The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) is promoting a seminar in a few days entitled “Create a Better Brand Ambassador,” conducted by Robin Robinson. The word ‘brand ambassador’ can be used in many industries, not just distilled spirits. Originally, it was used to spell it out celebrity endorsers, so the term is definitely flexible.
The idea was that salespeople typically have responsibility for multiple brands in multiple categories. It is hard to have in-depth product understanding of all of them. This shows on credibility, as will the known fact that salespeople have a reputation for saying whatever it takes to get a sale. No criticism intended. If your job is sales, then selling has to be your number one priority.
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With that history, this seminar doesn’t tell producers how to ‘build a much better brand ambassador.’ Instead, it tells ordinary people that the brand ambassador period is over. There can be no such thing as a brandname ambassador who sells. See your face is named a salesperson. To call them brand ambassadors is disingenuous at best, dishonest at worst. The ACSA is a terrific business and Robin Robinson is an excellent presenter who understands the marketing and advertising of distilled spirits products much better than anyone I know. Again, this is not meant as a criticism of anyone involved, of their rhetoric just.
This is nothing at all against salespeople. As salespeople are fond of saying, nothing happens until somebody markets something. The discussion has been made that craft companies, as small procedures, can’t afford to field both types of representatives. Fine, is practical, then build a better salesperson. Don’t pretend these are brand ambassadors.
The ‘redefinition’ (i.e., loss of life) of the brand ambassador role is not limited by craft producers. Year Last, ‘world’s-biggest-drinks-company’ Diageo ended its ‘Masters of Whisky’ program and 40 people lost their jobs. Some were rehired as ‘redefined’ brand ambassadors, i.e., salespeople. Another role in the blend is ‘field offers supervisor. ‘ some of them are being called ‘brand ambassadors Now.’ Could it be that ‘brand ambassador’ is too desirable as a title to be wasted on actual brand ambassadors? If ‘the next generation of brand ambassadors’ is actually the next generation of brand-aware salespeople, there is certainly nothing wrong with this. Just don’t pretend it is another thing.
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