Why brands are banking on loyal customers as ambassadors rather than celebrities

Brands are now shifting towards a new trend wherein consumers act as ambassadors for brands they believe in. We speak to experts about the trend

e4m by Nafisa Shaheen
Published: Sep 16, 2019 8:40 AM  | 2 min read
Customers as brand ambassadors

Gone are the days when only celebrities and prominent personalities were approached for being brand ambassadors. Brands have now diligently shifted towards a new trend wherein consumers act as ambassadors for brands they believe in.

Research suggests that 84 per cent of millennials are likely to be influenced to make a purchase based upon user-generated content that is created by strangers.

Putting customers in the driver’s seat to lead the brand by making them brand ambassadors is a great example of utilizing customer feedback in a controlled environment. 

Ashavaree Das, Chair and Professor at the Applied Media Division at the Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai, gave an insight on the importance of building trust with the customers. “Brand ambassadors are ordinary people who can manage to attract thousands toward the brand they are passionate about. While celebrity endorsement is viewed as paid promotion, brand ambassadors are considered more altruistic as they are viewed as not trying to push a product. They are simply expressing how much they love the product because of their personal experience. Such user-generated content can be of various types such as reviews, anecdotes, mentions etc,” she said.

She added that promotions and advertising do not drive purchase behaviour – instead sincerity, authenticity, trust, peer recommendations matter more to millennials.

“Brands can and should rely on data-driven decisions using analytics such as platform- specific insights or third party tools to recognize the drivers of purchase behaviour among millennials,” Das added.

Talking about customer loyalty and the symbiotic relationship between brands and customers, Kapil Grover, Chief Marketing Officer at Domino’s Pizza India, said, “Today, consumers are more aware, evolved and exposed. They expect brands to reflect the same inventiveness in products. Millennials trust us for the value for money that we give and probably that is the reason for their unbiased trust on the brand. As a brand, you need to be where the consumers are.”

Leading mattress seller Kurl-on, which has been in the business for the past 56 years, also believes in the same ideology.

Prashant Deshpande, Head of Marketing, Kurl-on, said, "Loyal customers serve as great brand ambassadors since they actually use the product. Even in our daily lives, we are influenced by  happy customers and  their experiences.”




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