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IN PERSPECTIVE: The Influencer relationship - the right way to authentically sell your product

Angus Imlach
30 October 2020

As consumers we want to be surrounded by people and brands that are like us and share our beliefs. Companies that clearly and convincingly communicate their beliefs are easier to fall in love with because they appeal to a bespoke mindset and create a sense of belonging. It's imperative for brands to ensure they identify the right talent to work with that organically echo and align with their core beliefs. There is nothing more unsexy than a brand collaboration in which an influencer starts a piece of content off by talking about what a company does and how advanced their products are.

"People don't buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it."

Author and motivational speaker, Simon Sinek

If you are a brand and you think using a couple of influencer marketing tools is enough to identify the right influencers to promote your brand then you could be in for a bumpy ride! Brands need to do more due diligence and take more time to carefully identify the best creators that align with their brand’s core values. One problem with most tools out in the market is that they don't allow you any cultural understanding of that talent, you don't get what it's truly like to work with a talent, sometimes I think it would be fun to have a two-way voting system like they do on Uber so both brands and talent can save themselves a lot of headaches.

Never forget that partnerships are two-sided, they have to work for both parties. Brands need to sell product, talent need to earn a living but if either of those things become obvious within the content then it could be a recipe for disaster. Allow creators the opportunity to translate your core brand values in a way that works best for them and their audience. Influencers act as a bridge between your core values and an unsuspecting potential customer, seek their advice on how best to make sure that branch goes as far as possible. I've seen too many one off transactional relationships where talent are just in it for the money and don't really believe in the brand and the results are always awful.

At Sweetshop we use a number of tools that can easily identify any influencers that are organic customers or loyal followers within their own right before a commercial introduction. Those are gold dust, if you find a talent that is already a fan of your brand then imagine the scenes when you reach out to them.

Before undertaking any “influencer marketing” please remember that creators are HUMANS not sales machines. They come fully equipped with feelings, opinions, experience, knowledge and trust. As a brand it's important to work with them, allow some space for creative freedom and don't make them stick to a rigid script. Fundamentally they're the ones who best understand how to create a meaningful following or create virality, so don't let your brand’s account manager with 600 followers on their personal Instagram dictate “the best thing” for the talent to do or say.

Brands are too quick to fall into this idealistic scenario in which they believe simply working with an influencer that matches your target demographic translates to instant sales. It's more like crafting a brew, unless you get the level of ingredients correct you might end up with a dodgy batch, take time on creating real, meaningful, longer term partnerships that enhance both partners brands.

Look at brands like Nike who champion great athletes throughout their marketing instead of focusing on the advancement of their latest technology. They create this feeling that if you want to feel like a great athlete then you should wear Nike because that's what great athletes do.

“People don’t buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it.”



Angus Imlach is the Founder & CEO at SWEETSHOP, the 360 agency that helps brands tell their stories.

SWEETSHOP work with brands including Ellesse, Nokia, Sony Music and Sam Branson. To view more, visit SWEETSHOPMEDIA.COM

About SWEETSHOP: More than ever for brands operating in the fashion space, it is important to identify one's own culture and place within it, then most importantly, ensure you are true to it.

Chasing trends or misappropriation of “culture” demonstrates a lack of authenticity and can only be a mask for a brand and the wrong one at that. Customers will see past it and longevity will not be a product of the input, particularly if communication and execution are delivered without real integrity.  

At SWEETSHOP we think purpose first. Why are we creating? Why are we developing? A concept, a product, an outcome? Always identify purpose first and this will answer some questions to the Culture you are striving to deliver and partake in. 

If lockdown has slowed the pace of business, this is the time to utilize as a moment of reflection both front and back house to ensure your business is delivering on the mission outcome it intended. Is it delivering the right message, not only to its customers but also its staff?  

A brand is not just a composite of what's on rails or delivered in boxes, but is a reflection of the team and value that drives its creation and purpose, a reflection of their own culture. Brands that live and breathe the values they offer the customer are the ones who will settle and find their place within culture, and a continued existence in our time. 


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