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This project report projects the use of customers as the brand ambassadors by the company. The project argues that whether it’s feasible to make customers as its brand promoters or not. it will introduce you to the topic brand ambassador and then the pros and cons are cited.
Brand ambassador is a marketing term for a celebrity employed by a company to promote its products or services within the activity known as celebrity branding. The brand ambassador is meant to embody the corporate image in appearance, demeanor, values and ethics.
The Dictionary of Business & Management defines a brand as: “a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify goods or services of one seller or a group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitor”.
Nowadays customers are exposed to thousands of voices and images on tv, newspapers, magazins, hoardings, banners, radio etc. these are the brand ambassador of the product. Every brand attempts to grab the attention of customer in order to inform them about the product and service. The challenge of the marketer is to find a hook that will hold the subject’s attention.
But nowadays company like mc-Donald, Sony, Uniliver etc has taken an innovative move by employing the real customers as the brand ambassador. Companies invest large sums of money to align their brands and themselves with endorsers. Overall spending on citizen marketing is growing and is expected to top $1 billion in 2007, up from $980 million in 2006, according to PQ Media’s word-of-mouth marketing forecast. That number is expected to swell to almost $4 billion by 2011.
Consumers are selected based on their devotion to a product and the size of their social circles. They are expected to tap into friends, family, groups and resources through conversations, blogs, live events and online social media.
Their activities are measured by things such as online traffic, number of blog posts, reader comments and e-mail responses, and how many people participate in real-world events. These programs “hire” consumers, via incentives and rewards, to act as part PR agents, part sales reps and part evangelists.
Often, these reps create their own branding gimmicks.
In your view, in the Indian marketing context, is the concept of brand ambassadors likely to succeed? Justify your answer.
Ans (a): Yes it will surely prove to be successful in the Indian society. The following reasons are:-
It helps in increasing web traffic and conversations on social media sites by expressing their unfiltered thoughts, feelings about the product through tweets, status updates etc. Loyal customers are in a habit of talking about the product which they like most to their friends, relatives which indirectly promotes the brand and increases the sales. The power of customer story is such that it is able to influence a larger number of population as the people can relate themselves with the customer well. For ex – dove has used this theory n uses its loyal customers as its brand ambassador.
Customers can open doors faster than you can.:
It becomes very difficult alone for the company to promote its brand products to each and every individual in the market. By making loyal customers as its brand ambassador it is making this possible. Customers can more quickly promote anything whether it’s negative or positive and other people listening gets influence spontaneously. It proves to be a big opportunity for the company to make customers as brand customers. After using a product customer immediately put up their sales radar as well as bogs or tweets.thus it prove to be helpful.
It’s genuine, it’s real, and it isn’t marketing:
Nowadays there are number of advertisements on television that it becomes very tuff to break through the clutter. By having a group of customers who are your brand ambassadors, you can easily break through with an authentic voice because it will sound different ultimately it’s humanization of your brand at its best. The reality is that whatever customer said it will have a tone of genuineness in that.
Many celebrity endorsers get unnoticed today inspite of the glamour factor added in it.so a new and innovative strategy for innovation is strongly needed to promote the products.
Comment upon Sony’s strategy of using brand ambassadors to launch its cameras. What can be the possible dangers of using this approach?
Ans (b):- sony’s strategy of using customers as brand ambassador is new and innovative step for promotion.
Out of 2,000 applicants only 25 ambassadors were picked based on how much they planned on traveling and participating in sporting events. The winners were given a free camera and other equipment in October along with lessons on how to use them. Applicants who didn’t make the cut got a thank-you note and a 20 percent discount coupon for the camera.
They are encouraged to hand out discount coupons, show the camera to anyone who asks and blog weekly about their adventures on a dedicated Sony micro site.
To avoid charges of deception, ambassadors are advised by marketers to openly reveal that they’re representatives.
Sony decided that selecting brand ambassadors who like to travel, take pictures and blog would jump-start the launch of its news GPS camera. “This is a product with emerging technology and we really need to let consumers see people using it,” says Koba Kobayashi, director of digital imaging accessories at Sony.
The Risks of Relinquishing Brand Control
Fear of the rogue customer.
Making customers as their brand ambassador can be a difficult proposition because companies are terrified that customers may turn on them and post anything which can prove to be negative.
Although it’s very rare that the customer turn up against you, it can happen only if the firm is unable to provide satisfactorily product to customers. So it can prove to be negative only if there is lack of efforts from the company itself.
Concern over losing a brand ambassador because they move on.
It becomes a serious problem for the company if they stick on to one customer for brand promotion and he/she is unable to cater them because of time or any other issue. So it is preferable that the firm allow multiple customers to participate in a single channel so to avoid such issues. It becomes tough to mange a single transition.
Fear of not “controlling” the brand message.
A marketer can do is to influence brand messages and perception, but the reality is that its largely controlled by our audience. The customer word of mouth magnifies the society through social media or others. Because of social media customers have a voice and they can post their thoughts and feelings whether we empower them or not.
This concludes that the idea of employing real customers as brand ambassador proves to be beneficial and cost effective to some extent. Loyal Customers ambassadors need to be treated well as they are the one whose word of mouth proves to be good for the company.this strategy is helpful in grabbing the attention of thousands of customers as they find it real and can easily relate themselves with their words.
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