Celebrity brand ambassadors have been as old as branding itself. Business owners figured very quickly that the more people that talk about them, the better it is for business. Then it went one step further, the more famous the people are, the better it is. So celebrity brand ambassadors became a trend of sorts.
The tricky situation is these can go very right or very very wrong at times. We’ve all been there when we’ve seen several ads and wondered why her or why him?
But is there a world beyond brand ambassadors? I think there is, I want to call them the celebrity brand believers. It’s one thing to have a brand ambassador who supports the brand helps grow the brand out of a sense of contractual obligation and a completely different one to have a brand believer, who commits to the growth of the brand because of the authenticity the brand brings to table!
What are the factors to be considered when choosing your brand believer?
Is the person as excited about this as much as you? Will this person be someone who suddenly texts you an idea “Hey, why don’t we do this? I think its really cool !”… When there’s an idea that draws out passion in you, you can’t help but think of these new things.
Does the person believe in the offering the way you do? A classic example is, if an individual believes that yoga can change their life, speaking about it comes as second nature! The scripts are less scripted and more real, because they’ve gone through each and every word they say! Not just that, people who idolise the brand believers tend to listen more carefully when they know what is being said is the truth!
Fit and fitter!
Well, the fit fits better with fitness brands, but the fitter is to choose who fits better? If credence is taken care of, then the fit fits! The classic dilemma, does it work better to choose someone who has more mainstream followership or to choose someone who is a better fit to the brand image. This is where some decisions can go very right and very wrong. More followers in the mainstream mean more visibility and more belief means better brand image and more returning users. It really depends on what your goals for the brand are at that time. Coherence is always the winner.
Some risky fits (for the lack of a better word) have yielded great results in terms of virality. But that may not be the case in terms of long term brand believers.
The consumer-celebrity relationship is highly dependent on how the consumer views himself/herself. These relationships allow the consumers to create a higher/better/more aspirational view of themselves which allows them to model their other traits as along the more desirable ones from the celebrity they adore.
Once you’ve chosen your brand believer, the process ahead is less arduous. It’s like having found one piece of the puzzle that fits perfectly. Some important ways to make use of this powerhouse i.e. the celebrity brand believer are to start getting them to regularly interact with the audience they most associate with. Having a two-way dialogue about the offering makes it way more beneficial for the brand to really get into the psyche of what the users want. Last but not the least, putting out as much information about the offering as possible with the help of the brand believer. Lets just say that FAQs become less frequently asked when answered by a brand believer!
(The author is founder, Sarva)