Every small business owner would love to hear words like this. A key element to increasing brand awareness is through word of mouth (WOM). An excellent way to perpetuate word of mouth from a ground-up effort is through brand ambassadors or brand advocates.
What is that, you ask? A brand ambassador is a person is very knowledgeable about the brand, promotes it regularly and publicly in a positive way. Many large corporations hire brand ambassadors to promote their products or brand. This however is not what I am talking about. Small business owners are not going to hire brand ambassadors, nor should they.
You have brand ambassadors among your customers, clients and staff. Whether your company sells consumer products or services (B2C) or to other companies (B2B) you may already have natural brand ambassadors. You are looking for people who are already passionate about your product.
Where do I look? Potential brand ambassadors could be:
- The person who buys from you every week
- That person who can’t stop talking about how good your customer service is
- That person who has sent you three clients in the last month
- That person who was significantly impacted by your product or service
These are your brand ambassadors. They are already loyal to your brand. The challenge is finding ways to help them use their voice to convey their passion for your brand.
Here are some ideas of how to motivate them to talk about their passion for your brand. Obviously not every tactic will work for your company but hopefully this will get the creative juices flowing.
- Give them free product for themselves
- Give them free product to share with their friends
- Send them several branded t-shirts or other promotional items
- Create a customer input panel on a specific topic
- This will allow your most loyal customers to be part of the company
- Print them brand advocate business cards they can hand out to their friends – inlcude a special discount available only through your ambassadors
- Allow a select few to be guest bloggers on your corporate blog
Successful small business owners recognize win/win relationships. Creating a formal or informal brand ambassador program can help to significantly increase brand awareness. As always if you need help in creating a brand ambassador program contact your marketing coach for help.