ThinkOTB Agency

Why a great brand ambassador is essential for modern marketing strategies

June 4, 2024

We can see the Leeds Rhinos rugby ground from our office, so when news of Rob Burrow’s passing broke it was poignant for everyone at our marketing agency. An incredible rugby player, he also became patron of Leeds Hospitals Charity and of course an unofficial brand ambassador of Leeds Rhinos.

Here, we look at how the right ambassador can unlock trust, reach and engagement for a brand.

Authenticity and trust

One of the most significant advantages of a great brand ambassador is the trust they command from their audience. Unlike traditional advertising, where consumers are increasingly sceptical, brand ambassadors come across as genuine and trustworthy. Their endorsement is perceived as more authentic because they are seen as real people who genuinely believe in the product or service and hold the same values as the brand. This authenticity can translate into higher trust levels and, consequently, greater customer loyalty and brand affinity.

Expanded reach and visibility

Brand ambassadors often have substantial followings on social media and other platforms. When they endorse a brand, they can instantly expand the brand’s reach to a broader and often more engaged audience.

In the case of Rob Burrow, following his Motor Neuron Disease (MND) diagnosis, Leeds Hospitals Charity approached him to help open up a new audience of rugby fans to support the charity’s efforts in raising £6.8 million to build a specialist MND Care Centre in Seacroft, Leeds.

This expanded visibility is particularly valuable in today’s digital age, where consumers are bombarded with information and are more likely to respond to recommendations from personalities they follow and admire.

Strategic influence and credibility

Ambassadors often have significant influence within specific niches or communities. Their endorsement can lend credibility to a brand, especially in specialised markets. For instance, Rob’s MND diagnosis carried more weight for the charity’s MND appeal than a generic advert would have done for making a donation to Leeds Hospitals Charity because he was perceived as credible in that field.

Enhanced engagement and interaction

Engagement is a key metric in modern marketing, and brand ambassadors excel at fostering interactions. They can very naturally create content that resonates with their followers, encouraging likes, shares, comments, and discussions. This level of engagement not only increases the visibility of the brand but also builds a community around it. When followers see a brand being repeatedly endorsed by someone they respect, it reinforces the brand’s presence and fosters a sense of loyalty among the audience.

Relatable storytelling

Brand ambassadors can tell a brand’s story in a relatable and compelling manner. They can demonstrate how a product or service fits into their everyday lives, making the brand more relatable to the audience. This storytelling aspect is crucial because it helps potential customers see the practical value and benefits of the brand in real-life scenarios.

When Rob Burrow and his wife, Lindsey Burrow, shared their stories about living with MND. They shared the need for more research into the disease and more specialist care facilities became starkly clear. Their bravery and positive outlook made Leeds Hospitals Charity’s fundraising appeal more memorable and impactful.

Despite Rob’s passing, he will continue to be a great brand ambassador for Leeds Hospitals Charity. His teammate and fellow fundraiser, Kevin Sinfield, will no doubt continue to raise money for the MND appeal. Together Rob, Kevin and Rob’s wife, Lindsey, have brought authenticity, extended reach, and created engaging stories to the charity brand.

If you want to increase brand awareness, customer loyalty, and ultimately, growth, get in touch.


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