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ECONOMIST

The business of influencing is not frivolous. It’s serious

The business of influencing is not frivolous. It’s serious

economist.com

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The Customer Strikes Back

Luxury brands used to speak in monologues. News about their latest collections flowed one way—from the boardroom, via billboards and editorial spreads in glossy magazines, to the buyer. In the age of social media, the buyers are talking back.

The Age Of Influencers

For consumers, influencers are at once a walking advert and a trusted friend. For intermediaries that sit between them and brands, they are a hot commodity. For the brands’ corporate owners, they are becoming a conduit to millennial and Gen-Z consumers, who will be responsible for 70% of the $350...

The Influencer Industry

Few reliable estimates exist of the size of the influencer industry. One in 2020 from the National Bureau of Statistics in China, where influencers gained prominence earlier than in the West, estimated its contribution to the economy at $210bn, equivalent to 1.4% of GDP. As with ...

How Luxury Brands Use Big Stars

The influencer ecosystem is challenging the time-honoured tenets of luxury-brand management. Apart from being one-directional, campaigns have tended to be standardised, unchanging and expensive. An exclusive group of white actresses with the right cheekbones was supposed to signal consistency, as...

Authenticity Vs Timeless Glamour

Star-led campaigns can feel aloof to teenagers and 20-somethings who prize authenticity over timeless glamour. And influencers, with their girl- or boy-next-door charm, offer this in spades—for a fraction of the fee of a big-name star. The best ones are able to repackage a brand’s message in a wa...

Influencers And Online Algorithms

Influencers are particularly adept at navigating social-media platforms’ constantly evolving algorithms and features. For example, when Instagram’s algorithm seemed to begin favouring short videos (“reels”) over still images, so did many influencers. As social-media apps introduce shopping featur...

Playing The Digital Game

Some luxury houses are leery of influencers.

Hermès, the French purveyor of scarves and Birkin bags, maintains a social media presence that is conspicuously influencer-free. But more feel the benefits outweigh the costs.

Despite Louis Vuitton’s and Gucci’s live-streaming flops, lvmh...

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