Patti LaBelle’s Pies Are Selling Like Hotcakes (Or why your company needs to hire brand ambassadors)

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Singer Patti LaBelle’s Sweet Potato Pies are nearly sold out at stores across the country.

As we’re approaching the festive Thanksgiving and holiday season, I’m sure you’ve heard the scoop on a video from James Wright that has gone viral across social media this week.

In case you haven’t, here it is:

Since the video’s airing, it has garnered over 8,000,000 views and millions of pies from stores have been sold.

In a mad rush to restock shelves, the sales success for stores and the Patti LaBelle brand has been phenomenal. From this we can see why brand ambassadors are so vital to building and spreading brand awareness. All of which lead to increased sales.

Brand Ambassadors have the potential to champion your brand at all times. Whether it’s during a public relations crisis, or through a time of prosperity for a brand, the benefits of hiring brand ambassadors are numerous. Some of which include:

Brand Recognition: Brand ambassadors can range from bloggers who consistently write about your product or brand, or social media users who are just really excited about a product (as seen in the case of James Wright).

The average TV ad ranges from $400,000 to over $2 million. However by utilizing brand ambassadors to spread the message about your brand, you can further the effectiveness of your marketing campaign while keeping your budget cost low.

Employees as Brand Ambassadors for Apple Inc.
Employees as Brand Ambassadors for Apple Inc.

Credibility: Studies have shown that Millennials typically trust their friends and family’s opinion about a product before they purchase it. According to, PR Daily showed that 84 percent of Millennials do not trust advertising.

Brand Ambassadors with a positive and respected online reputation make great spokespersons for a product that you are trying to market. As a result, this positive feeling towards the brand ambassador does much to add to the overall favorable appeal of the brand being endorsed.

Event Marketing Event for Sony
Event Marketing Event for Sony

Established Social Media Following: The best thing about hiring ambassadors for your brand is that these same ambassadors already have a large following of friends who they interact with on a daily basis.

As third-party endorsers, their social media following already has an established trust with this person. This same trust for the brand ambassador will then be applied to the brand or product that the ambassador promotes.

Those who regularly Tweet about your brand make wonderful brand ambassadors. Photo: Starbucks Selfie
Those who regularly Tweet about your brand make wonderful brand ambassadors. Photo: Starbucks Selfie

Potential for viral success: Now in the digital age of social media, an eye-catching blog post or Tweet is key to achieving widespread brand awareness. As in the case of James Wright’s video clip, it wasn’t 24 hours that the clip was shared, retweeted, and even mentioned on the CBS Daytime Show The Talk. 

Innovation Aspect: The usual suspects of radio & TV ads are becoming a thing of the past. Nowadays, with the invention of social media, companies are using this lucrative platform to capitalize on spreading their brand’s messages.

Before James Wright’s video aired, the market for Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pies was relatively low. (as witnessed in the incredibly quiet debut in September of this year) James Wright’s incredibly funny, yet captivating video injected the right amount of energy into this campaign. Since the video’s airing, one pie was sold every second in a 72 hour span.

Suggested Reading:

6 Key Characteristics of a Successful Brand Ambassador

The Mere Exposure Effect in Social Media

7 Steps To a Successful Brand Ambassador Program

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