Are famous stars true ambassadors?

It was just announced that Roger Federer will be the new face of Moet & Chandon Champagne. Federer, arguably the most recognizable of modern tennis players, adds the company to his long list of brands including Mercedes, Rolex and Credit Suisse that he ambassadors for. This is not only good news for Federer, whose contract could float around $30 million over the next five years, but also for Moet & Chandon.  Increased sales, higher business profile, and a wider customer base are the benefits the company can expect to reap by attaching Federer’s endorsement to their product. This is the power of having someone say they believe in your product. This is the power of a brand ambassador.

So what makes a real brand ambassador?

Most of the time when we think of brand ambassadors, or more colloquially a brand’s “face”, we think of celebrities and sports stars. Occasionally, brand ambassadors are politicians or social activists. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who gained a world-wide following for being attacked by the Taliban after publicly speaking out for girl’s education, has been named the brand ambassador for girl’s education in Pakistan. She most certainly did not get a $30 million contract. She will, however, be equally, if not more, effective in promoting her “brand”. People can relate to her. People feel passionate about her story and her cause. People believe in her values. They will act because they want to see her cause succeed. This is also the power of a brand ambassador.

Real ambassadors spread the word

As in the case of Malala, often the most powerful brand ambassadors are not the celebrities and sports stars who cost millions of dollars. The most powerful brand ambassadors are those customers or people who ardently believe in your company or product because they have used it to fill a need in their lives. These people are loyal customers who not only buy your product but tell their friends, colleagues and anyone who will listen to buy your product. These brand ambassadors use old-fashioned word-of-mouth techniques to get your product into other people’s hands. These are your most valuable, and most cost-effective, brand ambassadors. 

Use the power of  social proof through online word of mouth!

As we move to a more web and social media based world, it’s becoming more and more important for your brand ambassadors to be able to promote your products via the Internet. Online word-of-mouth testimonials exponentially increase the reach of any brand ambassador and, therefore, exponentially increase the chances of increased sales and demand for your product. 

As you consider ways to encourage your loyal customers to promote themselves to brand ambassadors, also consider online tools you can use to help them reach the greatest number of future customers.