Have you ever heard a parent-to-be say something like, "Eh... we haven't really thought of names yet - we'll just pick one when they're born, it's not that important"?
Probably not. Even many authors spend hours or weeks agonising over the perfect names for their characters. A name can determine how often you’re picked on in school. Some people refuse to date people with specific names! So if names are that significant, why wouldn't you want to pick an incredible name for your community of brand ambassadors?
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You'd be surprised how often brands skip this step and simply refer to their community as "brand ambassadors”. But even fandoms full of people who have never met one another create names for themselves to feel more like an exclusive community.
For example, Beyonce's fans are known as the Bey Hive - a play on the fact that Beyonce is referred to as Queen Bey. And Star Trek fans have long been known as Trekkies. Having a community name brings people together. So, what will your community name be?
Why Should Your Ambassadors Have a Name?
Being a part of a group unites people. And having a specific name gives a sense of identity and connection to others in the community. People have always longed to be a part of something bigger than themselves. And something as simple as a name can provide this feeling.
Your community name can also set the tone for your ambassador program. Is it fun and quirky? Or is it luxurious and glamorous? Giving your community a name can inform the vibe you're looking for with your ambassador content.
Your ambassador community has the potential to be the backbone of your entire ambassador marketing strategy. A great name is just one part of helping unite your community so they are aligned with your brand's vision.
How To Choose Your Community Name
There are quite a few options you can explore when brainstorming a name for your community. But the more the merrier, so we suggest you come up with a number of names using each strategy. From there, you can choose the name that feels most right to you, or even create a poll to ask your ambassadors which option they like best (or your customers, followers, and fans if you haven't started your program yet).
You could even send out an internal poll through your newsletter or private group with more in-depth questions, asking what each name makes people feel or what it brings to mind.
Here are four great ways to come up with the best name for your brand ambassador community.
1. Incorporate Your Brand's Name
Sliding your brand's name - or a portion of it - into your ambassador community name is the perfect way to keep your brand front and centre.
When leisurewear company Onepiece began using brand ambassadors, they called their community "Piecekeepers". This clever name was not only a great play on words, but it included a portion of the brand's name to keep it in mind. Other brands that use this strategy are swimsuit brand Dippin' Daisy's with their "Ambassadaisys" and Seed Phytonutrients with "Seed Squad".
Using your brand's name to identify your brand ambassadors means that your community is instantly recognisable. People know those ambassadors belong with you. It also provides a very natural segue for your ambassadors to talk about your brand.
2. Go With the Vibe
Are you picking up good vibrations? Choosing a name that represents the vibe you want for your community not only attracts the correct ambassadors, but it can also inform your community of the type of content you're looking for.
For example, Bravo Sierra is a personal care and grooming products brand that emphasises making products that stand up to the needs of ultra-active consumers. Specifically, they've built their products with and for the U.S. Military, to ensure their products get the job done. Their image is that of tough, strong, and battle-ready men and women. The name they've devised for their ambassador community to encompass this? "Battalion".
On the other hand, Izzy and Liv is an apparel and accessory brand that describes themselves as "chic and fun". They aim to create graphic tees and other fashion pieces that represent and connect with Black women. They've done an excellent job of exhibiting this in their brand ambassador community, naming them "Brown Sugar Babes". This tells you who their target audience is, and the feminine vibe the brand wants to portray.
Names that reflect your community vibe help you attract the right ambassadors for your brand. They know what to expect and whether or not they fit the image you're looking for.
3. Use An Overarching Philosophy
You can also use your community name to communicate to your ambassadors and their followers an overarching philosophy of your brand. Fashion brand Liam and Co. seeks to unite busy women through versatile, feel-good fashion. They showcase this in the name of their ambassador community, "The Common Thread".
Onepiece, the leisurewear company we mentioned before, changed their ambassador community name to better represent their philosophy of promoting a carefree "lazy Sunday" vibe on any day of the week. Now their ambassadors are invited to join "The Sunday Club".
These ambassador community names further promote the ideals of each brand which helps ambassadors who join continue to align their content with the brand's vision.
4. Avoid These Naming Mistakes
We’ve all heard of someone with an unfortunate name. Naming mishaps happen, even within companies. But an error when naming your brand ambassadors can prove to be a big distraction. Or worse, it could tarnish the name of your brand.
It’s important to connect your brand ambassadors’ identity with your brand - no one else’s. This means avoiding names that are associated with other brands. This also means if you connect with your brand through a third-party platform, you should avoid using that to identify your community.
Do your research and ensure that your community name is not already taken by another brand, especially if they’re a direct competitor. This could not only confuse your audience but could also land you in some trouble.
Another big naming mistake that may be overlooked is connotations. Slang is changing quickly, and some trending words may not mean exactly what you think they mean. If you use acronyms you should be aware of ways they may be used in other places online. You should also avoid any words that have cultural significance (unless your brand is built around that specific culture) or could be considered offensive.
Where to next?
Have you developed a name to unite your community and tie them to your brand yet? If not, it's time to start brainstorming! Take a look at our free, downloadable guide on creating an entire community vibe!
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