5 ways to choose a brand ambassador!
Brands constantly want to connect with the consumer in a fashion that they stay connected for life. When it comes to Brand ambassadors, Brands look for something that resonate the same feeling. A person or an icon who can connect with the audience, appeal to them, inspire them and engage them with their daily life, both in the personal space and the professional and there by connect with them for life.
In the Indian Brand ambassadorship history some brand ambassadors have been more intensely and emotionally connected with audiences than others. In that list of people who have had really successful connections are Shah Rukh Khan being the numero uno of the pack, the other actor who has been successful in a similar fashion has been our very own Madhavan aka Maddy.
The most interesting part about the two people I have mentioned is that both of them are romantic heroes, both of them connect with the young and the old, both of them have gone beyond borders, states, languages to connect with Indians at large. Not many present day heroes have connected with a wide range of audiences like the above two. I would still believe that brands who have been connected with these two individuals would have taken great mileage with these leading men on board, with of course the right creative usage and creative leap.
Then the question about what makes the best brand ambassador choice. What should a brand look for and how do you achieve success. Now beyond many text book methods, after analyzing many practical parameters I believe the top 5 reasons in the Indian context, to be the following
– Brand culture fit
– Brand Age fit
– Brand image fit
– Brand messaging fit
– Brand purpose fit
Beyond the few aspects like, brand fit based on modern, inspiring, engaging and being a top personality across the board a brand should look into the above 5 parameters to ensure that we don’t force fit the messaging and the brand ambassador on the brand but let the connection happen naturally.
Brand culture fit: On all cultural aspects keep the brand ambassador and his relevance to the cultural aspect of the target audience natural and not force fitted. Imagine the clash which happens when a Brad Pit wishes us happy pongal! It changes when the personality relates to the culture of the audience, some one who has the same sentiments culturally. They are also given the liberty to understand the sensitivities and the importance of the creative they are performing for the particular festival or promotion or market. The Market also responds in the same fashion.
Brand Age Fit: Do brands have a particular age? Are they as old as the number of years of their existence? Not really, but brands can live timelessly in the slot they are positioned. Some brands are positioned to be young and youthful for life for eg. Pepsi . And there are others who are positioned as intellectually mature while they are modern, young and smart like say the IPhone. So the brand in question and its association with the personality will blend well if we achieve the common points by keeping them of the same Intellectual age of the personality. So if the brand is modern yet young, strong and vibrant it will be good to associate a personality who resonates the same nature
Brand Image fit: This works best when the Brand image of both the personality and the brand in question is similar in nature. People need to feel good, have similar associations about both the brand and the personality. Sometimes there is a disconnect, when we see a reigning star promote a brand of shoes or brand of t-shirts!
The brand image associations need to also connect across the board for all the communication requirements of the brand. When a brand cuts across too many markets or many strata’s then sometimes some of the communication can avoid having the brand ambassador on a particular communication that does not match the personality’s image rather than force fitting the personality and the image.
Brand messaging Fit: The communication is about messaging and what it aims to deliver. But notice that when we use a brand ambassador we have delivered a message already without any words!
So, messaging has to match the personality’s real life, something that is believable when a person endorses. Something that matches his/her style and above all matches the brand’s style.
Brand Purpose Fit: Finally, the purpose of the brand ambassador in the life of the brand, does he need to launch it, create excitement or is he going to create new energies for the brand. Is his purpose linked to a greater appeal or is it just a quick promotional gimmick. Very often without the right purpose the brand ambassador is underused or even worse used like a model in the brands life rather than used for strategic purposes.
While I have discussed the top 5 criteria’s I believe helps you choose, there are many more but I believe these 5 will be the most critical and most demanding from the Brand Ambassador point of view.
One last word is to choose a personality who is a favorite among many. A favorite hero is most likely a person who can give you success since he/ she is more likeable, more fans, makes more impressions and has an opportunity to connect with many more.
- Anita Daniel Pradeep,
The author is an independent brand professional and all views are her personal views and does not reflect any organization point of view.