A hot topic in marketing circles these days is the brand ambassador. It describes people – often celebrities and others with large social media followings – hired by an organization to represent its brand in a positive light, to increase brand awareness and drive sales.
Remember when Kim Kardashian signed up for the Atkins Diet? She announced on Twitter that she was using the Atkins low-carb diet to lose weight after having her second baby. She also signed up to be Atkins’ Brand Ambassador – for a price.
Neither big brands nor their brand ambassadors comment on the fine print, but spending on influencer marketing is estimated at $8 billion today. And it’s expected to reach up to $15 billion by 2022, according to a recent report from Business Insider Intelligence.
Leveraging brand ambassadors in the independent sector is a newer marketing strategy.
United Way has long had champions. As the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit, 60,000 companies partner with us globally. Many of those corporate leaders and employees are loyal to the United Way brand because they know it stands for bringing people together to build stronger communities.
Starting now, we are proud to introduce our own United Way Brand Ambassadors. These individuals are purpose-driven and have already committed to driving change in their communities. Now, they’re joining us in the fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. And they’re doing it because they believe that they can make a difference by representing our brand - for free.
Our United Way Brand Ambassadors include: Demario Davis, NFL player / linebacker for The New Orleans Saints; Brigitte Truong, multimedia host and producer; Harrison Craig, 2013 winner of “The Voice Australia”; Rachel Awtrey, podcast and social media expert; Meghan Yuri Young, writer, producer and Canadian TV correspondent; Hannah Shell, 2018 Student United Way award winner; and Alysha January, marketing and development manager and “Discover Charm City” blogger.
These seven people represent young and diverse communities around the globe. Though they have divergent opinions, points of view and cultural backgrounds, they have a shared passion to better communities and empower their audiences to do the same.
Bringing people together to help them give back has been in United Way’s DNA for more than 130 years. Over the next year, United Way will connect our brand ambassadors with community initiatives and inspiring leaders who are tackling some of society’s toughest problems. We hope their passion will ignite others to join our fight, as they connect their social media followers with our causes in new and unique ways.
Our brand ambassadors have an authentic connection to the work United Way does. They’re engaged in their communities and want to help make a difference in the world. We’ll be helping them lean into their passion. I believe their passion will be contagious.
Join us! Follow our journey by following them.