The recent drama with Jason Peru and Chief Brand Products is another reminder for Trinidad and Tobago businesses to have a robust influencer and brand ambassador strategy. Without it, many brands could end up in a similar situation.
Before we delve too much into the analysis let's first cover, what happened?
TikToker Kosm_tt created a TikTok about one of his favourite Chinese shops which is located opposite a mosque. He states that the restaurant excludes pork from its menu. As a Muslim himself he discussed how he appreciated that the restaurant was sensitive to its immediate audience. Jason Peru commented on the post with, “No pork????? Pork is life”.
This comment was followed by some criticism and feedback from other users who claimed that the comment was insensitive and some users reminded Jason that he is commenting on a Muslim content creator’s page. Jason engaged with and even debated some of these comments.
Users eventually, reached out to Chief Brand Products to make them aware of the what Jason had said which was insensitive to members of the muslim faith. Chief Brand Products responded via their Facebook page stating that the comments and beliefs shared by Jason was not reflective of their brand values.
This followed some backlash from users and customers who correctly argued that it was not enough and that Jason should be removed as a brand ambassador. Some rumours have said that the brand dropped Jason however, Chief Brand Products is yet to confirm this.
So, now you are all caught up with what happened let us now assess what this reveals about proper brand ambassador and influencer management and online relationships for local businesses:
1. Brand Ambassador vs Influencer
First off, separate the two. A brand ambassador is going to require a much more detailed contract and set of conditions. Whereas an influencer could be a part-time or shorter partnership that would demand less protocol and requirements. While both reflect the brand, a one-time influencer campaign will require fewer criteria for the influencer. A brand ambassador, however, will need a thorough contract on their behaviours and what is expected of them.
Always ensure you have clearly defined your influencer strategy and contracts and have a more in-depth strategy and contract for your brand ambassadors.
2. Do Your Research (and then do some more)
One of the key things this situation revealed is that local brands not doing enough research about the ambassadors they want to work with. You have to cover as much research as possible even beyond what is available online. You want to ask questions such as:
- What brands do they have or are currently working with
- What is their online content like across platforms
- What is their online “behaviour/personality” like? For example, how do they engage with their audiences online, are they friendly, engaging, controversial? This also pertains to their Twitter page and their persona on the platform if applicable.
- Does the influencer and their audience align with your brand?
- What controversies have they been in?
- How does the public respond to this person both offline and especially online?
This research should be as extensive as possible and requires both online and offline research and discussions to ensure that you cover all the necessary bases to make the right decision on who should represent the brand.
3. Create and Stick to a Robust Contract
When you create your influencer contract ensure that you cover as much ground as possible and don’t just stick to the basics. Many local businesses still rely on verbal communication and short email contracts. When it comes to any influencer and brand ambassador marketing that you do, you must have a detailed contract that lists:
- The responsibulties of both parties
- The monetary aspects and deadlines for both content and payments
- The responsibilities of the influencer or brand ambassadors throughout the partnership for example, 6 posts, 2 reels per week etc.
- For brand ambassadors you must include that they have to keep up a certain online demeanour, this also includes how they conduct themselves when executing content for the brand and how they act at live events.
- Situations that will result in the termination of the contract
- Protocol for any controversies or negative comments, for example, do not to engage with negative comments on branded content without first speaking to the company.
Overall, the Jason Peru situation is yet another example of why local businesses have to do their research and ensure that their companies' influencer strategy is well defined, up to date and protects both the company and influencer from potential controversy or miscommunication.
Do you need your influencer or brand ambassador contract reviewed by Connective Pros? Feel free to reach out to us and we will provide a second opinion of your contract for FREE!
What do you think about the Jason Peru and Chief situation? Tell us in the comments or better yet be a guest contributor and respond to our article- Send us an email at email@example.com