Friday, May 20, 2016

What is a brand ambassador?

Small companies with small advertising budgets frequently set up brand ambassador programs where they send their reps a free item in exchange for a commitment to writing about the brand on their social media accounts. The best kind of evangelism.

I applied last fall to become a Brand Ambassador for ENELL because I LOVE their products, but I did not expect to be accepted because I have a relatively small social media following (though it's doubled since then!). I was accepted as a Race Ambassador, meaning ENELL helps me with costs for 3 race registrations and sent me some of their new gear to wear and talk about; and in return I'm committed to writing a couple blog posts about ENELL and hashtagging them on my race pics and such for the year. I was already doing these things for several years anyway, because I love the product.

An acquaintance shared info about repping for two other brands: Moosejaw and Bondi Band, so I applied for those as well, again doubtful because there is no Moosejaw brick and mortar store in my state and because I was unacquainted with Bondi Band. I was willing to promote Moosejaw because they are an online athletic retailer similar to Dick's Sporting Goods, and their brand rep tagline cracked me up. As for Bondi Band, I dig their designs and it's hard to mess up headbands.

Both accepted me. I thought I was just getting a t-shirt from Moosejaw, but they sent a nice technical fabric shirt, a flag, a beer koozie, sunglasses, and a discount card for running apparel and shoes. In exchange, I wear the awesome shirt and take pics with it and the flag at finish lines.

Bondi Band will be sending a pair of compression socks for me to try out and offered a unique discount code for 10% off (WITHAQ) that I can share and use for myself as well and be entered into contests for various prizes. I committed to talking about the brand for 3 months minimum and received access to a private Facebook group with monthly ideas for spreading the word. I ordered a couple headbands as well and will be trying them out this weekend. So far, I definitely like the look and feel.

Dreaming Elegance found me on Instagram after I posted about these brands and twice solicited me to become a brand rep for them. I checked out their athletic wear and found it uninspiring, but I would have said something nice about it for a t-shirt or something. Instead I found out that Dreaming Elegance CHARGES people $60 to $300 to represent their brand. The benefits? Boring, basic-ass, and culturally appropriative gear (2 mystery items for the cheapest package) and a chance to earn commission. Hell no. I was not surprised to find similar complaints on their Facebook page.

Who wants to pay for the pleasure of doing someone else's work for them to promote their brand? YOUR MARKETING IS BAD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD.

A photo posted by EW In The BW (@ewellard) on

#ENELL #Moosejaw #BondiBand #DreamingElegance

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