Partnering with a brand spokesperson is a strategy for giving a larger voice to your message and allowing the positive feelings the market has for that spokesperson to transfer over to your brand.
A brand spokesperson could be someone in the business community, someone with social clout, or even a local/national celebrity.
So how do you know if a spokesperson makes sense for your brand? Ask yourself these questions.
Is your target market fairly broad? Does public perception play a large role in driving customers to purchase from your brand? Do you aspire for a notable shift in that public perception? Do you have something transformational to communicate to the marketplace? Is your brand's circle of influence smaller than ideal?
If you answered "yes" to many of these questions, you may want to consider a spokesperson partnership. To identify a spokesperson well-suited for your brand, keep these guidelines in mind.
Give thought to whether your target market will respond most positively to a local celebrity, someone with social influence, or a business authority speaking on behalf of your brand.
Ensure that what the spokesperson stands for, their lifestyle, and how they are perceived in the marketplace are all aligned with your brand. The personal brand traits of the spokesperson must be compatible with your brand traits.
Assess the spokesperson's credibility -- defined as his or her perceived trustworthiness and/or expertise in the marketplace; one or both may be important to your brand. Research press and social media activity related to your prospective spokesperson for several years back. Gain feedback from your customers about the spokesperson. What words come to mind when they think of that person?
And finally, it is vital to partner with a spokesperson that authentically believes in your brand and vision.
Let's take the recent announcement of Tony Allen as spokesperson for Memphis International Airport and assess that fit.
Memphis International Airport is executing a multi-year plan to reinvent itself after the inevitable de-hubbing that occurred at MEM and airports across the country. The airport facility must be optimized for the new passenger traffic realities. And without the competitive pressure of an airline having its hub in Memphis, new low-cost carriers are considering MEM for the first time ever. MEM is in the middle of a transformation.
Airport officials know the road ahead isn't an easy one, and it is going to take a grit-and-grind mentality to reach the ultimate destination. And who better to help spread the word about that grit-and-grind strategy than the Memphis Grizzlies "Grindfather" himself, Tony Allen. The NBA star's plainspoken authenticity is well aligned with the airport's focus on transparency and greater community engagement.
A spokesperson can be beneficial for small companies and large companies alike. Just do your homework to ensure proper "fit" and make sure that the anticipated benefits justify the expense.
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