Adam Ferrier


Adam Ferrier

Tuesday, 28 August 2012 14:44

Are brand ambassadors only for big companies?

Are brand ambassadors something that only very large businesses can use? I’ve got quite a nifty web start-up and am keen on getting an endorsement to prove my credibility – what should I do?


A brand ambassador’s usefulness can be assessed by looking at the following four factors:

  • Influential: Do they have a positive influence over your (potential) consumers?
  • Connectedness: Will your consumers be able to connect with your ambassador, or the things they have to say?
  • Credible: How credible is the brand ambassador to talk about what it is they are saying about your brand.
  • Cost: The greater the cost to you the better they have to be at 1, 2, and 3.

The best way to get a brand ambassador is to create your own, and they become not only the ambassador for your brand, but for the category itself.


Think of Steve Jobs for Apple, or the ‘Will it Blend?’ guy for Will it Blend?


It's cheaper, and you're more in control of them. You could be your own brand ambassador.


Another type of ambassador could just be a really super satisfied customer. Again, doesn't cost you anything and it’s credible.


With ambassadors, think about how you can have them integrated into your brand story.


Paying for endorsement is something that only the super rich and established brands want to get into. It's a pretty direct relationship between what you pay and the value you get.


There are far more interesting ways to build a brand rather than piggy back off someone else's.

Adam Ferrier is a consumer psychologist and founding partner of Naked Communications Australia.  He began his career as a forensic psychologist. Adam then had a stint at Saatchi & Saatchi before starting Naked Communications in 2004. He was also State under-12 Chess Champion in WA. Follow him on Twitter.


Ask Adam or any other StartupSmart mentor a question here.

Comments (1)

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Brand ambassadors.

Tennis players for watches, Rappers for Champagne (the irony) and Aussie Test captains for everything.

Lazy, lazy work.

I'd suggest most consumers are pretty savvy to the motivations of brand ambassadors after decades of it ($$$$). It rarely feels genuine. Only at the level of Gaga or a Tiger Woods does the genuine stratospheric reach and magic of global fame warp our feelings in favor of the brand. Sadly, for most brands it's so much catalog and infomercial nonsense.

Certainly agree that being your own ambassador or elevating satisfied customers is the best route today if you try this.
Warren Davies , September 02, 2012
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