Champions come in all shapes and sizes and can be really powerful resources for any sized business. It can be anyone from a celebrity ambassador to passionate early adopters who, particularly thanks to social media, can create buzz for your SME.
If you make the decision to engage the services of a formal ambassador for your business or brand, taking the time to ensure you are investing in the right ambassador is vital as these are the people that will represent your brand and in some cases become the voice and set the tone.
I recently ran a couple of great client events with a celebrity DJ as the special guest. She was a perfect draw card for our young audience and with the right venue and invite strategy; the events were an overwhelming success. The crowd came to see our DJ, but also had a great series of experiences at the event which ensured the client’s objective of “more than food and booze” were met.
As a business owner myself, I realise that you can’t always afford to spend money on these brand champions but that doesn’t mean that you need to settle either. If the fit isn’t right then the messages get confused and your audience can get a little lost. In a small to medium business it can be hard to find the fit or the money, but here are a couple of things to consider:
- Think about your social media and those on your sites that champion your brand. You will find that these are the supporters that will often engage with other consumers and give positive feedback, or in some instances answer to the critics for you. Engage in dialogue with them, ask them what they think of your offering and get their opinions and advice.
- Think about loan programs/freebies/specials and offers for supporters. Make them the champions of your brand. Word of mouth is really powerful.
- Find some early adopters who might like to test or try your product/service and then invite them to comment either privately or publicly.
- Very importantly, think about your staff, what are they saying externally about you and your company. There are all sorts of ways to get your staff motivated to champion your brand or business and in my experience these are definitely worthwhile activities.
Finding the time and the resources to get involved in some sort of ambassador program is often hard and this is especially so for small to medium businesses. Having said that though, making the time to do a few simple things to help encourage positive word of mouth and ‘chat’ about your business or brand can not only be invaluable, it can be vital.