry.
That’s why, you should not use an ambassador program as a method to launch your business, unless, of course, you already have other leverage points such as a celebrity founder. Then again, once you have a strong brand, the ambassadors will queue to be part of your brand journey!
How to build a Successful brand ambassador program
There are several things to keep in mind when developing a successful brand ambassador program, including the goals of the program, how to select ambassadors, and how to motivate them.
- Setting goals – what are the goals of your brand ambassador program?
- How do you select the ambassadors – can everyone apply?
- What does the onboarding process look like – what happens when a person becomes an ambassador?
- How do you motivate the ambassadors – what can you create so that the ambassadors feel motivated to be part of your program?
- How do you organize your program – will you use a certain platform for building a community? Are there some events you invite the ambassadors to?
Summary – How to build a successful Design brand ambassador program
In conclusion, creating a home decor brand ambassador program can be a great way to increase awareness and sales for your business. By following the tips in this article, you can create a program that is beneficial for both you and your ambassadors.
How We At Avenue Can Help You
If you want help growing your home decor brand ambassador program, have a look at our services and get in touch!