Dr. Henry O’Lawrence
January 20, 2013
“The power of a testimonial will outperform anything a marketer can develop,” (Kelly, 2011). Businesses all around the world are realizing, or are soon to realize, that this statement is the reality of the majority of product-based consumer markets. No longer is occupation of “marketer” or “consumer relations” or “human resources” separate from each other. The fairly new, and steadily rising name of the Brand Ambassador is now the epitome of many product lines.
GC Marketing Services states, “a capable Brand Ambassador should be the walking and talking embodiment of the product that they are representing,” (Cicchetti, 2011). What does a Brand Ambassador do exactly? Many of us might depict one as a celebrity endorsing a product. You might recall famous athletes as sponsors of name brand shoes, clothes, cars, etc. You might think they are similar to salespeople even. Maybe they are marketers for large corporations. Are these what they are? Well, yes and no.
“Ambassadors wear many hats in addition to sales. They handle customer education, marketing and support. They engage customers on social media platforms. They are the face of the brand,” (Turchetti, 2012). They deliver the message of a certain company, its mission and vision, and their own endorsements as well. In this essence, they are more valuable than the brand itself, as they are walking testimonials. They are people “that deliver the ideal experience for our customers,” (Hollweg, 2013).
Social media sites are recognizing that the power of referrals and genuine feedback is the foundation of new age marketing and business. More so, it is authentic. It is “humanization of your brand at its best,” (Kelly, 2011). For many, an ambassador’s account on a certain product or image will sound much more different than a traditional marketing slogan, line, etc. This is what gives them the edge over the competition, and why many companies are turning towards this practice.
I am a Brand Ambassador of USANA Health Sciences, a tremendous health and wellness company. This company was founded in 1992 and since then has expanded into eighteen (18) different international markets—“Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, France, Belgium, and the United States. Additionally, USANA’s wholly-owned subsidiary, BabyCare, Ltd., operates a direct-selling business in China,” (USANA, 2013). Why is this important? This is an explicit example of how globalization is affecting the business and its brand ambassadors. With so many different countries and cultures to take into account while operating their business, USANA must strategize how their brand ambassadors tackle the different markets.
What exactly does one do for USANA? A Brand Ambassador of this health and wellness company represents the products it creates. Since their products promote healthy living and wellness, we as characters of this company incorporate them into our lives, being a poster of what the products do for us. For me personally, I apply the nutritional supplement lines and personal care lines. By using their products, I am able to believe in them so that when I do refer them to my peers and whatnot, I am genuine in my personal reflection. This allows truth in my testimonial and allows me to build a level of trust between my customers and I. Through my efforts, USANA establishes a personal relationship between themselves and the consumers.
“The value of turning a consumer into a “brand ambassador” has grown significantly since the explosion of social media,” says RSS feed Digitally Approved (2009). This proves to be true for many large companies around the world. Jet Blue has “1.3 million Twitter followers” that participate in the airline’s conversations and are “exposed to the personal side” of its...