A brand evangelist, as the words of the term would indicate, is someone who champions a particular brand, product or service. The extent of this makes the term a very broad context however. Just about anyone can be a brand evangelist in some aspect. It can be argued that evangelists can be simple brand loyalists. In the book Social Media Marketing, author Liana Evans says that brand loyalists are “fanatically loyal” and spread the word about whatever brand they use with no formal marketing strategy (103).
Some even refer to the term as customer evangelists. Others define a separate entity, the corporate evangelist. One blogger, Jackie Huba, co-writer of the Church of the Customer, says that there are whole departments dedicated to this idea, and is, “increasingly common in the tech industry, [and] less common everywhere else.” It can actually be a job because some marketing people can and in fact, be brand evangelists for their product. But the simple difference is that a corporate individual is paid for his or her specialized work, while a customer simply spreads the word without demanding anything from the company.
I probably wouldn’t consider myself a hardcore evangelist of anything, but we do it so often without actually realizing it. We all use products and we talk about them. I talk about my use of Sony products, particularly the PS3, as well as the use of Firefox and maybe even Skullcandy headphones. I talk about it with friends and family. To be honest, I don’t have a great amount of influence since I’m not the greatest hard seller in the world.