Brand ambassadors and influencers

Brand ambassadors and influencers

How do we define what brand ambassadors are? Are people chosen to be brand ambassadors because they embody what the brand is supposed to stand for? Are brand ambassadors meant to humanize (or maybe even anthromorphize) brands so that what seems abstract can be made more relatable?

How do we define influencers? Are people considered as influencers merely on the basis of their number of social media followers and audience? And what are influencers supposed to do, influence their followers to buy a brand that sponsors them?

Since my business undergrad years, brands have always fascinated me (and by extension, how various stakeholders manage or are influenced by brands). Simply defined, a brand is a set of associations and perceptions. Brand managers and marketers are not technically literal managers of the brand itself (since no manager can fully manipulate how an audience would perceive the brand). Managers are more like “nudgers”, nudging an audience to associate brands to a certain need or desire that will make the audience want to buy the brand’s products.

In a way, how brands and influencers work parallel how our faith and the Apostles spread Christianity. But can we reduce God, Jesus, or Christianity into a brand, merely a set of perceptions and associations? The faithful could answer no, while the non-believers could conclude that brands and religion have something in common.

In my stint as a market researcher, I have come to realize that brands have power to leverage on the irrationalities of customers, like how Apple may have a cult following despite competitors having better specs and features at times. Brands have the power to turn customers into Pavlovian dogs – salivating over what appears to be the next big shiny thing.

But imagine if brands became a bit like organized faith and benevolent religion, influencing people to live lives of virtues instead of measuring life in terms of the amount we consume.

Instead of tapping into a market’s irrationality, what if brands tapped into a market’s humanity?

Luke 6:12-19. The Apostles


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