Teens promote brands, gain benefits

Students obtain exposure to social media marketing

Leah Matlin, Zoe Bendoff, Executive Lifestyle Editor, Staff Writer

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Junior Dani Bosse recently became a brand ambassador for tentree. The company aims to help the environment by planting 10 trees for every item a customer buys. Photo by Richard Chu.

At the end of August, junior Dani Bosse received several oooooo Instagram direct messages from company representatives complimenting her feed and her appearance with hopes of recruiting her as a brand ambassador. Until being contacted, she had never heard of or considered the idea. Smiling to herself, Bosse read aloud one of the messages she had received. 

“‘Hey girl. Just came across your [Instagram], and I’m obsessed,’” said Bosse. “‘I was wondering if you were a market partner for a beauty company yet? I’m assuming you are, but if not, I’d love to give you some info on this amazing side hustle I’m doing and get you in the loop.’”

Bosse did not accept this offer or the offers from any of the other messages. However, soon after, she saw that tentree, a clothing and accessory company Bosse followed as a nature enthusiast, was recruiting new ambassadors. Tentree plants 10 trees for every item a customer buys, and has a goal of planting one billion trees by 2030.

“I care a lot about … making sure that the beauty of nature stays intact,” Bosse said.

According to Bosse, the online application process for the ambassadorship included entering her personal information, Instagram username and her follower count.

Rebecca Marroquin, customer care coordinator for tentree, said in a phone interview that each aspect of an ambassador’s application is reviewed thoroughly.

“Basically an ambassador is somebody who … helps us promote our mission, which is to revive the environment,” Marroquin said.

According to Marroquin, while some of tentree’s ambassadors possess a larger following, the company primarily searches for people, regardless of their follower count, who are passionate about the products and tentree’s eco-friendly objective. The company accepts people beginning at age 16 because the more ambassadors spreading the word, the more trees they are able to plant.

Bosse said tentree ambassadors have access to many benefits including product discounts, financial compensation, early access to new products and opportunities to be featured on the company’s social media. 

Alumna Meghan Cruz (‘17), a sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley, said in a phone interview that she has completed a number of ambassadorships. She just finished representing WAVE Bottle, a water bottle company that aims to reduce plastic waste. 

Anik Akhund, founder and CEO of WAVE Bottle, said in a phone interview that the company aims to make the world a greener place and looks to bring on ambassadors who have the same environmentally-friendly values. 

“Everyone is different, and as long as [the ambassador shares] the same belief about saving the environment and going green, we’re okay with that,” Akhund said. 

Cruz  said brand ambassadorships have given her the opportunity to support causes she is passionate about. As an environmental sciences major, WAVE Bottle’s mission resonated with her own desire to reduce damage to the environment.

Akhund said WAVE Bottle ambassadors are asked to create promotional posts for their Instagram feeds and stories monthly. In return, the company sends ambassadors water bottles.

“I think ambassadors are the future of targeting the type of people we want to target,” Akhund said.

According to Cruz, being an ambassador has benefitted her in many ways such as allowing her to gain exposure on social media platforms. She has also gained skills such as outreach, adaptability and negotiation on a professional level. However, she has also faced some downsides.

“Like any brand ambassador, I would probably say that a negative would be flooding your social media platform.

“I try not to endorse anything that I wouldn’t personally use, but I know that’s not a value that every brand ambassador holds,” Cruz said. 

Bosse said she likes being an ambassador because she has always been “obsessed” with tentree.

“When I saw the opportunity to actually … be a part of their company, I was so [excited],” said Bosse. “Now it’s like, I’m just so much more passionate about being an ambassador rather than being one for … a different company that I just wasn’t really obsessed with.”

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