What is a Brand Ambassador and What Do They Do?

What is a Brand Ambassador?

Brands continue to shift more budget towards influencer marketing, with the industry worth $21.1 Billion in 2023

However, there is also a growing trend emerging in the way these brands want to work with influencers, preferring to nurture longer-term partnerships with ‘Brand Ambassadors’ instead. 

It begs the question of why, and where the distinction between the two lies. Can other kinds of Brand Ambassadors be activated and channeled into a measurable, scalable, brand awareness engine?

The answer is yes - and this article tells you how. It breaks down: 


What is a Brand Ambassador?

A Brand Ambassador is a Brand Advocate formally recognized and appointed by the brand as a representative, helping to build awareness for the brand and its products. They’re chosen because the brand believes the appointed Ambassador embodies its values, would connect with its target audience - and the collaboration will tap into the Ambassador's own network of fans and followers digitally, or offline.

Brand Ambassador examples



Celebrities provide a sense of aspiration to the brands they advocate for - through the campaigns they feature in and brand events they attend. These are famous, impressive individuals - and when they recommend a product, their fans listen. Fans transfer associations they hold with the celebrity, to the brand a celebrity is partnering with. 

Examples of celebrity Brand Ambassadors include:

  •  George Clooney’s long-standing relationship with Nespresso

  • Timothée Chalamet joining forces with Chanel

  • Zendaya & Anne Hathaway collaborating with Bulgari

  • Charlize Theron’s 19 year partnership with J’adore Dior  

What are they great at?

A celebrity endorsement increases a company’s sales by 4% on average, relative to its competitors, while increasing a company’s stock value by 0.25%, according to research by Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse and Barclays Capital analyst Jeroen Verleun. For large companies this can equate to billions of dollars. 

Is there a downside? 

Celebrity Brand Ambassadors are heavily tied to reputation. 

After Kanye West posted anti-semitic comments on Twitter in 2022, he was dropped from partnerships with brands like Balenciaga and Adidas. For Adidas, this meant an almost $250 million immediate loss to the company.

Trust and authenticity associated with celebrities is also being called into question. A survey revealed just 4% trust celebrity endorsements, while 83% trust recommendations from friends and family.

According to 57% of those respondents, the biggest concern for consumers when it comes to celebrity recommendations is the monetary compensation they receive from the brand they’re promoting. 



Everyone has influence. Celebrities are a type of Influencer. Your friends, as well as your family, are influencers too when they recommend products or brands. What differentiates them is the scale and reach of their influence.

What we traditionally define as ‘Influencers’, are professional content creators - those we understand as ‘full-time Influencers’. They have monetized their influence and become celebrities as a result, rather than for their profession as an actor, singer or athlete.

Examples of Influencer Brand Ambassadors include:

  • Addison Rae’s partnership with Vital Proteins
  • Charli D’Amelio’s collaboration with Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Emma Chamberlain announced as Lancôme’s Brand Ambassador 

What are they great at?

Influencers have hundreds of thousands, or hundreds of millions of followers online to tap into when promoting products and brands. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 31% of social media users discover new products through Influencers.

So ultimately, the scale of their reach is their superpower. 

Is there a downside?

Authenticity. Or rather, the lack of it. The Drum reports that 90% of consumers no longer trust traditional, ‘rent-an-influencer’ sponsored content. 

It's this lack of trust that is encouraging 52% of brands to change strategy, and build authentic relationships with Brand Ambassadors. 

Is a transition to a longer-term relationship enough though, to restore trust? More and more consumers are now turning to authentic UGC, produced by actual customers.




Industry professionals/ experts

These individuals become Brand Ambassadors because their knowledge of a speciality sets them apart. Whether it's haircare, skincare or fitness, their careers enable them to build a stellar reputation - and therefore anything they advocate through the course of their profession carries credibility.

Examples of industry professionals & expert Brand Ambassadors include: 

  • The lululemon Global Ambassadors: World-renowned professional yoga teachers, trainers, and runners

  • The Redken Brand Ambassadors: Professional hair colorists, stylists and texture experts that have decades worth of experience and focus on hair education.

  • Charlotte Tilbury’s PRO Magic Beauty Stars: For professional makeup artists that can enjoy continued learning with exclusive masterclasses. 

What are they great at? 

They are ‘thought-leaders’ and anything they recommend directly impacts their professional reputation - so are more likely to recommend products and brands they genuinely believe in.

BazaarVoice reports trust in subject matter experts is increasing, with 33% of 9,000 global shoppers having actually purchased a product based on an expert’s recommendation.



Ambassador types (1)

Creators in your own customer base

Brands are now recognizing and mobilizing authentic content creators within their existing customer base to advocate for them through Brand Ambassador programs. These customers are already sharing UGC, and an Ambassador program enables brands to track and incentivize more of this activity at scale, driving reach in the millions and increasing sales. 

Examples of customer Brand Ambassador programs:
  • Sephora: Launched in 2019, Sephora’s program recruits ambassadors that share the brand’s values of ‘belonging, acceptance, and beauty of all kinds’. Ambassadors get to test Sephora products before anyone else, network with other members and industry leaders, and receive coaching.  Their UGC content often features in brand campaigns.  
  • Mint Velvet: This fashion brand’s program, the #MVCollective, engages its most socially active customers and incentivizes them to create and share content on behalf of the brand with their own followers.

    The brand’s program has:

    1)  Achieved 8x ROI in 12 months alone

    2) Reached 5m+ customers online through program content 

    3) Collected 1,892 pieces of authentic UGC by ambassadors.

    Read the full case study > 

  • NEOM Organics:  This wellbeing brand’s program is targeted at content creators with a social following of 1.5k+ as a minimum. As their advocacy is more trustworthy than traditional influencers, this has led to higher engagement. 

    Over 12 months alone, the program has:

    1)  Achieved a social reach of 16.7m

    2)  Generated 3x ROAS

    3) Collected 967 pieces of authentic UGC through its members.

    Read the full case study >

What are they great at? 

  • Consumers are 2.4x times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands. Ultimately, people trust people more than they trust brands. This is what makes your own customers the best Brand Ambassadors.

  • These authentic content creators have a 60% higher engagement rate than Macro influencers

  • Their content is high quality and on-brand. 23% of brands repurpose this type of content to save on paid production costs. This content also increases conversion by 20% more in comparison to big influencers. 

Is there a downside?

Managing a Brand Ambassador program for your customers can be a challenge when you feel like you need to do it all through a spreadsheet.

There is a solution though - get a Brand Advocacy Platform to do it for you, and channel authentic advocacy into a measurable, scalable, brand awareness engine.

The Duel Brand Advocacy Platform powers advocacy programs for your Brand Ambassadors and Social Affiliates, so you can leverage authentic advocacy to grow revenue and prove their value to your CFO. 

Final Takeaway
Ambassadors can be a vital addition to your brand’s strategy. The key is choosing the right kind, to channel into a measurable, scalable, brand awareness engine. Mobilizing your own customers to become ambassadors enables you to do this authentically, at scale and reduce your reliance on influencers-for-hire that aren’t connecting to their audiences anymore.  

Want to learn more about Brand Ambassador Programs Duel can support you with? Click here >

Brand Ambassador