Sacha Michaud is Jdigital president and founder, the Spanish Association of Digital Play (Asociación Española de Juego Digital), a non-profit organization whose main objective is to protect Spain online gambling industry interests, for both users and suppliers. He has over 15 years of experience in the online world: has founded several digital companies, leads Betfair business in Spain and Portugal and speaks at several events.
The first barrier an outside company faces in entering a new market of the kind described is that, invariably, nobody has heard of its brand and it is hard to transmit its quality and selling points to the consumer. Therefore the first step should be to gain the trust of potential customers.
Faced with something unfamiliar, our first reaction is to be doubtful. However, when something new is recommended by or is associated with someone we know and trust, this changes. Trust is the foundation of any relationship, and it takes time and dedication to build. Hence the importance of tips and advice provided by people we consider reliable in building a positive profile for a brand.
As such, critical to a brand’s entry into a market is having a good Brand Ambassador. He/she can provide the sort of input you need to be seen as credible among consumers. Among all the tools available in marketing and communications strategies nowadays, one that stands out as effective in promoting profitable long-term business is the use of brand ambassadors right from the outset of entering a market.
In selecting a brand ambassador we should think beyond whether the individual is famous or widely recognised and consider if he or she embodies and transmits the values we want associated with our brand. Consumers conjure up a notion of the brand in question based on the nature of the ambassador that has been chosen. This determines consumers’ perception of the product.
Today the Brand Ambassador is not only just an image - online media and social networks have opened a myriad of options for generating content and to interact with consumers. The Brand Ambassador has evolved from a static figure appearing in ads to an active partner for the brand to engage with customers. Brands can talk to consumers through them on Twitter or other social networks.
When creating this content one should always respect the essence and values of the ambassador to keep the message credible. The brand ambassador and brand must be effectively aligned or else the circle of trust is broken – i.e. ambassadors must represent the brand’s values and vice versa; content and messages must be consistent with the way he/she is as a person, or otherwise you run the risk of the brand and the ambassador alike losing the trust of consumers.
This power of influence shows how the world of communication and interaction with consumers is evolving The endless options provided by today 's social networks, especially useful considering how their content is increasingly tailored to the individual, are an effective tool to optimize the influence of brand ambassadors.