28 July 2020
Author: Ammar Nova
Now, however, it's clear that influencers can and should play a more central and strategic role in brand marketing as the peak of the pandemic passes in some nations. Looking ahead, both trends will accelerate, accompanied by greater demand for unedited, raw and real narratives, and a migration towards smaller influencers more deeply in touch with their audiences.
To capitalise on this, brands must develop longer, closer relationships with fewer influencer partners – working with them in ways that are collaborative and symbiotic. We can anticipate not only more co-creation and ceding of creative control but also greater drawing on influencers’ audience insights.
Sephora, for example, is already focusing on fewer, longer-term influencer relationships to ensure authenticity and continuity. My Beauty Brand is taking this strategy further by making customers themselves part of the brand, helping to shape its audience, reach, sales and new product development.
Brands having a point of view will also become increasingly important and, again, working closely with influencers in this way can have a powerful and positive effect. Brands will need to tread cautiously, however, as demonstrated by the recent criticism generated by attempts by some to show their support for Black Lives Matter.
L’Oréal, for example, provoked allegations of bandwagoning by transgender model Munroe Bergdorf – an influencer and the brand’s first transgender ambassador until she was dropped by L’Oréal in 2017 for speaking out against racism surrounding Charlottesville’s Unite the Right rally. After reconciliation between the brand and Bergdorf, she is now joining the company’s UK diversity and inclusion advisory board.
Make no mistake, the power of influence is set to grow. But all involved will need to remember it is a power that can cut both ways.
Ammar Nova is head of client success at Tailify, a data and psychology company working with global businesses.
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