The Upside to Becoming Your Own Influencer
By now, we’ve all grown accustomed to the notion of influencers working for and with brands and are aware of how much of an impact they can have on their business. From increasing brand awareness and amassing new customers, to engaging with consumers in order to help gain important insights, influencers are often the Yin to a brand’s Yang.
That being said, what if we told you that, as a brand, the best influencer for you might be right under your nose? It’s true! Some of the most influential voices in the retail space are the very people that have brought a brand vision to life in the first place.
Brand managers (which can mean anything depending on the scale of your business) are often the best representatives of a brand’s values simply because they live them every day. If you’re finding it difficult to connect with the right influencer (at least for now), consider going out and being the face of your business. For some, that approach has resulted in them becoming their own personal brand while ultimately boosting the image and credibility of their company. Let’s look at some examples, shall we?
While J. Crew has come under fire recently due to a seemingly mass exodus of its core customers, for a long time the brand was synonymous with effortlessly chic and expertly styled ready-to-wear. Much of J. Crew’s past success has been attributed to the retailer’s current President, Jenna Lyons. Having started at the company in the ‘90s as, “an assistant to the assistant to someone else’s assistant,” Jenna worked her way up to Creative Director in 2008 before finally reaching the company’s helm just 2 years later.
Lauded by The New York Times as, “the woman who dresses America” back in 2013, Jenna Lyons’ iconic style has always been completely synonymous with J. Crew’s wares. Her outfits scream traditionalist-with-a-twist while her trademark thick-rimmed glasses are the cherry on top of the sartorial sundae – she completely exemplifies the J. Crew customer.
While it remains to be seen if she’ll be able to pull the brand up from the depths of despair (or simply serve as a reminder of how great J. Crew was back in its heyday), there’s no denying the amount of love and respect her eye for fashion and individual style have amounted to over the years, for a brand that otherwise sells, well, pretty basic pieces.
Nasty Gal Apparel
Earlier this year, Nasty Gal nabbed the #1 spot on Internet Retailer’s list of 500 top e-commerce performers, having made well over $300 million in revenues (tripling its sales in three years). The go-to for “cool girls” looking for trendy pieces with a sexy, rocker edge, Nasty Gal somehow manages to stay on tops of its (often more affordable) competition. Aside from an aggressive business strategy, founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso’s Cinderella-like rise to the top resonates strongly with consumers, and her life story is consumed at an almost obsessive level, from snapshots of her life on Instagram, musings on LinkedIn, her biography (primarily responsible for catapulting the term #GirlBoss into the zeitgeist – seriously look it up), and a newly released second book to an upcoming Netflix Original series. Like Jenna Lyons, Sophia lives and breaths her brand and is as much the face of it as she does work behind-the-scenes.
Virgin Group Ltd.
In 1970, Richard Branson set up a mail-order record business. 30 years later, he was knighted at Buckingham Palace for his “services to entrepreneurship.”
Seems like a huge leap, but for nearly half a century, Richard Branson has been expanding the Virgin name, now boasting countless different companies, from airline to mobile and everything in between. His perpetually youthful approach to life and infectious charisma has endeared him to fans and consumers of all ages. A lifestyle guru and avid adventurer with multiple world record attempts under his belt, people look to him for life advice just as much as they do to learn how to build a successful business from the ground up.
As a Hubba brand, nothing stops you from fully taking control of your company’s narrative – and even crossing to the other side and joining the ranks of top-notch influencers of Hubba. While this approach may not be for everyone, it’s certainly something to think about!
Want to brush up on your influencer-related news? Check out these articles below!
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