We believe passionate, well-educated, driven brand ambassadors are the key to success for any experiential marketing program – from product sampling at key retailers to large-scale activations at music festivals. Without the energy great brand ambassadors bring to events, you will be fighting an uphill battle in creating memorable engagements with your target consumer.
At Health and Fitness Activations, we strive to find and retain the best brand ambassadors in the industry. We want the “unicorns” who are passionate, reliable, hard-working, results-driven, articulate, and personable. And when we find these brand ambassadors, we work hard to keep them on team HFA. After all, the services we provide center on having the best brand ambassadors.
In today’s blog, we are sharing some of the policies we have created over the years that help us retain these superstars.
1. If a brand ambassador’s shift is canceled last minute, we pay them their full rate.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard horror stories about how a brand ambassador was booked for an experiential marketing program – demos or events, something happened, and their shifts went up in smoke. Great brand ambassadors will not work for companies that have a record of canceling their shifts last minute. While they may be empathetic toward the client and the reason for the cancelation, ultimately, they have to be confident that when they allocate their time to an activation, they will be able to earn the wages they’re counting on.
2. We offer sales incentives.
On all of our retail demo programs, we offer our brand ambassadors a bonus if they hit their sales targets. Why? First, it allows our best performers to earn a higher wage.
Second, this helps keep the brand ambassadors focused on the goal – increasing velocity at the retailer. If they focus on product sampling, without closing the sale, most of our clients would say that wasn’t a successful demo. So, it’s important for the brand ambassador to know how the client measures success.
Third, it lets the brand ambassadors know if they are meeting the client’s expectations. If they are consistently crushing the sales goal – they know they’re a rock star. If they’re coming in short every time, they know they may need some coaching!
3. We pay for all hours worked.
Many CPG brands and agencies, especially those who categorize their brand ambassadors as 1099 contractors, expect brand ambassadors to do work off the clock. We have a policy that all brand ambassadors should get paid for the hours they work. We do not expect them to review training decks, pick up supplies, or run other errands off the clock. We ask them to set-up, break-down, and do their event reports while they are on the clock for their demo or event. Not only is this a legal requirement, but we believe it’s the right thing to do.
4. We offer benefits.
We offer an IRA match for employees who work about 50 shifts/year. We believe it just makes sense to take care of the brand ambassadors who consistently serve our clients. These brand ambassadors appreciate the financial benefit of the match but, more importantly, we believe this shows we value their work and consider them crucial members of our HFA team. We care about their work now, and their financial security in the future.
Many members of our internal team come from a brand ambassador background. We have experienced firsthand how brands and agencies will take advantage of brand ambassadors, and we strive to do better. We hope the experiential marketing industry will join us in creating brand ambassador teams where each individual is respected and valued.
Any brand ambassadors have any insights on policies that make you feel valued? Share in the comments!