As a current Sony Specialist at a Best Buy store, I’ve learned a lot from my experiences and interactions with consumers. I was hired to demonstrate and build value in Sony’s new digital imaging products (cameras). Before I began working there, I thought I was going to get approached by several consumers wanting to “play” with Sony’s cool new products. Boy, was I wrong!
We all know Sony is a juggernaut and a household name when it comes to electronics. However, none of that seemed to matter in a retail setting. I’ve lost count of consumers who’ve walked past Sony’s beautiful end caps and didn’t take a moment to look at their innovative products. This got me thinking: If consumers aren’t taking the time to check out Sony’s products on their end caps, why would they take the time to check out my products on an endcap? I learned the value of a brand ambassador and here are five reasons why you, the entrepreneur, should hire a brand ambassador(s):
- Increase sales: Granted, this is the ultimate goal but not the only goal. A brand ambassador can help you, the entrepreneur, differentiate your product from all of the other products on store shelves.
- Build brand equity: If you’re a start-up, no one has heard of your company, let alone know anything about it. As a result, I strongly encourage start-ups to hire a brand ambassador. As a result, the brand ambassador can provide consumers a brief description of your company and what it stands for. Consumers purchase products from companies who stand for a good cause and if you don’t have someone in the store to tell consumers what your company stands for, your company’s mission is irrelevant.
- Demonstrate value in your product(s): When your product is available for purchase in a retail store, most consumers will walk past your product and not even notice it. However, the brand ambassador can approach them and explain, demonstrate your product to them. Although not all consumers will purchase your product the same day, they will at least be aware of your product and chances are, purchase it in the near future.
- Marketing: A brand ambassador can spread the word about your product with potential customers and fellow store associates. Although this a great way to build product/brand recognition, you shouldn’t limit your marketing to this strategy. This could be one aspect of a marketing strategy, not the main nor entire marketing strategy,
- Support: Brand ambassadors can answer questions and address concerns your customers might have, whether they have purchased your product or not. In most cases, a brand ambassador can help your customers with your products by solving any issues they have and essentially, prevent a return.
Without an investment or some type of funding, hiring brand ambassadors can be difficult; these types of programs don’t come cheap. As a result, if you’re a start-up and in the early stages of your product launch, I advise NOT to sell your product through brick-and-mortar retail stores, let alone hire brand ambassadors. However, if you experience some success with online sales/e-commerce and would like to scale/expand your business by selling your products through major retailers, I HIGHLY recommend hiring a few brand ambassadors and find out how effective they are for your product. Also, if you decide to hire brand ambassadors, make sure they’re energetic and have excellent people skills, as these two qualities will play a huge role in your product’s success.