Remember that a programme for brand ambassadors is more extensive than one for customer or brand advocacy. Usually, the focus of these initiatives is interacting with fans to improve brand awareness and disseminate specific messaging. In addition to promoting the brand, a brand ambassador programme usually focuses on other important business objectives like customer satisfaction, sales, and feedback.
It’s also critical to remember that the brand ambassador initiative is still active. Companies typically think of something more akin to an influencer outreach programme or brand advocate outreach programme when they consider a brand ambassador programme. Because each of these usually has a beginning and a conclusion, their structures are more similar to those of a campaign. A programme for brand ambassadors is a continuous endeavour.
Given that a brand ambassador programme is ongoing, two things need to be taken into account:
1. Generally speaking, startup and maintenance costs are higher
2-Program-realized business profits are usually greater
Thus, “it depends” is usually the response to the query, “How Much Does a Brand Ambassador Programme Cost?” Let’s examine the variables that affect how much it costs to start a brand ambassador programme:
1. Choosing the approach and expected results for the brand ambassador initiative. Respond to the question, “What will success look like?” What outcomes must this brand ambassador programme achieve in order to be considered successful? For the suggested programme, an audit and strategy development are required. This is also the point at which you may determine whether starting your brand ambassador programme would be financially feasible.
2- The program’s extent. Will there be 500 members in your programme at first, or just 5? The program’s initial and ongoing sizes will have a significant impact on its cost. Furthermore, what kind of bond would you like to establish with your Ambassadors? Launching a Brand Ambassador programme excites many firms since it allows their enthusiastic customers to promote the brand’s message. The use of ambassadors to promote your business is only one way they can support its expansion. In addition to making sales to customers directly, ambassadors maintain frequent contact with other customers and can get insightful feedback regarding your business. You may then use this input to enhance your brand’s current marketing, design, and customer support initiatives. When evaluating the benefits of implementing a brand ambassador programme, it is important to take into account the potential reduction in business expenses brought about by these advancements.
3. How many workers would be needed to implement the programme? This connects to the earlier idea. Remember that the expenses related to this and the preceding point are usually much lower at programme launch, but they will probably rise as the programme develops. But as the programme develops and expands, it will take care of itself and pay for any more employees that are required.
As you can see, there are numerous moving components at play, making it challenging to pinpoint the precise cost of your brand ambassador programme. Aim to break even during the first year of your brand ambassador programme, as a general rule of thumb. That is to say, the program’s start-up expenditures should be at least equal to the revenue or commercial value that the programme generates in its first year. Remember that the strategy plan and audit that are developed in the preceding first step should contain these projections. Additionally, bear in mind that you will have some startup costs during the first year, which won’t matter once the programme is up and running. Therefore, if you can break even in the first year and then take into account programme development and running it more efficiently over time, you’ll be in good condition.
What Would It Actually Cost to Start and Maintain a Brand Ambassador Programme?
Let’s start by examining the Brand Ambassador Audit’s price. This will provide you with the plan for your suggested programme and assist you in determining whether launching it would be financially feasible.
The cost of the Brand Ambassador Audit for a Small Business (Up to 500 Employees) is normally between $1,500 and $5,000.
A medium-sized company (500–10,000 employees) will usually pay $3,500–$25,000 for the Brand Ambassador Audit.
The cost of the Brand Ambassador Audit for a Large Company (Over 10,000 Employees) is usually between $10,000 and $50,000.
To put it briefly, the larger the company, the more thorough the audit that is needed. The one-time cost for this audit is paid before the programme is launched.
Let’s now examine continuing maintenance and training. Here, you will work closely with your selected ambassadors to provide them with training on your desired customer engagement strategies and goals for them to achieve. Time spent working one-on-one with your ambassadors is also included. Remember that while estimating ongoing expenditures and returns, the size of your brand ambassador programme is crucial, as was previously discussed. For instance, a lot of brands are just looking for a programme that allows them to leverage supporters or followers to promote themselves. In light of this, a number of companies, like SocialToaster, Zuberance, and Social Chorus, are dedicated to assisting brands in “activating” their brand advocates. Nevertheless, there will be extra expenses if you also want your programme to concentrate on other things like client feedback, increased consumer loyalty, etc.
Costs of upkeep and training per month:
Small business: monthly revenue of between $500 to $2,500
Mid-sized business; monthly revenue of $1,000 to $10,000
Big business: usually $5,000–$25,000 per month
Once more, the program’s scope (more confined means less expense) and ambassador count (fewer means less cost) are the key determinants in this case.
Costs of Employee and Ambassador Remuneration
Now let’s examine the costs associated with paying workers and ambassadors—the third significant source of expenditure in a brand ambassador programme. First of all, remember that if you are asking your brand ambassadors to do things for you that they would not typically do, you should plan to pay them for their services. You will ask them to work for your business for real time in order to engage with other customers, in addition to the time you will spend teaching them. They ought to get payment for the time they invested.
It will be challenging to estimate this cost, especially initially. As the programme develops, you’ll have a far better idea of how much time your staff and brand ambassadors will need to devote to it, allowing you to plan your budget appropriately. Additionally, as your brand’s ambassador programme develops and your processes get more streamlined, the time needed for each ambassador’s training and upkeep will go down somewhat.
To put it briefly, this cost varies greatly depending on the standards you set for your brand advocates. Furthermore, remember that you might not have to pay every ambassador (in fact, giving ambassadors money is frequently the worst form of payment). Generally speaking, you should think about paying brand ambassadors if you are asking them to participate in training sessions, attend regularly scheduled conference calls, or modify their regular schedules in any other manner to support a long-term partnership that benefits your brand. However, perhaps not if all you’re asking of your brand ambassadors is to give a coupon to any consumer who shows interest in your items. There’s a narrow line between encouraging your brand’s supporters to spread the word about it, which is what they already want to do, and pressuring them to give you more time than they otherwise would. To put it briefly, you ought to pay them like employees if it seems like you’re asking them to represent your company.
For the sake of this post and to provide you with some approximate numbers, let’s say that 10% of your ambassadors will receive compensation for 5–10 hours per week. Assume also that your staff members will manage your first 50 ambassadors for 10 hours per week, and the next 50–100 hours each week. As you increase the number of ambassadors in your programme, the amount of staff time per ambassador will reduce.
For instance, if your programme had 100 ambassadors, you would pay 10 of them 5–10 hours per week, and your staff would manage the programme for 15 hours per week. That would add up to 65–115 hours a week for your programme of brand ambassadors. Once more, keep in mind that this is only an estimate meant to help you organise your time and determine how many hours of compensation the plan would require. The actual number of hours you’ll need may be greater or less.
Let’s now add up all of the expenses:
The costs associated with a small firm are:
Brand Ambassador Audit: $2,500 to $10,000 (one-time cost)
$500 to $2,500 per month for maintenance and training
Estimated monthly pay for employees and ambassadors: $250 to $1,000
The entire first year of a small business’s Brand Ambassador programme costs between $11,500 and $52,000.
The annual expenses incurred by a small corporation to sustain a Brand Ambassador programme range from $9,000 to $42,000.
The costs for a mid-sized business are:
Brand Ambassador Audit ($5,000–$25,000 one-time cost)
Training and upkeep each month: $1,000– $10,000
Estimated monthly pay for employees and ambassadors: $1,000 to $5,000
A mid-sized company’s total first-year costs to start a Brand Ambassador programme range from $29,000 to $205,000.
The annual expenses for a mid-sized business to have a Brand Ambassador programme range from $24,000 to $180,000.
The costs for a big business are:
Brand Ambassador Audit: $10,000 to $50,000 (one-time cost)
Training and maintenance costs range from $5,000 to $25,000.
Estimated monthly pay for employees and ambassadors: $5,000 to $15,000.
A large company’s total first-year costs to start a Brand Ambassador programme range from $130,000 to $530,000.
The annual maintenance expenditures of a Brand Ambassador programme for a large corporation range from $120,000 to $480,000.
Let me stress once more that these are all approximations and should only be used as a starting point or guide.
Now that you have the figures based on your company’s size, you can use those figures to assess if a brand ambassador programme makes sense for your firm by contrasting them with the anticipated advantages.
Let’s take an example where a mid-sized business determines, using the formula and figures above, that the cost of establishing a brand ambassador programme will be roughly $50,000 in the first year and $40,000 per year after that. After you have a firm grasp on the program’s expenses, you can examine its anticipated returns and determine whether it is a wise financial decision.
Because of this, it’s critical to realise that securing the funding required to run a brand ambassador programme will need proving the programme will bring in more revenue than it will spend. You won’t get that cheque signed if you approach your boss with a proposal to launch a brand ambassador programme that will cost $25,000 per year and bring in $15,000 in sales.
Here’s an actual instance: Fiskars had two main objectives when it started the Fiskateers brand ambassador programme:
1- Within nine months, raise product sales by ten percent in four designated cities.
2/ Boost Fiskars brand mentions online by 10% in a span of nine months.
With the help of these precise targets, Fiskars will be able to monitor the profit from both these sales and the sales brought about by the rise in internet mentions. By comparing these figures to the program’s cost, it will be possible to determine whether the programme is worthwhile. In case you missed it, the Fiskateers programme raised internet mentions by 240% in the first four months and doubled revenues in those four locations within nine months, according to the book Brains on Fire.
Remember that these are only estimates, and your actual figures may differ significantly. For instance, former CEO of Maker’s Mark Bill Samuels Jr. asserted that the company had to spend $2 million to start its extraordinarily profitable brand ambassador programme. There are currently over 500,000 ambassadors in that programme, all of whom believe it is their duty to advance the Maker’s Mark brand.
However, let’s imagine that your company would really like to start an ambassador programme but you just don’t have the funds to contract out the program’s development. This is a great summary of Paper.li’s internal brand ambassador programme debut.
UPDATE: Check out this interesting comment Kelly Hungerford, the person in charge of Paper.li’s Brand Ambassador programme, left with additional details about the programme.
Do you want to know how much it would cost to start a brand ambassador programme for your business? Please email me with any queries you may have, and I would be pleased to assist!