The Importance Of Aligning Your Brand With The Right Social Influencer


Table Of Contents


Case Studies Of 2 Brands: One Who Did It Right, One Wrong

The power of virtual communication continues to prove itself effective in 2020, especially amidst the global pandemic. As we scroll through our daily Instagram feeds, we are simultaneously exposed to thousands of advertisements – all with the ultimate intent to motivate consumers' purchasing decisions.

Every brand aims to diversify themselves from others by utilizing celebrities and social media stars to push their campaign to STAND OUT. How exactly do brand and influencer partnerships sway the consumption choices we make?  In this blog, Hollywood Branded dives into the components of two case studies and shares how to create seamless brand-influencer marketing from shared values and target audiences.

Brand-influencer congruence is social media marketing


The Growth of Social Media and Branded Opportunities

Have you ever glanced at the clock and realized that four consecutive hours have passed since you took your eyes off of your computer screen? Should I be the first to admit that it happens every time I go online? I’ve been sucked into this digital coma. At age 12, I would binge Youtube videos of girls teaching me how to apply makeup and style my hair. According to the media blog, We Are Social, the Youtube beauty community has since transformed into one of the most competitive commercial spaces allowing beauty brands to market their products in new ways. These commercial spaces have now been incorporated into media platforms including Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

The term social media influencer has been normalized to define a user on a social network with a great following and the capability to persuade their audience’s purchasing decisions based on their knowledge in a certain industry. There are 500,000 active influencers on Instagram, alone, and 69% of U.S marketers intend to spend the majority of their influencer budget on the app. Brands from all industries will sponsor influencers to promote their products. Hence, it is vital to choose the RIGHT influencer to partner with.

Attention Brands!

Seek someone who aligns with your company’s values. Encourage influencers to speak about your company’s relevance on their platform.

Attention Influencers!

Think about whether the product you’re talking about fits with your brand. There’s no pressure to take offers that you don’t align with.

social media growth

Demi Lovato x Fabletics - Why Does This Partnership Work?

Fabletics, the active wear brand created by Kate Hudson, values the importance of comfort while staying active. The brand was built to cater towards whatever aligns with someone’s lifestyle, whether that be hitting the gym or just lounging at home. Fabletics' first-ever collaboration with Demi Lovato exemplified their commitment to female empowerment and confidence, regardless of body shape or size. The brand has since made their mark in the athletic wear industry and has received outstanding media recognition. But how was this partnership successful in placing Fabletics next to top competitors?

Demi Lovato is widely known for her success as a pop singer/songwriter. She has been extremely transparent with her fans about her struggles regarding mental health, substance abuse, and self-esteem. Demi’s story has even encouraged "Lovatics" to share their own body image obstacles on social media. Her audience loves how her authenticity and strength is portrayed in her music. Demi shared with Billboard that the Fabletics offer was “something that was the perfect fit” and she knew she couldn’t resist. She used the hashtag #Demi4Fabletics on Instagram and Twitter to promote her limited-edition line and encouraged women to show off their own Fabletics outfits.

Demi Lovato Influencer

Successful influencers, like Demi, build their own brand by posting about whatever they believe in. Remember: this is why Demi’s audience continues to follow her in the first place. Demi’s collaboration with Fabletics allowed the brand to reach the correct target audience and increase market awareness about the company and their values. This effective partnership is in fact, “on-brand” for both the brand and influencer.

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A Better Fit Elsewhere: Kendall Jenner x PepsiCo. 

In 2017, PepsiCo released a controversial commercial displaying young people peacefully protesting against racial inequality in the United States. The commercial featured Kendall Jenner handing a Pepsi soda to a police officer who then signaled an accepting smirk and set about continuous cheering from the protesting crowd. This advertisement received alarming criticism from outsiders who said it depicted the opposite of their real-world experience of protesting police brutality.

First introduced on the reality TV show Keeping up with The Kardashians, Kendall Jenner has made herself prominent in the modeling industry. Jenner has worked with brands such as Esteé Lauder, Calvin Klein, and Adidas and has also walked in the Victoria’s Secret fashion shows. Kendall’s brand is the epitome of the beauty and fashion industry, which made her role as the star of a protest very off-brand. This was one of the several reasons why the Pepsi collaboration faced extraordinary criticism.

The company quickly pulled the advertisement from the media and posted a public apology. This particular partnership stresses the importance of finding that seamless brand and influencer fit that won’t make the audience question the ad’s intentions. Brands that continue to pursue their mission eliminate the risk of devaluing their reputation.

Since the failed campaign, PepsiCo has become highly conscientious about how they choose to promote their brand. They have planted their focal point at the interests of their consumers and seek to correlate their common interests from there. Pepsi VP/Creative & Digital, Chris Bellinger, shared with WARC about a new promotion combining chips and pop-music with their subsidiary company Frito-Lay Inc. Using their new approach, they partnered with pop singer Bebe Rexha and allowed her to outline where the story went. She was asked to sample chips inspired by pop and hip-hop music, and sync the flavors up with original music that [Pepsi] wanted her to write. This way, Rexha was not forced into a situation that was inauthentic to her own brand.

Pepsi BrandKendall Jenner Influencer

What to Remember When Assembling A Seamless Partnership

It is a long process to find the correct social influencer to speak for your brand. Whether you’re launching a new product, or wanting to put emphasis on a pre-existing one, it is effective to partner with social media influencers. The high engagement on social media makes it a worthwhile environment to stay relevant to. When entering a brand and influencer partnership, consider the social media platforms with the highest engagement and work to build a prominent brand presence in hopes of reaching more users.

The more exposure your brand gets, the more market results. Try integrating hashtags and offer some sort of incentive to get your audience engaged. In the end, the ability to engage with your precise target audience and enhance trustworthiness amongst consumers is valuable.

steps in influencer marketing

Check Out Our Other Blogs for More Insight 

Are you still curious about the elements of brand and influencer marketing? Check out the articles we've written below to learn even more! 

Do you want to raise your brand awareness and directly reach your target audience? Learn how to involve your brand with influencers on social media by downloading our infographic below! 

social influencer infographic guide