The reality of being a brand ambassador

3 October 2012

Most of you know that I’m a brand ambassador. I’ve talked a lot about campaigns I’ve been involved in, events I’ve gone to, and products from the brand. However, I haven’t talked about what it’s been like to be a brand ambassador.

Overall, it’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience. I love my brand. I agree with what the company is doing, what they stand for, and am excited about where they are going. I love my “handlers”—they’re amazing and I enjoy working with them.

However, when you’re in a larger network of ambassadors things aren’t always yay-happy all the time.

I want to be clear in writing this that yes, I understand how amazing an opportunity I was given. I get things from one of my favorite brands for free—and I do not want to come across as some whiny entitle kid, that I’m in any way ungrateful. Being a brand ambassador is a huge honor for me. It makes me feel validated and valued by this brand that I’ve loved since I was a young child.

But I feel like these situations can lead to inter-network jealousies. We aren’t privy to what’s going on behind the scenes. We don’t know why certain people get picked for certain campaigns and others are left out. A lot of times I feel like I’m waiting for a date I really like to call me back. When I don’t hear from them, I wonder what I did wrong. I do not like feeling this petty. But I definitely do feel jealous.

We’re not getting gifts all the time. In fact, it’s more like 2-3 times a year. The events/parties are fewer and far between. I know a lot of factors go into what games and systems get sent out, and when and where they’ll do events. Budget is definitely a big factor in that. However, what I don’t always understand is the selection process for who gets what. Yes, it does frustrate me when I know there are ambassadors who are really only in the program because they want free stuff or they like the status of being an ambassador. And now, not only do I feel like I’m competing for attention from the mom’s with kids, but there are also guys in our network now. While I really like the guys I’ve met, the dynamics have changed. And the YouTubers? Yeah, I feel completely defeated comparing myself to them.

Will that keep me from posting and sharing this brand and my love for it? No. As I mentioned, I’ve been a fan of this brand since about kindergarten. I was the girl with a Zapper gun mounted on her bedroom wall. (But easily removed in case I wanted to do a little duck hunting…) My current decor in my home has a lot of elements and pieces from/tributes to this brand. There are a lot of awesome things coming out and I’m going to continue to share them and geeking out over them.

I love this brand. I will love this brand long past my time as an official brand ambassador—which hopefully continues for a long, long time. None of these slightly negative feelings is ever going to change my opinion or my affinity for this brand or the people I’ve worked with. My feelings of jealousy and questioning myself are things I have to work on in my own time. I trust that the agency knows what’s best for the brand, and I’m super appreciative of being a part of that vision.

edit:
I had a really good talk with someone from the brand today, and they cleared up a lot of things for me. The selection processes make a lot of sense, and sort of are exactly how I imagined they would be (once you’re able to think logically about it). Overall I’m still super happy working with this brand, and definitely feel grateful to be a part of this community.

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