More than 3000 entries were received from around Australia, with the final 20 ambassadors put through a four stage application process.
The program follows on from Asos’ successful student ambassador program in the US, which launched last year and has resulted in US Asos sales from the student population growing significantly faster than the overall US site.
US youth fashion brand, Aeropostale, has also run student brand ambassador programs to promote its product to its target audience.
“It’s part of our fashion proposition because 20-something year old students make up a very important group of our target audience,” Asos communications director, Natalie Pead, told Inside Shopper.
Criteria for the position, which is paid at an hourly rate, includes having a cultural fit with the Asos brand.
Ambassadors will be required to hold student events, produce content for Asos’ online student hub, and speak passionately about the brand to fellow students.
“We’re seeking to connect more closely with our student audience by having an ambassador that is actually a student at that university,” said Pead.
“We put them through a training program, brought them up to speed on the Asos brand, and gave them some skills and tips about how to engage with their student audience, and encourage them to sign up to Asos.
“Basically they are extended marketing. They get paid an hourly rate for the marketing brief or the task we set them, but there’s a further opportunity to earn additional benefits in line with their performance for us.
“We don’t give commissions, it’s all based on new emails of student emails added to our database,” said Pead.
The key focus of the program is metro areas, however, the ambassadors are spread across universities in all Australian states.
“The idea is this is our launch program. We expect it to work and we’ll invest more to grow it.”
Asos international director, Shaun McCabe, said the brand likes to take a grassroots approach to marketing.
“It’s very much Asos’ style. The truth is, we don’t know this will work in Australia, but we think it’s got a good chance because we’ve made it work in the US,” said McCabe.
“The people are what makes this successful. Training is important, the materials we’ve given them are important too, but what makes it successful is the ambassadors – looking for people who are real Asos advocates and really care about the brand.
“We’ve also done a few events with students where we’ve seen good take up, so that is a good early indication,” he said.
One of Asos’ most successful marketing events in Australia was its Asos Wedding Chapel, held as part of last year’s Vogue’s Fashion Night Out, where the brand asked 20-something customers to marry an item of Asos clothing.
“The Asos wedding worked really well,” said McCabe.
“I don’t really measure success of that in sales, it’s all about awareness and engagement down the line.
“It was very quirky. On paper you would have written it off. We’ll look at more opportunities like that – the pressure is on to come up with something to top it.”
Social media is also a major focus for the brand to engage with its 20-something target audience.
“We’re always looking for ways to engage and push the boundaries with content, and innovative competitions, and relevant brands, so we’re working on that constantly,” said Pead.
“We place a lot of value on our editorial content.”
McCabe told Inside Shopper that if the Student Brand Ambassador plan doesn’t work in Australia, the company will move on to the next thing.
“If it doesn’t work, that will be okay. That’s a philosophy we adopt a lot at Asos. We’re happy to try stuff, and I hope most of it will work, but not all of it will work, and that’s okay. We’re comfortable with that because that’s the way we learn.
“We’re never afraid to try something.”