The Benefits of Building a Strong Ambassador Community for Your Organization
In today’s digital world, organizations are looking for creative ways to engage with their audience and promote their values and culture beyond the ongoing marketing efforts. One way to achieve this is through building a strong ambassador community.
What is an ambassador community? What does it look like? And which companies and organizations around the globe have successfully launched one? Let’s explore.
What is an ambassador community?
Organizations and brands often create an ambassador community to promote their values and culture through a dedicated group of individuals. These individuals may be enthusiastic employees or volunteers, loyal customers, or passionate program’s alumni. They are willing to promote the organization’s values and culture and share their positive experience.
They usually receive exclusive benefits from the organization such as access to services, products or activities, special training to develop their skills, or perks. These ambassadors represent a symbol of success outside the organization, resulting in establishing its reputation better.
While an ambassador community of customers often takes place in online community platforms and social media, an employee or alumni’s community will probably be hybrid to increase the personal connection and boost community members’ networking.
What’s the benefit of an ambassador community for your organization?
There are some good reasons for starting an ambassador community in your organization:
Build loyalty — Organizations that are investing in their loyal employees or customers can build deeper relations with them. The result will be a greater common sense of shared mission, and members will continue to endorse the organization’s activities.
Amplify brand reach — When ambassadors share their positive experience from working in the organization or using the company’s product or service, it’s the highest brand achievement a company can get. An authentic share or a positive recommendation is a social proof for the organization’s credibility. It often leads to increasing the brand’s visibility and reach.
Drive sales and revenue — Beyond a positive exposure in social media or the web, organizations can increase their sales and revenue stream through the ambassadors. Some brands give ambassadors the opportunity to offer their own network and followers exclusive incentives to increase sales among them.
Receive valuable insights — An ambassador community can function as a unique focus group as a result of the shared trust. Organizations can reach out to community members to receive feedback on operations, services, products, and other needs. The information helps the organization better understand its target audience and adjust its offerings accordingly.
Examples for ambassador communities from around the world
Employees’ ambassador community
Dell promotes its DEI agenda through the Dell Culture, Diversity & Inclusion (CD&I) Champions program. These +1,300 employees are serving as brand enthusiasts who receive foundational learning on inclusive principles and practices annually. Dell provides them opportunities, tools and resources to encourage collaborative conversations on these topics across all teams, levels and business areas. The ambassadors also work to amplify Dell’s stories and messages on social channels, support corporate observances and raise awareness about educational opportunities and CD&I programs of the company.
Customers’ ambassador community
Adobe Creative Residency is supporting creators with tools and fundings so they can “share their stories and unique and diverse voices with their communities.” Adobe offers them two programs; a community fund and an annual residency. The latter includes creative tools, resources, guidance from advisors and a compensation package. In return, Adobe expects residents to proactively pursue their own personal creative projects while sharing their processes, insights, and inspirations with the community along the way.
Alumni’s ambassador community
With more than 30,000 alumni from across the world, Yale University has a well established alumni network. Run primarily by the Yale Alumni Association, alumni’s activities include joining events, connecting to classmates, gathering with other alumni around interest groups, and learning opportunities. Alumni can also mentor current students, or get some PR by featuring at the Yale Alumni Magazine. That’s how Yale supports alumni following their degree persuasion, while they continue to be involved in the university’s ongoing activities.
Case study — how student leaders are building innovation communities?
In 2021 I joined the amazing vision of Asper Huji Innovate: Training selected students from various backgrounds and disciplines to develop communities around entrepreneurship and innovation. The center promotes the entrepreneurial mindset and skills within the Hebrew University, and supports solving critical challenges through entrepreneurship. That’s why the team found a creative way to reach students and open the gate to this world.
And that was the vision behind the communities: to help students learn about industry trends, connect with like-minded individuals and learn entrepreneurial skills together, and build meaningful projects that will help them establish the initial steps of their career.
In order to develop these communities, I’ve been helping the center with the Innovation’s Communities Leaders program, through managing the program and ongoing consultation of the community leaders. The training process provides participants with tools and skills related to community management; gaining familiarity with the main methodology from the world of entrepreneurship; experimenting with innovation processes; leading a team of volunteers so they personally experience the process, and developing meaningful connections with industry. All communities are supported by the center all-year round with access to mentoring, content, connection, and financial support of activities. The communities are discipline-oriented (I.e., electrical engineering, humanities, or business management) or cross-discipline or identity oriented (I.e., sustainability or women entrepreneurship).
These students are the Asper Huji Innovate ambassadors. They receive exclusive training and an opportunity to learn new life-long skills and connect with the industry, while promoting the center’s values and mission. In 2023, following three cohorts, there are 16 communities and +45 student leaders that are supported by the center, with +8,500 community members, and counting on.
To sum it up, building an ambassador community can be a powerful approach for your organization. With the right community strategy, you can create a group of dedicated advocates who will help spread the word about your company, increase engagement, and drive positive results.
My last tip, as usual, is creating a meaningful relationship with your ambassadors. Provide them the needed resources, support, and an outstanding added-value. Additionally, make sure to thank them for their efforts and recognize their contribution. Remember that building such a community is not only for the benefit of your organization, but also might provide a rewarding experience for your ambassadors.
Would you like to take the first step and start building your own ambassador community? Let’s talk.