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It’s almost Spring (I keep reminding myself of this through a bitterly cold January), and with warmer weather comes the chance to engage in one of my favorite hobbies; detailing my car. I fell into detailing a few years ago when I stumbled upon a forum for detailers and read how they gushed about how their ‘high end’ washes and waxes did such a great job on their vehicles. I was skeptical, I mean wax is wax, right? Is that stuff that costs $20 really better than the $5 tin I can get at Walmart?
Finally, I decided to take the plunge, and bought one of the waxes that the ‘experts’ were recommending. I could not believe how much better my car looked. The paint shined and sparkled more than any new car on any lot. I was hooked from that point forward.
So every Spring, I start going through my shopping list of items I need to buy to protect and beautify my car’s paint in the Spring and Summer. For years I’ve been a big fan of the Klasse Twins (AIO & SG), but a couple years ago I started using the Poorboys line and have been thrilled with the results (The picture above is the hood of my car after using three of their products). I thought this would be a good chance to talk to you about the idea of compensating brand ambassadors and how you can do it without paying your ambassadors money.
Let’s use Poorboys as an example. I don’t think Poorboys has a brand ambassador program, but if they did, I’d love to join. But I wouldn’t be interested in being compensated with cash, after all, I’d just spend it on Poorboys’ products!
Whenever I work with clients on crafting brand ambassador programs, I tell them to focus on access more than cash as a form of compensation. If I were a brand ambassador for Poorboys, I wouldn’t want cash as compensation, I’d want access. Specifically, I’d want access to try new products before they hit the market, but also, I’d want access to expert advice on which Poorboys’ products would be best for my vehicle. One of the things you learn early on in detailing is that it’s far more complicated than simply washing a car and then waxing it to get the best results. You have to wash. Then clay, then polish, then maybe a glaze, then possibly a sealant, then top with a wax. That’s a lot of different products to use, and all can react differently depending on the product used before or after them, or the surface they are going on. For instance, my car has a metallic paint color. Some waxes are designed to bring out the metallic flakes in the paint, others are designed to make them less noticeable or ‘mute’ them. I want a wax that makes the flakes ‘pop’.
So for me, it would be great if I could have an expert at Poorboys evaluate my car’s paint, take into account the look I want, and give me advice on the products I should use to get the results I want. So for me, cash isn’t that important as a form of compensation. Instead, I would rather have custom advice/education on how best to detail my car to get the look I want.
One of the best ways to not only compensate ambassadors but also make the program more attractive to them, is to focus on providing benefits associated with how and why they are using your products. In the Poorboys example, I use their products to protect my car’s paint, and make it look better. So a key benefit I would be interested in from a Poorboys brand ambassador program would be if the brand could provide me custom advice/education on how I can better select detailing products for my vehicle. If they could teach me how to be a better detailer, that would benefit me, and it would also ultimately lead to me buying more Poorboys products.
Here’s another example. Let’s say your company sells lawncare products. If you had a brand ambassador programs, a benefit you could provide those ambassadors could be custom workshops or webinars that would teach the ambassadors how to create a more beautiful lawn. By teaching the homeowners a skill associated with your products, you’re not only providing a benefit to the ambassadors, but you’re also teaching them how to create a more beautiful lawn, which makes them happier, and also makes them a stronger advocate for your products!
So as you can see, by compensating your ambassadors with benefits associated with your products, you not only make them more passionate about your brand and products, but you save money! It’s literally a win-win for both your brand and its ambassadors!