If you're a small brand, join me on Wednesday, August 16 at 3pm EDT, for a seminar on how to build a better brand ambassador, sponsored by the ACSA.  For more info, click here

History

Why presentation is important from everyone who represents your brand.

There was a time, a few decades ago, when the spirits Brand Ambassador was a key stakeholder in the drive to build a brand.  Part new business development, part salesman and part marketing manager (there was little distinction then), the Brand Ambassador sought out new customers and maintained and nurtured existing ones while providing expertise, ensuring loyalty and keeping the excitement going.

Sometime Perception and Reality travel many different paths...

Sometime Perception and Reality travel many different paths...

For a time, the role went silent, during the heady years of the 80s and 90s when "marketing" became a numbers-controlled discipline with an expensive degree and spawned top-down "gurus" who didn't trust sales or any field activities they didn't have direct control of.  Then around the last part of the 1990s and into the 2000s, we started to see Brand Ambassadors returning, now part of the extended marketing program.  

Whether wrapped in a kilt and a Highland brogue or deft with a cocktail shaker and a sparkling personality, Brand Ambassadors provided an attractive steady face of brand identification and became adept at throwing down a corporate card for a bar swipe while entertaining with bone luges, picklebacks or the "secret" stash under the table.  Their evolution, coming initially from Scotch whisky companies, added the necessary layer of real knowledge of production, maturation and secrets of their respective distillery that new drinkers were suddenly thirsty for.  

Conundrum

Today, they are most prized for their smart affability, engaging personality and charm, product knowledge and in a deference to the bottom line, are assigned various "KPI"s (Key Performance Indicators) that vary from number of staff trainings to getting their expenses in on time.  

For the most part, they are not expected, nor trained, to get the sale.

For a small brand owner, that's a quandary, because they can see the brand identification value of a good Brand Ambassador but need to put sales people on the street to move the cases.

Robin brought a level of expertise that few Brand Ambassadors that I’ve encountered possess. When Robin provided public tastings his sell through ratio was one of the best and that is no small feat considering the entry retail price point of his brands begins in the $40.00 range.
— Bill Kenney, GM. Astor Wines and Spirits

Diageo axes their "Masters of Whiskey" program.  Read Robin's take on it and on the shifting role of the Brand Ambassador at Alcohol Professor

Build a Better Brand Ambassador...

is focused on creating the next generation Brand Ambassador: a sales oriented, account driving individual.  Full of brand and category knowledge, loquacious and articulate, this individual delivers the brand pitch with aplomb and insider confidence.  But also sharply focused on where the brand is at all times and dedicated to driving adoption and volume.  

This new Brand Ambassador: 

  • is trained in sales knowledge and technique and knows the difference between the hard and soft sell

  • can read a back bar or shelf in seconds to understand what the next 60 seconds should be in an account.

  • knows how to follow up, knows where best to spend the limited promotional dollars available;

  • knows how to work thrifty while looking extravagant

  • knows how to communicate effectively with the sales organizations in their region to move the needle.

Robin is a fantastic presenter. Not only is he very knowledgeable about whisky, but he is highly entertaining! His enthusiasm and genuine love of the product translates into immediate sales!
— Ryan Maloney, Proprietor. Julio's Wine and Liquors

From presentation skills to understanding FOBs to calculating margins, I'll train your salesperson to sparkle like a Broadway star;
or train your Brand Ambassador to think like a salesperson.