A whisky brand ambassador is hired to promote a whisky company and increase brand awareness. They will interact with various types of customers including consumers, bar owners and whisky distributors to promote the company’s products.
The whisky brand ambassador must embody the corporate identity of the company. Their appearance, behaviour and ethics are all expected to be of a very high standard. The whisky brand ambassador is the public face of the product and will also liaise with the media to promote the brand.
The precise responsibilities of a whisky brand ambassador vary at different distilleries. Some brand ambassadors may play a very hands on role and be involved in the actual production of whisky, while others simply act as a salesperson for the brand. The key responsibilities for most whisky brand ambassadors include:
- Work with the marketing team to improve sales
They will work with the marketing team to identify new opportunities in the market for a distillery’s whisky, develop sales pitches, and develop new marketing strategies.
- Work with the key account managers to ensure adequate distribution
Because the whisky brand ambassador is meeting with customers on a regular basis, they are in a good position to determine demand. A whisky brand ambassador will be required to work with the key account manager to ensure those customers are well supplied.
- Identify and plan new merchandising opportunities
A whisky brand ambassador has a number of tools available for brand promotion, including various forms of merchandise. They must find new and innovative ways to promote the brand.
- Ensure all activities and events prove the brand in a cohesive way
A brand ambassador will be planning and attending various promotional events on behalf of the distillery. They must ensure these events contribute to building brand equity and reinforce the core values of the brand.
- Train people in the art of whisky tasting
A whisky brand ambassador is extremely knowledgeable about whisky and will help educate consumers and workers at the distillery about the properties that good whisky should have. They will be involved in whisky tastings, trade shows, seminars and workshops.
- Develop a reputation in the trade as an expert whisky taster
A whisky brand ambassador must develop a public reputation for their whisky tasting skills and knowledge. The ambassador will promote themselves as well as the whisky at various events and gradually establish themselves as an authority.
- Visit customers and key influencers to promote the whisky
The brand ambassador must visit consumers and influencers with very clear goals in mind when promoting the distillery’s brand. The ambassador should consider sales goals, profit goals and brand equity.
- Organise and carry out consumer engagement programs
A brand ambassador will organise events to help consumers learn more about the brand and the product. These events should be fun, educational and interesting.
- Build relationships with key influencers
There are usually a number of media personalities, whisky tasters, journalists and distributors who have developed a strong reputation within the whisky market. You will have to develop your relationship with these people to help promote the brand.
- Be a “product evangelist” for retail staff
A whisky brand ambassador must be knowledgeable, enthusiastic and charismatic when promoting the distillery’s products. They should make the product line exciting for the retail staff who will help customers make purchasing decisions.
- Bring the brand to life in the minds of consumers
Your ability to “sell” the product and represent the product’s core values will help customers understand what the brand is about.
- Collect brand performance information and analyse performance of marketing strategies
A whisky brand ambassador must understand the value of the work they have performed and will use various metrics to track the success of their brand promotion.
- Educate staff about whisky
The whisky brand ambassador is one of the most knowledgeable people working at a distillery. They have high-level communication skills, sales skills and in-depth knowledge of whisky. They will often be called upon to share their knowledge with marketing staff, the sales team, other brand representatives and management staff.
Whilst there are no strict educational requirements for a whisky brand ambassador, a Bachelors Degree or Masters Degree in business administration, business development or marketing would be looked upon favourably.
Typically a brand ambassador will have:
- Between 2-5 years marketing and brand management experience
- Experience in a sales role in the food and beverages industry
- Experience in hospitality
Many whisky brand ambassadors have a long history working in hospitality and many have previously been distillery workers, bar tenders or bar managers.
The key skills for a whisky brand ambassador include:
- Extremely fluent in written and spoken English and/or other languages
Brand ambassadors must have high-level communication skills. Whisky brand ambassadors that are involved in selling to a foreign market would benefit from knowing more than one language.
- Extremely knowledgeable about whisky
A whisky brand ambassador should know everything about whisky, from its production to consumption. They should also have the ability to communicate that knowledge effectively and educate others.
- Be an excellent public speaker
Public speaking can be a daily occurrence for a whisky brand ambassador. They must be comfortable speaking to groups ranging from a dozen people through to hundreds. They must be a charismatic and professional speaker who engages (and excites) their audience. They must also have strong presentation skills.
- Ability to influence people
Because this is a sales role, the ambassador must have the ability to influence people and convince them that the brand is of the highest quality.
- High energy person who can build passion for a brand
A whisky brand ambassador must have the ability to evangelise their product and get people excited about it. They must be passionate about whisky and be able to get other people excited about the brand.
- Ability to work autonomously
A brand ambassador is usually working unsupervised in a wide variety of locations. They must have the ability to push themselves and perform their job well.
The Carling Partnership offers a range of specialist jobs for a wide range of companies exclusively in the distilling drinks industry.