Dispatches from the front line: Meeting our brand ambassadors

By Andy Youings. 16th January 2019
Dispatches from the front line - Meeting our brand ambassadors

Great in-store experiences are all about people. No other marketing tactic puts brands in front of the consumer in such a direct way. And without great front line staff who can engage, amuse, entertain and inspire, an in-store campaign would be dead in the water.

We’re blessed with a HUGE team of hardworking in-store brand ambassadors who bring all of this and more to their day-to-day, and we invest heavily in making sure they have everything they need to do a great job.

So we thought we’d let you meet some of them. We chatted to Coral, Jean and Patrice to get their thoughts on what it takes to make a great ambassador, and what it’s like to be on the front line. Here’s what they had to say:

Name: Coral Hatherly

Brand Ambassador since: October 2014

Campaigns worked: Costco and countless brands for large clients including P&G, Unilever, Ferrero and Diageo.

Fizz Brand Ambassador Coral Hatherly

Fizz: What are the key things that make a good brand ambassador and why?

Coral: A great brand ambassador is 100% a people person: comfortable in their skin with great social skills and able to talk to anyone. They are friendly, approachable and bubbly, with a warm inviting smile. They also need to be versatile – able to promote any product, be it electrical, food, cleaning products or kitchens.

F: What are the best things about working with Fizz?

CH: Fizz genuinely care about their team members. We are constantly asked for ideas on how to improve our working conditions. The training covers everything, from health and safety to food and hygiene. All our new recruits are trained to a high standard to be brand ambassadors and help is on hand if they are struggling. Also, the variety of the job: brands are constantly changing their products, which keeps our job interesting.

We have a great relationship with our members and tease them sometimes. I have one family that comes into the store that loves samples. So when I see them coming, I call out “Hide your samples, they’re coming!” and they love it. I do let them have the samples, of course, and they usually buy the product.

F: What are the most rewarding things about the job?

CH: You get paid to talk. You meet some great people – right characters, some of them. It feels like you’re spending your time with friends. I’ve worked in Costco for five years and have made some great friends in-store.

Name: Patrice Belton

Brand Ambassador since: December 2015

Campaigns worked: Costco, P&G, Unilever, Ferrero and Diageo. Won Bronze Brand Ambassador of the Year at this year’s FMBE awards.

Fizz Ambassador Patrice Belton

Fizz: What are the key things that make a good brand ambassador and why?

Patrice: You need to be professional – to see yourself not as a worker but as a business partner, helping to support everyone under the umbrella to be the best versions of themselves. You need to be able to embrace challenges and uncertainty, be open and inviting, creative and consistent. I’m a people person and yes that does make a difference, but I don’t have any special powers, I just keep trying and listening to feedback, both positive and negative.

F: What have you learnt from working with brands that you didn’t know before?

PB: Each day is a new experience, even if I’m offering the same products days in a row, and that is what I appreciate most. The role challenges you and coerces you to be a better version of yourself, each time. I’ve learnt what it means to be a true ‘investor in people’: from my very first encounter with WDS as a Costco member to being supported, encouraged, and valued – even during challenging times and ill health.

F: What are the most rewarding things about the job?

PB: Being able to connect, laugh and grow with everyone from management to new starters. It makes you feel valued and a part of something much bigger than yourself, but most of all, like you matter and could make a difference. I feel valued as a team player and an individual. When I walk through the doors, I turn off my worries and turn on my smile.

F: What advice would you give a brand to get the best out of brand ambassadors?

PB: That they should trust and believe in their brand and what they have to offer. The world is a diverse platform, and so their uniqueness will always be valuable to someone somewhere, and without their efforts and products, networking in supermarkets and stores would not be the same. We make a difference because each brand is so different.

Name: Jean Lowe

Brand Ambassador since: December 2014

Campaigns worked: The Food Warehouse. Won FMBE Silver for Brand Ambassador of the Year.

Fizz Ambassador Jean Lowe

Fizz: What are the key things that make a good brand ambassador and why?

Jean Lowe: A good brand ambassador cares about people and enjoys the job. You also need to be able to adjust the sales pitch to suit each customer’s needs: you can’t promote a product to a family in the same way you would to a person who lives on their own.

F: What have you learnt from working with brands that you didn’t know before?

JL: Never assume! Don’t pick the obvious customers – someone may not come to the demonstration but still buy the product. They are flattered you’ve asked them and you’re getting them to try something they possibly would never have thought of trying.

F: Any funny stories from your time working in-store or experiential campaigns?

JL: I once had to walk round the store wearing a sleep-easy nose strip. I was trying to persuade customers to try them on so they could see how they worked. I sold lots to people who had colds as they could immediately breathe better. A couple bought some and nearly had an argument, as she kept it on whilst they were shopping in the store. Her boyfriend was mortified when she turned round to him and said, “Jean looks ok wearing hers so why can’t I as I can breathe better?” Luckily he did see the funny side eventually.

F: What advice would you give a brand to get the best out of their brand ambassadors?

JL: Brand ambassadors need to be informed. We need to be able to relay information to suit customer needs and they mainly want to know about allergies, whether something can be frozen, how to store the product and recipe ideas for varied meal ideas. TV adverts that customers associate with the product can be a good icebreaker. I once had members laughing when we were working with R Whites lemonade, and I asked if they remembered the advert in which a man got up in the middle of the night singing “I’m a secret lemonade drinker”, which we all sang together.

 

Our thanks to Coral, Patrice and Jean for sharing their stories with us. From singing songs to sharing stories with customers, good brand ambassadors bring a fun, human element to the in-store experience. Supporting them with product information and effective training gives them the confidence to create a truly memorable connection between customers and the brand.

Our people are one of the main reasons Fizz is an award-winning in-store agency. Learn more about what we’ve won here.