Brand ambassadors are increasingly being used for more than just promotional work. Sarah Abdelghani, Account Manager at Blackjack explains how and why.
Although you might not believe it, experiential activity is no longer only about running live promotions to drive sales or brand experiences to directly boost awareness and engagement among consumers. More and more, brand ambassadors are being used to improve customer service. Of course, you might find this completely logical in an era where the focus is increasingly on improving the customer experience.
To help travellers quickly acquaint themselves with its stunning new departure lounge and make the most of the improved facilities, Bristol Airport launched a programme providing personal help and advice to passengers. Brand ambassadors were on hand to welcome passengers on arrival and guide them through the revised lounge layout, while offering information about the new services and shopping facilities, issuing ‘Airport Guide’ leaflets and vouchers, and answering any questions. The team proved invaluable in helping travellers quickly find key services, such as ATMs, toilets, departure gates, smoking areas, phone charging points, etc.
During exceptionally busy times – such as sporting events or transport delays – brand ambassadors have been called in to both provide help and guidance to passengers, and entertain those caught up in congestion and delays. Something as simple as providing a magician to wow crowds as they queued for trains can make commuters’ lives a little easier in the face of travel disruptions.
Experiential teams have also been used to lighten the mood and deliver a festive feel to public areas. Over the past year examples have included delighting children and their families with Easter Bunny and Snow Queen activities at Heathrow Airport, and managing a life size snow globe at one of the main London rail hubs.
This trend of using brand ambassadors for a growing array of purposes beyond pure promotion has been increasing steadily in recent years. The catalysts seems to be a greater focus by companies on improving the customer experience, particularly in impending ‘extreme’ situations, such as overcrowding, or to create a festive or fun atmosphere.
Experiential teams are being brought in over other staff sources because of their experience at dealing in a polite and engaging manner with the general public and also their due their ability to get under the skin of the visions and values of a business and present them in the right way in a live setting. They can also be pulled together and mobilised quickly, if necessary.
Furthermore, they bring their commercial skills and experience into play when required. This was the case at Bristol Airport, when as well as pointing out amenities to travellers, they were also on hand to guide passengers to their favourite shops, while also highlighting key offers. This, of course, was great news for retailers, as they were driving footfall.
So whatever the scenario, it seems an increasing number of organisations are looking to create a better experience for their customers – and that’s got to be great news for everyone