Choosing the right brand ambassador humanizes your brand, but you don’t be dragged down with any “career” mishaps your spokesmodel experiences.

Extended discount campaigns and spokesmodel relationships may be bad for brand building

Extended discount campaigns and spokesmodel relationships may be bad for brand building

As I write this article Jared Fogel, the brand ambassador for SUBWAY,  made headlines. The director of his non-profit, the Jared Foundation, located in Fogel’s home, was detained for having inappropriate pictures of children on his computer. The media was quick to drag the healthy sandwich maker into the negative spotlight.

Suddenly Wall Street pundits are writing articles about how a shift in eliminating their $5 foot long discount campaign was the beginning of declining sales for the brand, and the latest news may create further decline. When I worked for a big  ad agency their policy was to sign on a celebrity endorser for only one year. Good advice that I still use because sooner or later something happens to your spokesperson that may make your brand known for something negative by association. Jared has been their brand ambassador for 15 years. Point taken!

Make The Most of Your Spokesperson

With media viewing habits and the growth of social media constantly changing, consumers look to peer recommendations over paid advertising. A Recent Nielsen Global Survey of Trust in Advertising indicated that 84% of consumers trust peer recommendations from friends, using earned media over paid advertising. The study also showed that a lesser 62% of consumers trust in paid advertising, making the case for digital influencers as part of a promotional strategy.

The objective of promotional media is to attract, engage and convert. In any sales effort, building trust is a key component of the engagement process. Consumers are comparing your brand against other options. Having a trusted advisor, a friend or family member providing a solution to a shared problem builds a higher level of trust and leads to increased conversions.

When choosing a brand ambassador, from a celebrity endorser to a social media influencer, consider these four principles; Brand Differentiation, Brand Values, Attention Getting Ability and Quick Associations by non-verbal communication. The influencer’s personal branding should align with your brand’s attributes and be known by their sphere of influence to quickly establish trust and positive brand associations.

Measuring Ambassador Results

In traditional media advertising consumer panels are surveyed to uncover the following types of brand vs. endorser related information:

  • Increases in unaided brand awareness
  • Message assessment, or how consumers understand brand attributes aside for the endorser’s persona
  • Brand favorability over the competitive set
  • Purchase Intent

Amidst the social media world there are many ways to identify potential brand influencers and to measure their success. Hootsuite has a good article about measuring social influencer success using services such as:  Topsy, Peerindex, uberVU, Kred and Klear (formerly Twtrland).

Create Purchase Action With Sales Promotion

Sales Promotions increases purchase intent by motivating people to action. Sweepstakes create immediate awareness and gets your message read.  Today, social media tracking systems capture data about entrants to identify new customer segments and other usable data.

Contest capture immediate attention and  engage prospects with your brand to create a closer connection. The double whammy of a trusted ambassador announcing a sweepstakes or contest has a significant impact.

Many years ago the agency I worked for recommended a well known celebrity to a direct mail magazine subscription company that was competing with a mega brand, the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. The well-liked and trusted spokesperson, Ed McMahon (yes it was awhile ago), put our client in direct competition with the marketing giant and created immediate market share and enormous profits.

In our rapidly changing social attitudes world change endorsors to keep your brand current.

In our rapidly changing social attitudes world change endorsors to keep your brand current.

Through Direct Channels and Social Media the effect of discounts, promo codes, coupons and free trial offers can be analyzed and tested in real time.  Split testing sales promotion offers against the effect of a brand influencer, or brand ambassador, will indicate the value of your spokesmodel and the increase in purchase action from a promotional campaign.

Using a celebrity endorsor or brand influencer has many benefits when it comes to attracting and engaging your audience. Sales Promotional techniques brings home the bacon by creating increased conversions or SALES. Monitoring and testing the results of your promotional campaigns along with the effect of the brand influencer is important. In addition, monitoring the behavior, conduct, public image and other social factors of your endorser is critical. In our rapidly changing social attitudes world don’t get too comfortable with the same endorsor for an extended period of time. Change it up constantly to keep your brand current.




Kevin Danaher

Kevin’s career spans over 30 years where he worked for New York Sales Promotion and Advertising agencies such as Ventura Associates, and BBDO developing promotional campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands including VISA, General Electric, Kraft/General Foods, Fidelity Investments, and Chrysler. Read More