Kendra Scott’s College Ambassador Program Increases Social Media Impressions by 169%

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“College students are the next generation to influence buying trends – they are powerful shoppers deciding what companies they will remain loyal to and where to spend their disposable income.”

-Haley Kaliszewski; Influencer Marketing Lead

Kendra Scott jewelry and fashion line was founded by Kendra Scott in 2002, out of her home in Austin, Texas with only $500 and a newborn son. Since then, with both powerful retail sales and strong digital and wholesale presence worldwide, Kendra Scott has opened over 135 retail stores, started the Kendra Scott Foundation to give back and empower young women, and has grown to over a billion-dollar valuation. 

Kendra Scott has always understood the importance of a collegiate ambassador program because research shows that young adults, aged 18-25, make up roughly 20 million people in the United States and they have a buying power of $593 billion dollars per year. College aged students are the next generation of powerful consumers especially right now – where this generation has had the internet, social media and smartphones for their entire lives. 

Kendra Scott wanted to take advantage of this tech savvy incoming generation and instead of relying on traditional advertising, focus efforts on more authentic user generated content (UGC) created by the fashionable members of their Gems Campus Ambassador program. Because the jewelry is affordable and customizable – traits that widely attract college aged women who want to wear colors to show team spirit for their university – the brand is able to not only expand its brand reach reach to this young generation of shoppers but also foster a community with the Gems to promote entrepreneurial sales and marketing skills.


Since the launch of the Gems Campus Ambassador program, it has grown and evolved significantly. After a lot of trial and error, the marketing team has proven to the C-levels that this is a growth and awareness channel worth investing in – because it both drives conversions and helps the brand carry out its mission of helping women create a positive impact on the world around them.

Originally the Gems Campus ambassador program started out with 100 students and primarily focused on in-store events and on campus philanthropic partnerships, but as the program grew, so did the focus on social content.

Prior to working with SocialLadder, the brand had tested having the Gems host in-store events and post on social media, but recognized the great success of the social and video content created by the Gems- by posting on social media the Gems driving awareness to a larger audience and was also leading to retail and online sales. 

Given the huge lift the brand got from social content, the marketing team decided that they should triple down on this tactic; however, in order to make a real business case on this investment they needed to be able to expand to 100+ college campuses with a goal of recruiting 200 Gems per year without losing the intimate 1:1 relationship the marketing team had with each ambassador. 


The Kendra Scott marketing team went through a lot of trial and error testing homegrown systems & less sophisticated ambassador management platforms – which is how they knew they were going to need an enterprise level ambassador management platform to keep their Gems engaged and that could integrate with the brand’s complex tech stack. The brand needed an all in one solution that included:

  • Reward fulfillment automation to create instant gratification
  • Video submission tracking to provide feedback or instant approval 
  • Workflows & configurations to scale the number of ambassadors in the program without hiring a new full time employee 
  • Diverse Communication tools to create a sense of camaraderie and boost ambassador participation
  • Track events with offline task management & post event survey recaps

After leaving their old platform to partner with SocialLadder, the Gems program was able to migrate and re-launched in less than 30 days on SocialLadder. 

Kendra Scott Ambassadors - Gems

The Kendra Scott marketing team now has a content submission feature that:

  • Lacks technical errors – their old platform did not have US Based support so platform fixes were difficult to navigate / fix in a timely manner
  • Can track which ambassadors have submitted content
  • Shows the percentage of ambassadors who have actually completed the tasks
  • Has a feature that allows the Kendra Scott team to provide feedback to submitted content; this constructive feedback makes future content better and increases the earned media value per post 

“The user experience both on my side and the Gems side is definitely seamless. From the notifications when a challenge is uploaded to the gamified ambassador experience- the whole experience is such a win.”  -Haley Kaliszewski; Influencer Marketing Lead.

Now instead of spending time manually hunting down ambassadors to submit content or fulfilling orders, the Kendra Scott influencer and ambassador team can focus on coaching their ambassadors to submit top user generated content and devote more of their time to strategically supporting new product launches. 

The Kendra Scott marketing team has also leveraged features within SocialLadder to gamify the Gems program and boost engagement. They have utilized the Leaderboard feature, which allows community managers to create a sense of friendly competition by ranking ambassadors, which encourages them to participate in more tasks to climb the board. This has significantly boosted the engagement from the Gems, with social media posts increasing by 48%! They are also enjoying the gamification of the program- through the use of this Leaderboard Kendra Scott flew out the top 9 Gems to their headquarters in Austin, Texas creating a sense of fierce competition for the next semester knowing that they have the potential to win a free trip.  


Kendra Scott’s team achieved their goal of managing 200 ambassadors on 100 campuses and the results were tremendous:!

  • Increased EMV per post +104%
  • Increased overall impressions +169% 
  • Top posts gaining upwards of 240K views on TikTok
  • Top liked posts on TikTok gaining 19K+ likes
  • Total TikTok follower account is 1 million

The Kendra Scott team was able to combine data and creativity to deliver the highest quality video content while simultaneously nurturing its Gems community.  With real-time data & workflow management in place, the ambassador team at Kendra Scott can continue to refine their strategy to deliver a strong ROI  in tandem with the highest quality ambassador experience.


“The Kendra Scott Gems Collegiate Ambassador Program has proven to be effective at driving brand awareness and revenue for our brand. It is an important part of our marketing strategy because it helps us authentically connect with the GenZ customer on campus both via real life experiences and social media in a way that traditional advertising could never support.”

-Haley Kaliszewski; Influencer Marketing Lead

“For anyone thinking about starting their own college ambassador program, I’d say go for it! It provides career building moments for students- we have even hired some of our ambassadors for full time positions once they graduate. And it allows for us to get hyper local and promote what we care about at Kendra Scott- Fashion, Family, Philanthropy.”

-Andrea Howard; Director of Social Media & Influencer Marketing





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