First impressions are formed immediately, are often subconscious and result from an overall perceived image or action.
When working as a brand ambassador, your most important job is to embody the brand you are representing.
It’s vital that you’re aware of what message and brand image you need to convey to consumers, and ensure that you follow this through in your communication and behaviour, making sure that every impression made on a consumer is the right impression.
>> How much time do you have, to make that first impression count?
On average, people form an emotional opinion of you within seconds of interaction, sometimes sooner. In other walks of life, you may get several opportunities to influence somebody’s opinion of you but certainly not in the events and promotional industry. You have only a very small window to create that positive and lasting first impression on the people you speak to, and quite possibly, no second chances!
First impressions can even be formed from a distance which means your presentation and professionalism needs to be on point, at all times, and not just when you’re engaging with someone. Bear in mind that consumers are often watching from afar, or on approach to your promotional area.
>> How important is that first impression?
The answer is, VERY!
Your interaction with the consumer could be the first time the consumer has engaged with the brand you are representing, especially if the company is relatively new or is promoting a new product. This interaction could make or break the consumer’s connection to the brand and creating a negative experience at this early stage, is an impression that could last a lifetime.
When you get the opportunity to interact with a consumer just remember that you may have spoken to a hundred people before speaking to the person in front of you but for them, it’s their first time so make it count!
The whole purpose of experiential is to inspire an emotional connection that creates consumer loyalty and retention, so it’s your job to ensure that connection is the most positive it can possibly be. Experiential works, but only when the brand ambassadors (you!) are brilliant and on brand.
Event Marketing Institute’s “2016 EventTrack” report shows that 74% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after engaging with a successful experiential or promotional campaign
Research by Cambridge University shows why first impressions are so important;
When customers receive good service they tell 10-12 people on average.
When customers receive poor service they tell upwards of 20 people.
>> Some points to consider when working on your next campaign
Think about how you appear to the consumer in relation to the following;
Presentation; As we’ve touched upon, it’s important to consider overall presentation even from a distance; consumers, competitors and even clients are looking at the event, exhibition or stand from multiple vantage points. So it’s vital that you take pride in your appearance; it’s the first thing somebody notices before they get to speak to you. Is your uniform clean and ironed? Does your appearance match the style guidelines you’ve been sent?
Body Language; Consider how you’re portraying yourself; is your body language open, approachable and welcoming? Or do you unintentionally appear uninterested and unapproachable? If you were the consumer, would you approach the stand?
Communication; Finally, consider the language used when communicating with the consumer. How would you greet them and start their first verbal interaction with the brand? Would you speak to a teenager or young adult in the same way you would speak to an older person? Probably not; you would adjust your communication style accordingly, and this is vital as a brand ambassador since you will engage with people from all walks of life with different experiences and expectations.
>> First impressions during the staffing process
Whilst there is a huge amount of responsibility on a brand ambassador to ensure that the initial and lasting impressions created by the brand are positive, there’s also a huge amount of responsibility on the staffing agency to select the right people for the job!
So that we can do just that, we make a conscious effort to nurture the best relationships with our promotional staff and get to know each new addition to our trusted candidate pool, as well as we possibly can. We make it our mission to ensure the right person is working with the right brand and carefully assess where somebody’s skill is best matched.
Bear in mind that when you apply for a new role you are potentially competing with a number of other promotional staff for that position. Don’t underestimate the importance of making a good first impression, even at the application stage. Consider the following when applying for a job with eventeem;
- Why are you the best person for this job? Tell us in your application!
- What relevant experience do you have?
- Is your profile completed as proficiently as possible?
- Are the photos you’ve uploaded suitable for presenting to the brand you’ve applied to work with?
- Be prompt in your communication with us – time is often of the essence!
To recap, there are many points to consider when trying to use those first few seconds to influence somebody’s opinion and convey the right first impression. You need to be on top of your game right from the start and remain so, because you never know how your actions, whether consciously or subconsciously, are influencing that process.
You only get one chance to make a first impression – make it count!