In-Scope: Four Strategies to Champion your Brand with Ambassadors

Rachel Bierley is a Communications Manager working in the OMD Create team. 

Fronting your campaign with a well-known face can be a sure-fire way to increase brand awareness.  However, if their personality doesn’t align to your brand’s core values, you’ve lost the increasingly short attention span of your consumer and they likely aren’t coming back.

On social, athletes and ambassadors tend to generate more engagement than content generated by brands, but how do you decipher your Kloss over your Kyrgios?

Here’s a quick guide to ensuring the ambassadors you choose are not only great advocates but living and breathing examples of your brand values.

1. SEEK AN AUTHENTIC FIT

Players and athletes are tools for brands to connect with the audience in a way that doesn’t shout like a sales pitch, engaging their audience to ensure they’re more receptive to the message. Get real authentic interaction on your product by focusing on deep interaction and education, versus sharing a bunch of branded merch.

Rolex’s long-term investment in Rodger Federer is an example of a partnership which is perfectly aligned, a gleaming shot of a Rolex on the wrist holding up a major trophy is a regular occurrence for the aspirational brand.

2. SCALE UP & DOWN

As well as achieving top level awareness through professional athletes, Nike and Lululemon have adopted community leaders across Australia to create a larger network of trusted individuals and micro-influencers to front the brand. Through this, their goal is to serve all athletes, narrowing the  gap between the elite and the everyday runner to keep them motivated and inspired to achieve their own goals.

As part of their #choosego campaign, Nike Pacific utilised local ambassadors to promote a competition to “run your way to LA.” Runners had to log on to their NRC app and share their Nike tagged image via Instagram. The competition was elevated further through exclusive running events hosted by Pedestrian TV and Broadsheet.

Nike knew their ambassadors would also want to participate in the competition themselves, which meant they shared multiple entries. This helped them to further engage with their target audience.

3. HAVE A CONVERSATION

Fans want to be closer to the action, to the athletes, to the stats and to the back story they want the insider’s view, and chances are your influencer knows their audience better than you do.

4. RELATE TO YOUR FOLLOWERS

When seeking an ambassador partnership, an important goal is to increase audience affiliation and connect with fans & followers while ensuring your ambassador is relevant to your target market. Connect meaningfully with your audience and they will be more likely to remain loyal, engaged and ultimately feel bonded to the promise of the brand in the long-term.

Championing integrity, The Australian Netball team ‘The Diamonds’ partnered with Samsung to showcase skilful and determined female athletes. The #RethinkRoleModels mini-series highlighted personal battles of injury, losing a family member, body issues and sacrifice.

Samsung broke through a saturated “role model” space by shining the light on “real women” with relatable issues, building a real connection with young women.

If you get this approach right, ambassadors will naturally want to work hard for your brand, whether it’s on or off season. By listening to your audience and engaging with ambassadors that are a natural fit, you can connect with your audience on a deeper level, ultimately securing a huge win for your brand.

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