Should Brands Co-Create With Influencers?
Thu, April 22, 2021

Should Brands Co-Create With Influencers?

Influencers have been big these past few years and their contribution to the world of online marketing and promotion cannot be overstated / Photo by: expresswriters via Pixabay

 

Influencers have been big these past few years and their contribution to the world of online marketing and promotion cannot be overstated. Naysayers will say that they have done nothing but disrupt Instagram, and not in a good way. Still, they heralded a new era none of us really knew was possible. 

Influencers helped connect more people to online shopping, brought available items on Instagram and advertised them there, and even getting this social media platform to add a feature that allows users to directly shop the items they want to buy on site.

These reasons have inspired many brands to work with influencers. The question is should brands keep doing this? And what are the benefits that can be generated for doing so? 

 

Pro Co-Creation

The biggest benefit that brands can have working with influencers is the reach of these online celebrities. Because they are on an essentially open social media site, influencers are able to interact with their fan base like they are family. Supporters and followers trust influencers and that trust makes for really effective marketing. 

According to Smart Brief, a website bringing the most important business news, co-creating products with influencers can help improve the credibility of the influencer and give brands an instant audience.  Of course, it also matters to influencers that the products they end up endorsing are aligned with their own brand. 

Co-creating products with brands can also help lessen the burden of building a market for companies, something that they mostly do when they release new products and intend to promote them. With influencers, whose fan base is pretty much already formed, all the brand needs to do is to get its foot out the door, metaphorically. Then from there, proceed to offer audiences privileged spots, new products, and collaborations to get people better acquainted with and have “deeper exposure to the brand, its values, and behind-the-scenes moments,” explains global media platform The Drum.

Co-creating products with brands can also help lessen the burden of building a market for companies, something that they mostly do when they release new products and intend to promote them / Photo by: Jeangagnon via Wikimedia Commons

 

For influencers, co-creating with brands help them network at the same time, act as a trusted source for their audience, and even develop newer and newer content for their platform since being an influencer is all about keeping it fresh. 

When brand and influencer partnerships work well enough, it could mean huge pay off especially for the brand, like Danielle Bernstein and Onia’s, which saw the former’s swimwear collection reach a whopping 1.8 million sales in the first 12 hours of the product becoming available in the market. Influencer Arielle Charnas worked with Nordstrom for a collection in 2018 and the luxury department store chain saw a windfall of $4 million in sales. 

Against Co-Creation

Jim Tobin of American business magazine Forbes cautions that working with influencers from 2019 onward might be different, though. He thinks it's because most of the time, influencers change. They are fickle and are usually always replaced by new ones. “If there’s one thing America likes more than watching the rise of a fresh young face, it’s picking apart that same face when we collectively tire of them,” he says.

This has happened in many influencers who are still at it today. This pattern of fresh-facedness was also something they experienced, being touted at the very start and then tanking toward the end when the weight of a thousand eyes became too much to handle. 

Some brands jump ship when their influencers’ lives crash and burn, which is a very normal human thing. And that’s the thing: influencers are still humans. They may have evolved to become some sort of market commodity, but the influencing they do on Instagram is still just a part of their personal lives. 

Tobin explains that sometimes, influencers aren’t really adept at certain areas that brands might need them to be. In terms of marketing and selling products, there is still a certain level of skill needed and influencers are sometimes unaware of that. They are thrown from their comfort zone and tasked to do something they have not quite done before. 

For instance, Summer Mckeen, a 20-year-old influencer, was slammed for having a foundation line that seemed “usable only by light-complexioned people like herself.” 

JoJo Siwa, a YouTuber who first gained popularity appearing on Dance Moms, also had a rather serious issue, with her makeup line testing positive for asbestos, which can destroy lungs when breathed in. Something similar also happened to Jaclyn Hill when she released her recent makeup line. The lipsticks had mold as well as hair particles. Hill tried to downplay it and blamed her manufacturers but there have been calls for people to stop supporting her products nonetheless. 

Some YouTubers even break under scrutiny or their dark deeds are brought out to the surface. Take YouTuber PewDiePie, for example, who, after blowing up his partnerships with Disney and Google “shared anti-Semitic remarks on his channel.” 
Logan Paul was also in the same situation after he filmed a dead body in a forest in Japan and tried to chalk it up to poor judgment. While that may just be legitimate at the moment, it does not change the fact that the video still offended and triggered so many people.

Today, with influencers having a lot of clout with people, brands will need to collaborate with them if they want to effectively reach their target audience.