Why brand ambassadors are essential to the channel

Posted by Dan Kelly

Channels today are increasingly decentralising at a rapid pace. This is making it harder than ever to maintain consistent performance across channel workforces, and the majority of companies are seeking alternative ways to manage performance.

Introducing brand ambassadors

One key way to do this is by creating brand ambassadors within the channel. A brand ambassador is someone who is brought into the company’s mission and vision more closely than other channel partners, with the aim being that they will then spread company values to their coworkers. Brand ambassadors help to ensure consistent performance, elevate brands, encourage partners to sell more, and to maintain partner loyalty, making them a crucial part of any channel ecosystem.

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Managing your brand

It is becoming clear that in today’s channels, brand management is no longer the sole responsibility of any one team. A decentralised workforce means that managers are not the only level accountable for brand management. This means that there is more potential for brand ownership and value for employees.

In light of this, brand ambassadors can be an essential layer in channel hierarchy in order to ensure brand ownership that employees take is in line with key messages. Ambassadors can act on part of leadership, delivering brand messages in order to retain the consistency of brands in the channel.  By maintaining a constant presence in the channel, ambassadors also allow a specific brand to remain at the forefront of reseller’s minds.

The presence an ambassador has doesn’t just stop in the channel either. They can have a presence outside of the channel too, such as through sharing updates on social media. Ensuring they maintain a consistent presence, ambassadors are able to keep brand values in the minds of channel partners and resellers. This allows brands to manage their perception, even within a decentralised channel.

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Empowering your sales force

It’s true for any business that building a culture of rewards can improve workplace culture and results. This is no exception for the channel, and rewarding your sales force, whether this be your own team or a channel partner’s, ultimately encourages better sales.

Brand ambassadors are once again key in this – more loyal and encouraged than other workers, they can spread their motivation and positivity to those around them. For instance, ambassadors can push incentive programmes to members of the channel, which work to maximise sales partner engagement. By promoting incentives to others, ambassadors can allow the workforce to feel more encouraged.

The same is true for eLearning programmes. Incentivised learning allows people to feel more confident in their abilities, increasing their motivation. Not only this, but incentivised learning in turn leads the way for the creation of more brand ambassadors, perpetuating brand loyalty.

Encouraging ambassadors 

Pushing incentives to resellers is important, but it’s equally crucial to incentivise brand ambassadors themselves, to ensure they genuinely believe in the brand. Incentivising ambassadors in turn increases their likelihood of incentivising others.

Ambassadors gain prestige from their work, but also need to be part of incentive platforms with personalised rewards. Rewarding your most highly engaged and highest performing partners with an incentive trip, for instance, increases motivation and brand loyalty. These trips work to reinforce the relationship between ambassadors and vendors. Adding an education element to the trip as well can also lead to ambassadors coming back to work and continuing to spread positivity about the brand with a new sense of enthusiasm.

Further to education on trips, ambassadors can also be provided with training and incentivised learning of their own, to ensure that they are immersed fully in the business and understand every aspect of it. In this vein, then, it’s important for companies to meet their ambassadors face-to-face in order to build relationships and communication.

Ambassadors should also be invited to events in order to make them feel appreciated and included in the company. These can range from partner summits and meetings, to floor days specifically designed for ambassadors.

It’s clear that brand ambassadors are necessary members of a decentralising channel, in order to maintain brand consistency among resellers. By keeping them incentivised, companies can in turn incentivise employees as a whole, ensuring their brand values are consistent across the whole channel.

To discuss how to introduce brand ambassadors and to encourage them to benefit your organisation, contact us today. Or check out how we have successfully implemented reward solutions in these businesses.

As a founding partner of CR Worldwide in 2002, Dan helped develop the company from a start-up business into the multi-million global brand it is today.