How do consumers make decisions on which services or products to purchase? According to Nielsen, 84 percent of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues and friends about products and services.
Meanwhile, research from Ogilvy, Google and TNS found consumers are 1.5 times more likely to choose brands that engage them on their passions and interests than simply advertising their product.
Combine the trust built from word-of-mouth recommendations with the passion and enthusiasm of your customers to create a winning brand ambassador program.
Here are four ways to get started and see your business soar.
Turn Employees into Ambassadors
You don’t need thousands of followers on social media, or even customers, to create hardcore brand ambassadors. Instead, tap into the community you already have with your loyal employees.
Take SoulCycle for example. The indoor cycling company focused on growing a community through social media and turned their instructors into rock star celebrities in the fitness business.
Instructors keep in touch with their students, give updates and post photos of their fitness results, and by doing so they created their own following and became the face and voice of SoulCycle.
Create a Narrative
Another way to connect with followers is to share your company’s product, services or culture through a narrative. How?
One way is to have your brand ambassadors film themselves using your product or create a mini testimonial about how it changed their lives.
For example, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s company, HitRecord, partnered with LG to create a commercial about their new smartphone.
He filmed himself softly humming a tune with his phone that was then cut in with clips of other people doing the same. The commercial plays into the celebrity fandom of Joseph Gordon-Levitt while giving a nod to the features of the LG V10 smartphone.
The marketing behind the smartphone is all about seizing the moment and using a single tap to create your story. The phone’s features are smoothly incorporated into the commercial, enticing LG V10 users to create their own story that in turn promotes the phone.
Deliver Unbelievable Value
Brand ambassadorship starts with the consistent value you deliver every day to your customers. Give them a reason to want to sing your company’s praises by going above and beyond.
Online retailer Zappos does this with their mythical customer service. For example, the Internet went wild when the retailer sent flowers to a woman whose feet were injured by medical treatments.
It also paid all the tolls on a Massachusetts Turnpike, has bought shoes from a rival store when they ran out and their team members don’t use scripts when talking to customers.
Empower your own employees to act on the best interest of your customer instead of strictly focusing on your bottom line.
Make Brand Ambassadors Team Members
Once your customers trust your brand and know you will do anything to make their experience better, they can’t help but recommend your company to everyone.
Empower your customers-turned-brand ambassadors to share your product by giving them free samples, inviting them to exclusive events, including them in VIP customer call brainstorming sessions and making them feel like part of the team.
Giving your customers ownership over their status as brand ambassadors fuels their passion to see your business succeed.
Over to You
How do you create brand ambassadors? What are some of your best practices? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!