Finding the perfect match is hard, it takes time and effort. Sometimes things just flawlessly fit together and other times it takes significantly more work.
Everyone, at one point or another, has played the word association game. If someone says “Tell me the first word that comes to mind when I say ‘blue”, most people will respond with ‘sky’. The same idea applies to people and brands. Every person and brand has that one main identifying quality.
When brands go out in search of an influencer in which to partner with, the first step always seems to be the obvious match. But what if it’s not that simple? When brands are looking for influencers and endorsers, it goes well beyond the initial identity.
When It Worked: The Power (Couple) Play
Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback, is the face of football, so his deal with Under Armour seems like a seamless fit. He’s active, athletic and clearly an obvious (and ideal) consumer. What about his relationship with UGG Australia? What makes the ‘face of football’ a good fashion influencer? For those who don’t know, Tom Brady is married to one of the highest earning super models, Gisele Bundchen. Their marriage has allowed him to bridge the gap into the fashion industry. Since the partnership with Tom Brady, UGG has been able to increase their number of customers and sales, drawing from Brady’s fan base and the male population as a whole. The power couple’s status also extends to Gisele’s modeling career. She just signed a contract, breaking into the sports modeling industry, to be a face of the Women’s Under Armour Campaign, which one can only assume stems from her clear tie to the athletic community.
When It Didn’t Work: The Girl Who Doesn’t Drink
While some of these influencers are a perfect match, others are not. When Midori Liquor was looking for a spokesperson for their melon liquor, they turned to the elite Kardashian family, specifically Kim Kardashian (Now Kim Kardashian West). They assumed her lavish life-style, nightclub appearance and socialite status would attract a large audience to the product. One problem – Kim Kardashian does not drink. DailyMail obtained a quote in which Kim herself states, “Well, I’ve never really been a drinker. I hate the taste of alcohol.” Just a little outside knowledge and the consumer would realize that Kim Kardashian, in fact, does not drink Midori as much as was portrayed by the campaign. To those who follow Kim’s every move, her endorsing alcohol would be like a bald man endorsing hair dye. It just doesn’t work.
How do brands ensure that they have the perfect match?
In order to ensure that the perfect match is created, brands need to start with the obvious. Brands should think of entering the relationship with an influencer like a funnel. You want to move from the very high level of association to the finite details of their personal mission and values.
Below outlines how someone may choose whether or not to pair with Victoria Beckham. This chart serves as a basic outline for any brand to use when identifying an influencer. If at any time the brand and the person seem to be on two different pages, it may be time to reconsider.
While a quick google search can reveal a majority of these attributes and answers, an interview along with in depth research will yield the best results. Brands need to ensure that they are connected to their influencer. The brand needs to have some form of overlap in order for there to be an understanding and reality.
ASK: Could I see this person representing this brand in their daily life without changing a thing?
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