Brand ambassadors can come in many different forms. Sometimes you can carefully craft a strategy to entice customers to promote your business in very specific ways. But sometimes customers come up with their own unique ways to promote your business — and you just have to run with it.
Such is the case with Andy Peck, who created the Instagram account Mozzaratings. The account features ratings of music, movies and more. But instead of the traditional star rating system, Peck uses mozzarella sticks from Sheetz, a chain of convenience stores based mainly in the Northeast, to indicate his rating.
Here’s how it works. Peck posts a photo that shows a movie or album cover at the top and a collection of Sheetz mozzarella sticks at the bottom. It’s an out-of-six rating. So if you see six mozzarella sticks at the bottom of a photo, you know that the movie or album in question has garnered the highest in Mozzaratings praise.
“The idea for Mozzaratings just kind of came by accident,” Peck told Small Business Trends. “I had always been a big movie fan and would post my thoughts about movies on social media, even dating back to MySpace days. I saw a movie that had just come out at the time (American Ultra) and thought it would be funny to give it a rating in mozzarella sticks. I thought this would be a fun and different way to mix up the usual posts I make and because I really like Sheetz mozzarella sticks. The idea of rating something with mozzarella sticks and doing it out of 6 instead of 5 (because Sheetz gives you 6 sticks in an order) was funny to me, too.”
Baby Driver | 5/6 @sheetz mozzarella sticks. This movie is fun, it’s exciting, and it’s kind of different too. There’s a unique blend of action, comedy, crime, romance, suspense and quirkiness to “Baby Driver”. Mix in some good acting from people like Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Ansel Elgort, and also Flea from the Red Hot Chili Pepper. What is it with bank robbing roles that attracts RHCP members?? (See Anthony Kiedis in the original “Point Break” film from 1991… not the remake from 2015 though. I refuse to watch that one because it looks like hot garbage… I digress) Now take that and top it all off with a good soundtrack and you have a really solid film! There are some moments where I questioned the logic and choices of the characters, but nothing that ruins the movie. So grab some popcorn, check your disbelief at the door, buckle in, and enjoy “Baby Driver”!
Sound weird? Maybe, but it’s something that can still help the brand get a lot of attention. And Sheetz has even taken notice. The company sent Peck a custom t-shirt and several other items as a thank you for his sharing of the Sheetz brand in his own unique way. And he and his followers have gotten a huge kick out of it.
Peck says, “I forget exactly when Sheetz started to interact with Mozzaratings, but they first contacted me to get me some free stuff back in May. Since then they’ve sent me a cup, mug, selfie stick, slap bracelet, magnet, cards, gift cards, sunglasses, and shirts — one which was custom made for me. They also sent me a package around my birthday. Whoever handles their social media does a great job and really stays on top of things! It’s been fun interacting with them and I know my friends/family have been getting a kick out of it, too.”
In addition, unique ideas like this have the potential to go viral. And since it’s not a totally fabricated marketing effort by the brand, people could be more likely to pay attention and maybe see this as a really authentic endorsement of the brand and product.
Keep Watch for Unofficial Brand Ambassador Opportunities
So while you might not have customers using your products in a unique Instagram ratings system, it’s a good idea for you to keep an eye out for unique brand ambassador opportunities. If you notice customers doing something unique that features your product, you can reward or call attention to those customers so you both get the best possible outcome.