A brief note to Instagram marketers

I seem to be getting approached a lot in recent months on Instagram by marketers who invite me to become a “brand ambassador.” So far, I’ve never taken any of them up on the offer, because it’s always a bad deal.

If you sell t-shirts with feminist or anti-racist slogans, there’s already a better than average chance that I’ll like what you have to sell. But this bogus “brand ambassador” BS fails as a marketing tactic for several reasons.

First, although you’re trying to make it seem like I’m being honored somehow, it’s always just with a discount code to buy your products.

Second (and this is important), the t-shirts are always overpriced by at least 40 percent, so offering me a 50% “brand ambassador” discount isn’t enough to entice me to buy. At this point, the whole “brand ambassador” thing is basically just code for “please buy our overpriced shirts” and it pisses me off. I will never order anything from you, on principle alone.

For many reasons, I also suspect they’re scams. The websites each have a very limited selection of products and the people messaging me use similar language.

What DOES work is having a product that’s priced right in the first place. If you have cool stuff, I’m pretty likely to order from you at least once—no bribery or false flattery required. Then, if you want to encourage me to buy again, have some new designs and offer me about a 25% discount off your regular prices (which are already more in line with the standard to begin with.)

THAT is the real, organic way to turn me into an actual ambassador of your brand. I’ll buy your shirts, wear them in public, and then happily mention your name when people ask where I got them.

Who knows, though; maybe someone, somewhere, has researched the other model and really believes it will work. I didn’t last long at my only marketing job and probably for a reason. You can take my advice for whatever it’s worth.

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s