Sunday, June 4, 2017

On Brand Ambassadors

It seems a virtually inexhaustible topic.  Interesting to relate in the wake of Tudor's cash dump to Mr. Beckham and the All Blacks, Rolex used to take a different approach to this whole "Friend of the Brand" thing -

Shamelessly borrowed from the world-wide infoweb
But you don't live in the past ; )

A good friend forwarded me this -

Study shows non-celebrity influencers are 10 times more likely to drive in-store purchases

Now in fairness to the millennial employees currently holding the various watch marketing departments hostage, they got it half right.  They reached out to influencers - you know, people sort of like me, only popular ; )

But then, being millennials and being, well, not adept at thinking too deeply, they decided that if they paid ONE blogger to write about and promote their watch, then it would make PERFECT sense to forward that (paid) influencer's post, Instagram image, etc.  to OTHER bloggers!  I mean, yeah, we paid this guy for the content, and therefore you should go ahead and run it through your outlet as well!  I mean, c'mon, we're friends, right?  And that is where it became clear that maybe it was a bit too early to have the kids sitting at the grown-ups table.

And what it did was show that the kids running the marketing departments while half-right, had been half-wrong as well.  Because inevitably what spun out of this was the "influencer as celebrity".  So now, PR offices will send out press announcements like: 

Instagram sensation X featured our platinum doo-doo ball watch and they have over a Gajillion followers!  

Needless to say, more and more those press releases are going in the bin.

And it is a shame, because there are, in fact, some really AWESOME bloggers and influencers who have done some really amazing work, and who I would very likely make a purchase based on their feedback.

In watches, Robert-Jan Broer comes to mind with his Speedy Tuesday collaboration.  It is honest, sincere, and born of a real passion.  

And there are others out there who will do a review, offering honest feedback - WITHOUT being paid for it.   And this is the frustrating part for me, and for others out there - is it possible to make money at what we do without, essentially, selling out?  

I think that there is.  And it is not about brand ambassadorship.

So we are going to try something a wee-bit different moving forward.

Announcement to follow- 
stay tuned.

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