The use of brand ambassadors is a recent way many companies interact and communicate with their audience. Brand “reps” provide a more personal and direct way for brands to spread their message and promote their product. Becoming a brand ambassador is a way to earn an additional income and potentially jump-start a future career with a company. Three University of Richmond students shared their experiences as brand ambassadors. 

Lila Borden - Zyia 

Zyia, an athletic lifestyle brand, sells high-quality athleisure apparel. Its mission is to inspire and uplift customers by making activity a fun and essential part of life, according to its website. The brand promotes female empowerment through the mantra “One More Rep,” which encourages women who are passionate about Zyia to get involved as brand ambassadors and further spread the idea of bringing women together to feel healthier, inspired and motivated. 

Sophomore Lila Borden is a brand rep for Zyia. She’s also a member of University Dancers and UR’s CHAARG Chapter, a fitness club for women. 

Borden became interested in a brand ambassador position with Zyia after hearing from another Zyia rep on her Instagram fitness account.

“I had my first fitness Instagram prior to this through CHAARG,” Borden said. “I’d follow a few fitness accounts and they would follow me back. One girl reached out to me who is a brand ambassador for Zyia and she posts her clothes all the time. I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I actually really do like these clothes. They’re really cute.’ She asked if I was interested and now here we are.” 

Borden was hesitant to become a brand ambassador at first. 

“[Brand ambassador positions] are always a bit iffy,” she said. “You’re never quite sure about what you’re selling. I ordered my starter pack, which comes with five different items and a $200 gift card and was really impressed with all of the clothes. I decided to keep going and it took off from there.” 

Borden loves Zyia apparel because it’s less expensive than other high-end athleisure brands like Lululemon, but the fabrics and material are still high-quality, she said. She’s shared the brand with her friends and also other fitness lovers. 

“I show them my clothes that I have and if they sign up with me for their first time I’ll either give them a discount or pay for their shipping,” she said. “I have a lot of my friends order clothes through me.”

Borden is excited to further her position as a rep because she loves the apparel and receives great discounts, she said. 

“Anytime that someone buys under my link, I get a 20% commission, and then if you reach a certain level my commission might go up to 25%,” she said. “I also get a discount if I order for myself.” 

Follow @lilab.inchaarg on Instagram to see more of Zyia’s athleisure wear. 

Sage Watterson - L.L. Bean 

We all know L.L. Bean for their outdoor apparel and camping gear. Or, if you’re like me, you’re obsessed with their comfortable slippers, perfect for cozying up on the couch. The rustic clothing brand has flourished for over 100 years, famous for their durable yet stylish products. 

For sophomore Sage Watterson, L.L. Bean has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Watterson grew up in the town over from Freeport, Maine, where the L.L. Bean headquarters and flagship store are located. 

“It’s where I take people when they come to visit me,” Watterson said. “I’m like, ‘Oh we’ll go to the L.L. Bean flagship store and walk around.’ It’s huge. You can get lost in there for hours. 

“It’s even a rite of passage to go L.L. Bean at 2 [o’clock] in the morning and play hide and seek, it’s so much fun.”

Watterson applied to be a brand ambassador after talking to a friend who’s employed by the company. 

“I knew that the ambassador program existed, but I didn’t really know how to get started with it,” she said. “One of my best family friends works for L.L. Bean and he was like, ‘Oh, you would be so good at this, you should totally do it,’ so he sent the application my way and that was that.”

Watterson has loved the brand for as long as she can remember, and even took the “boot mobile” — a vehicle shaped as the L.L. Bean “bean boot” — to her senior prom. 

“I love the brand so much, I was basically already doing this before I became an ambassador,” she said. “I have been a walking talking advertisement for them forever, and now I’m getting paid for it, which is awesome.”

Watterson is required to hold two tabling events and visit three clubs each semester. She also uses Instagram to promote L.L. Bean, via posts and stories. 

At her tabling events, Watterson’s job is to get people excited about the brand. 

“I give out premiums, like chapsticks and carabiners,” she said. “I also hand out coupons and have a fun little plinko board. Each number corresponds to a different more exclusive prize that I’ll give out like a bandana or a pair of sunglasses.” 

Watterson is excited for a potential future with L.L. Bean, and wants to continue her position as a brand ambassador, she said. 

“What I do the next few summers is pretty up in the air, so I’ll probably apply for an internship,” she said. “The people are so friendly and love being outside. There’s also a lot of dogs around.” 

Maire Lindlauf - TikTok 

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the app TikTok, a new social app that lets its users upload short videos. TikTok has gained huge popularity due to the app’s hilarious, fun and — let’s be honest — ridiculous content that makes putting your phone down a difficult task. 

Senior Maire Lindlauf is one of two TikTok brand ambassadors on UR’s campus. 

Lindlauf, an avid TikTok user, was excited when her friend told her about the opportunity to become brand ambassador. 

“The position kind of fell into my lap, actually,” she said. “I got an email from one of my friends that TikTok had reached out and was looking for people who wanted to do it.”

Lindlauf, a marketing major, was drawn to how interactive the position is. She loves wearing TikTok merch around campus and getting it in the hands of students, too.

“[TikTok] sends a lot of cool gear that we’re supposed to wear and post about and hand out, which is so much fun,” she said. “It offers a lot of opportunities, I get to meet a lot of other reps from different schools. I’m also working with Lauren Guzman as co-ambassadors on campus.”

Both Lindlauf and Guzman are paid to spread the word about TikTok through different campus events and branding tactics. 

Lindlauf has even considered a career with her favorite social networking site, she said. 

“I have considered a career with TikTok, I think it would be really fun. It’s up in the air right now but I’m definitely open to it,” she said. “I’m a marketing major, so it would be cool to do marketing for TikTok.” 

Contact contributor Jordan Daniel at jordan.daniel@richmond.edu.