What is a Brand
We Aussies love competition, and we love our sport. And whenever competition and sport are involved together, business opportunities are not far behind. So let’s have a look at the BBQ scene. Is it a sport? Check. Is there an organised competition framework? Check x 4. So are there opportunities for business? Absolutely. As with any other competitive sports, there are multiple opportunities for businesses and competitors to help each other out. These generally take the form of Sponsorship and Brand Ambassadorship. We’ve talked a lot about Sponsorship already, but What is a Brand Ambassador? Read on to find out.
Sponsorship vs Brand Ambassadorship
There are several key differences between being Sponsored and being a Brand Ambassador. The first is that Brand Ambassadorship is exclusive. This means that you will represent that company at the expense of all others. So, if you are a Brand Ambassador for smoker builder A, you cannot be seen to use, promote or endorse any smokers from smoker builders B, C or D. You are contractually obliged to use, talk about and promote that brand at all opportunities.
At this point, I want to make on this clear: A Brand Ambassador is PAID. That’s right, money. Moolah. Dosh. Da Benjamins. I’ll say it again: a Brand Ambassador is PAID. Sponsorship may involve product for promotions, but does not imply exclusivity. If a company wants exclusivity, you should be getting paid. A bastardised version of both Sponsorship and Brand Ambassadorship is taking freebies for comments. Sponsorship = product and possibly cash for promotion for a set period of time. A Brand Ambassador is an exclusivity deal whereby you promote that brand exclusively, are paid for doing so, and the deal is for a set period of time.
There are a few pieces of important advice for you. Firstly, you can be a Brand Ambassador for more than one company, provided they are not competitors. That is, you could be a Brand Ambassador for Pro Q and Suckle Busters as one makes smokers and the other makes rubs. Also, it is serious celebrity status if you’re a Brand Ambassador for more than one brand. However, be wary of being a Brand Ambassador for more than three brands – you don’t want to come across as a walking billboard. It will cheapen your public image and lower the value of your promotional power.
Finally, if you are at a point where you’re attracting offers from companies, make sure you’re aware of laws in your country regarding sponsored (or ambassadored!) content. In particular, the ACCC laws in Australia require that you declare when a post (social media or blog) is about a sponsor’s product. This is true, even if a product is given to you. You can be fined if you breach those laws.
So, to surmise, the stand out feature of Brand Ambassadorship is that a Brand Ambassador is paid. In money. Our egos can get in the way when we are approached by businesses and we may be tempted to take whatever deals are thrown our way. This will only hurt the industry on the whole as it forces down the value of your promotional power. Remember: no one will buy the cow if you’re giving the milk away for free.
This information was shared with me in just one part of my incredible interview with Jess Pryles, founder of Hardcore Carnivore and co-founder of the Australasian Barbecue Alliance. You can catch the whole interview on: