As the CEO of a North American experiential marketing agency, I have a tendency to chronically think about marketing as a whole -- its past, present, and future. With the explosive growth of internet-based marketing approaches, some executives and marketing managers have wondered about the role of brand ambassadors in this new advertising landscape. Do companies still need brand ambassadors for effective marketing? Or are brand ambassadors rendered obsolete by the Digital Age?
Celebrity endorsements are as old as the advertising industry itself. But in the past few years a new type of celebrity endorsement has emerged: we've moved from celebrity as spokesperson to celebrity as "global brand ambassador," someone who aims to raise the global profile and is an ongoing evangelist for the brand.
As CEO of a product testing company, I have encountered hundreds of entrepreneurs with unique ideas who are quite brilliant and determined and who have the guts to take a concept and turn it into a business. Most of them stumble with their pricing model. If you scare off a customer with your pricing from the outset, you will likely brand yourself as "that expensive company."
For me, the quintessential source of inspiration comes from where I start every morning, and that place is Starbucks. I am a Starbucks Brand Addict because they have created an environment and a brand that has me hooked. What Starbucks has done rather ingeniously, is create a Brand Ambassador out of me without me even knowing it. Here are some ways that Starbucks is doing it right and how you can learn from their holistic approach to the customer experience.