Answering consumers’ growing demand for authenticity and credibility from brands, real world marketing agency Sense introduces Real People to strategically search, select, train and manage personnel for live brand activations.
“A decade ago we saw ‘promotional staff’ evolve into ‘brand ambassadors’” said Real People director Cathy Henderson. “The idea then was to create individuals who’d represent a brand, its core values, with a personality that was the human manifestation of its proposition. However, the staffing pool remained the same and the agency processes unchanged. We now find ourselves at a stage where traditional brand ambassadors are no longer enough.”
According to Henderson, in the real world, brands need skilled professionals who can respond to diverse needs and cover tasks that go beyond promoting a product.
“We believe in authentic brand representation,” she explained. “Skills that can’t be taught in a briefing day. Character traits that can’t be prescribed over an email. Engagement tactics that can’t be downloaded from a job site.
“The difference in our approach is that we seek out people who can do more than just represent and be the face of a brand. We look for people with the same values to ensure they can fully embody the brand and connect with consumers on a deeper level.”
Real People drives this engagement through providing unique specialist training, which in turn empowers its team members to act as experts within the requirement of their roles.
Sense has been developing its new approach to experiential personnel over the past year. The brand ambassadors who represent renowned business title The Economist, as part of its ongoing award-winning global subscription campaign, were hand-picked by the team behind Real People for their affinity with the brand. Many had not represented a brand before, but were considered the right fit in terms of interests, personality, skills and values. They then underwent rigorous brand and sales training specifically for the role.
“The team that represents The Economist in the real world are sharp, outward thinking and able to start a conversation to create intrigue about our content – and product,” explained Marina Haydn, SVP of Circulation and Retail Marketing at The Economist. “This is not an easy feat, and has led to exceptional sales results in our UK experiential marketing and internationally. The reason behind the success is not only the training – but the focus on finding the right people that fit the brand from the outset.”