Does a person’s traits make his or her talent, or is it more? When it comes to what makes a great brand ambassador, or any employee for that matter, the answer is always ‘more.’
Certain traits certainly make a great brand ambassador. Still, the adage, “There’s always room for improvement,” remains true. As experiential marketing activations evolve, brand ambassadors must enhance their skill sets. But, this is only possible depending on their mindset. Carol Dweck, the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, gives us critical information on the mindset psychological trait.
In her research, Dweck determined there are two mindset types: fixed mindset and growth mindset. Which mindset a person has determines how they will respond to failure. People with a fixed mindset believe their skills and intelligence to be as good now as they’ll ever be. So, they worry at every task and shut down when faced with a challenge believed to be out of their capabilities. On the other hand, a growth mindset sees failure as an opportunity to learn and improve.
When hiring brand ambassadors, you may find ways to determine their mindset and aim to hire those with growth mindsets. It’s important because, when dealing with various personalities of consumers, brand ambassadors will encounter rejection (or failure as they may see it). But, no matter the mindset, event marketers and program managers must be able to assist brand ambassadors, even those with the right traits, to overcome potential obstacles.
The Big Five Personality Model – or O.C.E.A.N. as it is also known – can provide a checklist when hiring brand ambassadors. See how it applies to the making of a great brand ambassador.
Brand ambassadors must be open to meeting new people and participating in new experiences. It’s their openness that fuels their imagination and allows them to be creative in situations where they must offer solutions to problems that may arise. When they are not open, brand ambassadors may stay in their comfort zones and not go the extra mile.
Even with all the right traits, a brand ambassador is only helpful when you can depend on them to be there and do a good job. Being conscientious in their work means they are mindful of campaign goals and will aim their efforts to fulfill them. Another aspect of conscientiousness is being thoughtful in their dealings with consumers and recognizing aspects of each personality and his or her emotions. It’s this trait that allows them to be flexible in their own personalities to build emotional connections -the ultimate goal of any brand activation.
This is the personality trait event marketers and program managers most often relate to when they think about what makes a great brand ambassador. It is this trait that gives those on the front lines the ability to engage consumers and make connections. While introverted individuals are quite capable of forging relationships, social exhaustion is always a possibility, especially when interacting with many people. Conversely, extroverts “derive energy from being with others.”
Your brand ambassadors may be outgoing, but do you like them? If not, they may lack this necessary trait. People who are agreeable are generally “well-liked” and get along well with others. Those who lack agreeableness may be “perceived as blunt, rude and sarcastic.” Lack of this trait doesn’t bode well during brand activations since consumers associate the brand ambassador’s attitude with that of the company he or she represents.
You’ve verified a potential brand ambassador is outgoing and agreeable. Yet, do you know they’ll remain that way when under pressure? A brand ambassador that scores low in neuroticism will remain confident and keep their work on track, versus one who scores high. Again, event marketers and program managers have means to protect the mindset and the outcome of their brand activation.
Event marketers and program managers can help secure what makes a great brand ambassador and even boost their abilities with these techniques:
Even when they have all the desirable traits, brand ambassadors will only perform as good as the training they receive. So, gather them in-person, by phone, or via the web to cover your goals, brand messages, and target audience. Be sure they understand their responsibilities and how you’ll measure their performance. The more information they have, the better prepared and confident they’ll be.
When you hire great brand ambassadors, you most often hire people with experience that contributes a wealth of knowledge. And, this may benefit your brand activations in many areas, which makes it important to listen to what they have to say. Even if it’s not the right advice for your brand, you show you care and boost morale. Conversely, almost 40 percent of employees tend to lack initiative in their job “when leaders dismiss their ideas without entertaining them.” This wastes your investment and minimizes your opportunity.
Another way to show great brand ambassadors you care is to recognize them in some way for a job well done. This may be financial rewards, such as a bonus or a gift card, or recognition of their hard work in front of their peers. Knowing a ‘prize’ is at stake will keep them on track, helping them rebound after rejection, and motivate them to do their best job.
Brand activations are subject to contingency. And though great brand ambassadors are ‘open” and may offer creative solutions, it’s important to recognize Dweck’s mindset theory. Some sudden problems may trigger a fixed mindset, and event staff may need help bouncing back. That makes having a designated leader on-site invaluable. This person can serve to offer motivation and resolve issues, allowing brand ambassadors to focus on their goals.
Hiring great brand ambassadors to personify your brand and maximize the opportunity of your activation is a tall order. Fortunately, an experiential staffing agency can remove the burden and the risks. Such an agency will have expertly vetted their brand ambassadors to ensure they operate with a growth mindset. They maintain relationships with staff teams to understand their individual talents. ensuring the best fit for brands. And, they provide training and leadership that helps brand ambassadors overcome obstacles and connect with consumers when it matters most.
At Elevate, we know exactly what makes a great brand ambassador. Let us bring the ‘more’ your brand activations need and deserve.