Written by: Sophie Grandi

A brand ambassador is someone hired to positively represent a brand and essentially increase brand awareness and sales. Brand ambassadors are used by several businesses as they increasingly become the new form of brand and customer communication.

Businesses choose to use brand ambassadors for a variety of reasons. They are cost effective, humanize products, expand customer reach and online reputation and ensure that customers get responses in a timely matter.

Rachel Burns is employed by Fuse Marketing, an agency that specializes in marketing to teens and young adults, as a brand ambassador for Mountain Dew.

“People message me all the time asking about new Dew products that I post on social media, and I help them find where to buy them. I’m reaching out to new customers that otherwise wouldn’t be reached,” Burns said.

Brands often choose to have different types of ambassadors to help them reach an even larger market. Sponsored talent, influencers, customers and fans are all commonly used by businesses as brand ambassadors.

These influencers are often paid to share their positive opinions about the brand with their network. When people hear something positive about a brand, 66 percent of them assign a high credibility rating to it, rating it a nine or ten on a scale of zero to ten, according to socialhorsepower.com.

Brand ambassadors are particularly popular in marketing towards Generation Z and Millennials, so it is common for the ambassadors themselves to also be in that age range.

“I know a lot of other kids my age who have ambassador jobs. I think businesses know that we understand how to reach their target market because we are their target market,” Burns said.

Ambassadors essentially become the face of a brand so they are often targeted based on a list of a brand’s existing customers and social audience according to indeed.com.

“I didn’t even apply for the ambassador job I have now. They came across my Twitter profile and must have liked my posts because they just messaged me asking if I’d be interested in working for them,” Rockstar Energy brand ambassador John Phillips said.

According to a New York Times article, companies are increasingly seeking out college students with large social media followings. The students most in demand are ones involved in athletics, music, fraternities or sororities.

Brand ambassadors contribute to more than just sales. They also handle marketing, support and customer education.

“I thought I’d just be posting pictures of me and my friends drinking Rockstar but it’s actually a lot more than that. I have to tell people where they can buy it, what’s in it and what the different flavors are like,” Phillips said. “I never thought I’d know so much about an energy drink before I got this job.”