Brand Activation

What Happens When You’ve Hired Horrible Brand Ambassadors?

| June 5, 2018

Think about the importance of a brand ambassador. That person represents your company, your brand, and your products. That person is the public face for your customers to associate with all your company represents. Selecting the right ambassador is very important due to this personal connection with your company. If you make a mistake and hire the wrong brand ambassadors, the consequences are quite significant.

While many large international companies use celebrities for their brand ambassadors, most medium and small companies use promotional models for the same purpose. The reality is all companies, regardless of size, can suffer irreparable damage when they make the wrong choice. If you think you can hire a promotional model yourself to act as a brand ambassador, think again.

What can happen when you hire the wrong brand ambassadors?

  • Your company gets negative associations instead of positive. If you look back at the last couple of decades, you can find plenty of celebrity brand ambassadors gone bad. Their personal exploits brought negative attention to the brands they represented. An extreme example of this is Michael Vick and his association with Nike. When Vick was charged with animal cruelty and dog fighting, Nike dropped him like a hot potato. They did not want their name associated with his. While a big name example, that can happen with any brand ambassador you hire, celebrity or not.
  • Companies of all sizes need to worry. You might think a small business doesn’t have to worry. You can’t afford a celebrity. You can afford a promotional model though. What would happen if your new brand ambassador began using his or her personal social media to spread racist ranting? If it got out that your company has an association with that person, it could backlash against you. This shows why careful screening is so important.
  • Customers walk away. If your brand ambassador is an embarrassment or just plain not suited for the job, customers will associate that with your company. Your public reputation is on the line when it comes to your choice of brand ambassador. If you make the wrong choice, your image will suffer as a result. Customers will begin to pull away. People at events will start leaving. Interested prospects will become uninterested quickly.
  • Your company has long-term damage to its public image. If you plan to launch a new product or expand into a new market, your brand ambassador can play a major role in the process. If you make the wrong choice, you may face long-term damage to your public image. People do not like to associate with companies that are an embarrassment. Even if you get rid of the bad brand ambassador, you still have to clean up the mess and get your company’s name disassociated from the negative.
  • To recover, you have to double your marketing efforts and may even need to rebrand. If you get hit with long-term brand damage, you have to work doubly hard to get back on top. In some cases, your company will either rebrand or not survive. This all costs a great deal of time and money. For some companies, there is not enough of either.

While most mistakes in hiring brand ambassadors are minor and easily fixed, the truly horrible ones can do long-term damage. And it is expensive to bounce back from that image. Even if you are a small company, it is very important to find the right brand ambassadors for your brand. If not, you will see the damage happening before you can stop it.

Going through an agency like CMT is the best answer. They have professionals in their files that know their job, have excellent backgrounds, and are the positive force you want for your company and its image. Rely on the professionals to find the perfect brand ambassador for your company.

Call us toll free at 866-238-9349. We look forward to helping your company succeed.