Even though 64% of Americans still prefer to shop in-store, most shoppers agree that there’s room for improvement when it comes to the in-store experience. Invested brands are creating their own teams of dedicated field agents who bolster the customer experience and make sure the brand is being well-represented in stores.
Becky de la Rosa knows this better than most. As a ThirdChannel brand ambassador, she works with a leading musical instrument brand to activate and enhance the in-store experience for consumers. We caught up with Becky to find out what she likes best about being a field agent. Here’s what she had to say.
What attracted you to the ThirdChannel brand ambassador program?
I initially found the opportunity through a Craigslist ad. I’m really passionate about music, so when I saw the ad I applied. I have my own business, so I understand retail and merchandising, as well as dealing with a team and what it takes to make people achieve.
I’ve been really happy with this opportunity—the chance to be immersed in the music community, the chance to do something new. I’ve only been a brand ambassador for three months, but I’ve managed to make an impact.
What has been your favorite part about being a brand ambassador?
What I’ve often found in workplaces is a lack of recognition. With the opportunity to come into this music store, I started an employee recognition program and started investing in each individual. It’s been really nice to see store employees blossom under a little nurturing and attention. I’ve seen a huge difference from when I first started, since I go in and acknowledge their sales and celebrate every aspect of what they’ve done for our brand.
I feel like I’m really part of something and have made an impact. You can never go wrong by investing in people and acknowledging their success. My goal was to make people feel like they mattered, and I thought that would bring better results for the brand.
Do you have some success stories and tips you can share when it comes to engaging with consumers in-store?
Every time I visit, I really enjoy engaging with customers. It’s great, because I’m not a salesperson—I can tell customers that I’m a brand rep, and that I’m not looking to make a sale. That way, we can have a conversation about the brand and about music. I’ll pull a guitar off the wall, watch them play, talk to them about what they’re looking for, and what would make them want to upgrade or add to their collection.
Getting to have that meaningful engagement with people is something that’s really paid off. I’ve had customers come back and buy multiple products with me after trying it out and having these conversations. They made a point of coming back on the day they knew I’d be there.
There’s been quite a bit written and reported on recently about the gig economy. What’s been your experience being a member of that economy in this role?
This type of work is new to me. I hadn’t done this one-day-a-week thing before, but I’m liking it. I find that as I get older, I don’t have the patience to be at a job five days a week. I have an active mind, and it’s great to have different environments to be immersed in—variety in my life instead of routine. It’s nice to be able to dip in, but also dip out.
What’s the one thing you like the most about being a ThirdChannel brand ambassador?
Being a free agent. I get to come into the store, but I also get to leave. I like being a positive insertion in the employees’ week, but not being there all the time. It’s fun to come in and leave when the work is done.
I’m proud to say I’m a brand agent. The brand I work with makes high quality musical instruments. If you have an emotional connection with something, it makes a huge difference in how people respond to you. This position really means a lot to me.
What brands would you want to work with?
I like companies that have substance to them. Anything that revolves around creativity or social impact, or if the company itself is investing in the community. Anything that’s not just straight-up retail. The brand I work with is so dedicated to quality, and I’m proud to be associated with them.
What made you want to work with this brand in particular?
Their products are excellent. They’re sticklers for that. Every single thing they create lasts a really long time. The fact that they’re hand producing everything in California is meaningful to me. It’s made in America. You can pass these masterpieces down to your children, they’re that well made. They’re also really good at taking care of their employees—they have people at their headquarters who are in their eighties. You have a sense that this means something to people. It’s not just a product. There’s an emotional component.