Role of the Brand Ambassadors in Marketing

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ROLE OF THE BRAND AMBASSADOR IN MARKETING
Brand Ambassador‟ is one of the most commonly misunderstood and loosely used terms in the world of Branding. It is more commonly thought of as a celebrity endorser. Another common notion is the association of “brand ambassador‟ only to celebrities, while it can include employees of a company and, most importantly, the customers of a brand. If you remember MDH, its owner has been the brand ambassador for years.

It is true that there exist certain similarities between celebrity endorsement and brand ambassadorship:
• Both brand ambassadors and celebrity endorsers are responsible for creation of archetypal images in the minds of the consumers which relate to a primary function in their life. For e.g. Harley-Davidson creates an image of an “Outlaw” and aims at helping the consumers to “break the rules”.
• Both help the process of brand reinforcement in the minds of the consumers. However, the differences between the two are massive:
• Celebrity endorsements are episodic and thus short term relationships between the brand and the personality whereas ambassadors have a long lasting association with the brand. Indian master blaster Sachin Tendulkar’s association with MRF is reminiscent of the latter.
• Brand Ambassadors are chosen based on their fit with the brand. It is based on the premise that if the brand comes alive as a human being then it should be like the brand ambassador herself/himself. This may or may not be the case with celebrity endorsements.
• The quote - “A company spends on a celebrity endorsement but it invests in the brand ambassador” summarizes it all.
Marketing during Recession
Recession is a time when consumers are highly concerned about their “pockets”. Consumers go into a “savings” mode and think twice before spending even a penny of their hard earned money; their involvement in a purchase decision increases manifold and they intensely evaluate products before making the final purchase.

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