Drinks producers and brand owners across the globe appreciate the huge value of brand ambassadors. These enthusiastic and outgoing professionals inspire a worldwide passion for the drinks that they represent, making their role one that is high-profile and deeply respected in the drinks industry. In short, an essential part of each brand’s marketing strategy.
Some brand ambassadors work part-time, while others, especially those assigned to key markets, put in long but rewarding hours and earn upwards of 87,000 euros a year.
Brand ambassadors are energetic, creative, and passionate individuals who are at home in surroundings like glamorous restaurants, elegant hotels, and vibrant cocktail venues. If you’re ready to escape the office grind and enjoy work week full of variety and excitement, being a brand ambassador could be the career for you.
What the role involves
Because they are regarded as a cheerleader for the drinks brands’ they represent, brand ambassadors are responsible for inspiring enthusiasm for them. They must:
- Boost market share for the brand by educating consumers, retailers, bartenders, and the media about its wonders
- Drive brand awareness by using social media, courting press coverage, and courting thought leaders
- Participate in event marketing
- Present ideas for growing the profile of the brand
- Measure the success of current campaigns
You will also spend a lot of time educating people: retailers, bartenders, and even consumers are now demanding more detailed information about how drinks are produced. As a result, you will design training programs that are an appealing combination of engaging and educational. These presentations will incorporate information about the wider drinks industry in addition to your own brand.
Where you will work
One brand ambassador for Moët Hennessy Diageo commented that brand ambassadors accumulate more passport stamps than any of their colleagues. They can spend more than half of the working week travelling and presenting the brand to the public through:
- Winery or distillery tours
- Tasting sessions
- Speeches at industry events
- Drinks mixing classes at consumer events
- Demonstrations on television or streamed online
- Training seminars aimed at bartenders, sales reps, and other industry workers
- Giving radio interviews
- Meeting with journalists
When they are at their desks, they are meeting with marketing teams to prepare for upcoming experiential events, putting brand speeches together and assembling presentation documents.
In general, your typical workweek will often change drastically and keep you on your toes. It will, however, never be boring. As a brand ambassador, you will strive to become a respected influencer in the drinks industry and encourage the public to love the brand as much as you do.
Main challenges of the job
To everyone else, the job of a brand ambassador in the drinks industry appears to be one long party. Your social media account may become the envy of your friends, but it’s a career that involves long hours, late nights, and a huge amount of travel that can take you away from home, family and friends for weeks at a time.
You need to be energetic enough to cope with the demand on your time and self-disciplined enough to work independently when out of the office. Your loved ones also need to be understanding: many ambassadors say that the job can take a bit of a toll on your personal life.
Key skills needed for the role
To be a brand ambassador for the drinks industry, you must be an outgoing person with superior organisational and public speaking skills, as your responsibilities will include putting together social events on behalf of the company and attending those hosted by the media and industry leaders. Previous experience in event planning is, therefore, an advantage.
Brand ambassadors also need:
- Great management skills, ideally gained through experience in the hospitality industry
- The ability to remain cheerful and calm under pressure
- Knowledge of marketing
- A strong understanding of the drinks industry as a whole, which will enable you to place your brand in a wider context and explain its strengths and value to all audience types (qualifications are an ideal way to acquire this type of knowledge)
Although it isn’t a mandated requirement, experience as a bartender is an advantage, as many brand ambassadors are former bartenders. After building a substantial amount of knowledge and experience behind the bar and learning how to be good communicators, they took the next step up. Ambassadors are often called upon to make drinks and use the soft skills that bartenders master after a period of time on the job, such as reading people and knowing how to talk to people of all ages, cultures and seniority.
The drinks industry is a world that places a great emphasis on creativity, energy and enthusiasm in its ambassadors. Those already employed in the field say that it is more than a career- it’s a passion.
Necessary education, qualifications, and experience
In order to be an ambassador for a drinks brand instead of a customer service representative, you must have a deep understanding of the subject. If you represent a whisky brand, this means knowing its history, its unique aroma and taste, and how it compares to other whiskies.
Regarding education, a lot of companies will want you to have either a WSET Level 3 in Wines qualification or WSET Level 4 Diploma. Some employers want their brand ambassadors to have a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field and at least three years of experience in a drinks marketing role. If you go a step further and qualify as a WSET Certified Educator, you could find it easier to teach people about the brands you represent. However, there are many more great training providers out there, in addition to the WSET.
The future of the role
Brand ambassadors understand that their role can and will change with the demands of the drinks industry. In recent years, the industry has been focusing more on education, so brand ambassadors are not only talking about the brands they represent- they are also involved in trade engagement and brand education.
Being a brand ambassador for the drinks industry is a demanding job, but if you are enthusiastic, creative, hardworking, and thrive on a professional life full of excitement and variety, it could be your perfect career. Those that excel in this field have a genuine passion for the industry and its amazing brands.
For Brand Ambassador jobs and others in the drinks industry, check out Liquid Careers