Brand ambassadors, also called experiential marketers, in-field promotional representatives, marketing sales ambassadors, product demonstrators or promotional representatives are a vital component of marketing and sales strategy at many companies.
The brand ambassador’s job is to promote their product by engaging with consumers ‘in-field’ while they are shopping or enjoying entertainment.
Why become a brand ambassador?
As a brand ambassador, you’ll have the opportunity to represent top brands while enjoying flexible work hours.
You can work short-term contracts during school breaks, or if choose to work weekends only. If you’re a recent grad looking to work more hours, full time positions are also available.
With the multitude of different brand ambassador opportunities out there, you can find a role that is tailored to your individual preferences and interests. You can work alone or in teams, for hourly pay or base plus commission, in technology sales or food and beverage promotion – the possibilities are nearly endless.
Could I start a career?
In this entry-level marketing position you will learn about consumer attitudes at a grassroots level.
There are several large experiential marketing companies operating in Canada and many prefer to hire from within for salaried roles. Starting as a brand ambassador while you’re still in school could lead to a job in at the coordinator level before you graduate.
Coordinators train and schedule brand ambassadors. They visit brand ambassadors in-field and ensure that they are properly representing the brand. With experience at the coordinator level, you could eventually advance to a corporate role with the company, or use the experience elsewhere in the marketing world.
Who hires brand ambassadors?
Some companies hire their own in-house brand ambassadors, but most outsource to professional companies that specialize in experiential or ‘guerilla’ marketing.
Many of these companies hire brand ambassadors as ‘independent contractors’ rather than employees. As an independent contractor, you are not guaranteed many of the same entitlements or protections of an employee. Each experiential marketing company has different policies regarding their contractors’ rights.
Be sure to find out about their about health and safety policies, human rights practices, overtime pay and job-protected leaves of absence.
Types of Brand Ambassadors
The One-Day Blitz and Street Teams
A ‘street team’ is a group of brand ambassadors that go to major events such as concerts, fairs and festivals to promote their product, usually giving out samples and sharing product knowledge.
In some cases you may be engaging in guerrilla marketing tactics such as participating in a flash mob or playing games with consumers. Street team contracts can range from one-day ‘blitzes,’ to one week for a festival or even an entire summer.
Participating in a blitz is a great way to see if signing a longer contact might be right for you. In some cases, having a valid drivers license is beneficial as you may have the opportunity to travel across Canada, visiting festivals and promoting top branded products.
Many ‘product demonstrator’ roles are for clients in the food and beverage or health and beauty industries. Contracts are usually a few months long, and are often renewable. These usually do not pay commission, but you will likely have volume or sales targets and may receive a bonus if you exceed expectations.
In this role, you may be cooking hot dogs, giving out shampoo samples, serving alcohol or offering coupons and promotional materials.
Being certified to serve alcohol is necessary to act as a liquor brand ambassador, as is a food handling certificate for certain food preparation roles. Many companies will pay for qualified candidates to earn their liquor serving or food handling certificates, but you will need to complete them before you can begin working. Obtaining these certifications before applying for your brand ambassador role can help you get on the job more easily and may help you stand out in the application process.
In-Field Marketing Sales Ambassadors
Some brand ambassador roles place a bigger emphasis on sales as opposed to just promotion.
Experiential marketing companies pay their marketing sales ambassadors a commission on top of base earnings to encourage them to keep sales up. The base pay for these roles is often lower than for other roles, but if you’re a good salesperson you can seize some serious earning potential.
Marketing sales ambassadors often work in universities, shopping malls and retail stores. They most commonly work with technology products such as cellphones, tablets or video game consoles, health and beauty products such as cosmetics and skincare and financial products such as credit or loyalty cards.