Today, every small and large e-Commerce brand has brand ambassadors in one form or another. Why? Marketers know that fifty-eight percent of shoppers spend more when they can relate to the brand ambassadors and associate themselves with the brand advocates.
Every day, however, we find the same models advertising brands as well as the same body shapes, skin colors, and perfect condition of the skin. The world is much wider than this, though, and brands selling clothes only for slim white European women in their 20s may miss a huge market they never mention when addressing their audience.
Let’s take a look at seven principles of choosing the brand ambassadors differently:
1. Heroes Similar To the Target Audience
Bonobos introduces its “heroes” as people just like you and me, incredibly courageous in their actions and achieving the great success in their professional spheres.
Heroes are different, but they correlate with Bonobos’ customer profiles—from the masculine explorer who conquers the world to the not-so-young music performer — all of them are the “faces” of the brand.
Suddenly, the business becomes more than just another e-Commerce brand selling clothes for men; rather, it is more about a group of different and bright people wearing convenient and stylish clothes. They are not so well known; not those you hear about every day... but real people.
Now you can shop for what every hero is wearing in the photos. Bonobos is then not selling separate shirts and pants or even a look, but instead part of a “role” you can play.
How can you introduce the role models to your customers?
Bonobos talks about its ambassadors from the main page:
2. People Who Sacrifice in Life for Their Passion
Patagonia shows its ambassadors by simply presenting a list of photos and names. No luxury descriptions of people — instead, casual photos.
Ambassadors are much more than just people used for commercials or people who promote the products on their own. Patagonia’s ambassadors are people who participate in sports and share their victories on the company’s blog.
Real-world stories from people just like those who buy from Patagonia:
And at the end of the articles comes a bit of selling the products:
Supporting One Another
In his book "Let my people go surfing", Patagonia’s founder tells about ambassadors who actively do sports but do not always have enough money for supplies. That is why the company chooses to support these activists and give them clothes and sports tools.
At the same time, brand ambassadors try out new products and give feedback about them. Taking into consideration the company’s industry, extreme sports, sometimes just a few people in the world can test their products in extreme conditions. Such collaboration is also a chance to get the best of the best to help improve Patagonia’s tools and clothes.
If you look closer, you will see that not all of them are well known with a large following. Sometimes, they are just people who quit their job to do what they love or those who risk their lives climbing alone somewhere. However, their stories and experiences are real and trustworthy, and they sell products.
3. Celebrating the Diversity of Shape
Last year was about understanding the boundaries and rights of different groups of people and hearing shocking stories of sexism in the workspace, which made people consider gender issues much more than they had in the past.
Brands are now starting to publicly recognize the diversity of people: a full-figured woman is proudly announced to be a Nike ambassador, and other fashion brands are inviting curvier women to be their models on the runway.
While many brands work with curvaceous bloggers to attract more attention as a “body positive” brand, not all of them truly take the necessary care to design the best possible clothes for a range of shapes.
Sixty-seven percent of American women are considered to be plus-size, so covering this vast market is a great opportunity for brands.
4. Age is No Longer a Limit
Elon Musk’s mum, Maye Musk, has been a model for around fifty years, and one of her latest photo shoots was for the cosmetics brand CoverGirl. Also, this sixty-nine-year-old white-haired model worked with fashion brand Sachin & Babi to show their collection.
Calvin Klein invited a seventy-three-year-old model for a photo shoot about his underwear marketing campaign. Aging models who still look amazing are being worked with more and more often for new fashion collections, and they can appeal to a broader range of women.
5. Representatives of Different Religions
You do not see runners wearing a hijab every day, right?
Garmin accepted the diversity challenge and made Runlikeahijabi one of its ambassadors. More brands and magazines are inviting Muslim beauty bloggers to highlight their products. There are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, which comprises 24% of the world's population. In the USA alone, there are 2.15 million adult Muslims. This is a demographic that cannot be ignored.
Mariah Idrissi wore a hijab in a campaign for H&M and beauty vlogger Nura Afia was chosen to be a face of the cosmetics brand CoverGirl. Companies are now less and less afraid to be represented by people from different cultures.
According to the MSLGROUP study, social media posts shared by employees reach 561% further than the same posts shared by the company pages only and also consider that all these shares are absolutely free. People who have shared and put some effort into letting more people know about their company are more attached it.
Some companies, such as L’Oréal, even create Instagram accounts, especially for employees’ pictures. Company owners or founders also post their team’s images on Instagram, fueling employee loyalty. What demographics can your employees reach that your normal marketing can't?
7. Beautiful Skin Can be Different
Beauty is not about makeup. That is a motto of the industry influencers trying to connect with people having a skin condition.
Dove launched a campaign telling stories of people living with a skin condition. Right, it is not about usual brand advocates but rather about people who share stories on how to overcome real-world problems. People who create blogs like Psoriasis Thoughts are becoming the faces of the brand because of their personal stories instead of their celebrity status.
This approach supports the mission of the brand and enforces the general vision of the beauty Dove confesses: “We believe beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety. That’s why we are here to help women everywhere develop a positive relationship with the way they look, helping them raise their self-esteem and realise their full potential.”
To Wrap Up
Replacing famous brand ambassadors with real people is a trend that many brands are now starting to follow. Companies are noticing that the world is not composed of people looking like top models with no defects. It is much more diverse, and thinking more broadly can help create big profits for companies that follow this new trend.