How Creators Help Your Brand Stay Relevant
Learn how influencers help your rebranding efforts and connect you with new and engaged audiences.
“Brand longevity” is the assessment of a brand’s lasting power. Can a brand stand the test of time, connect with a new generation, and maintain relevance? Only a few brands have the ability to last for generations, which is a combination of many factors like relevance in a cultural zeitgeist and strategic marketing.
One brand that immediately comes to mind is Coca-Cola. It was cool then, it’s cool now, chances are it will be cool tomorrow.
So, how do brands get the Coca-Cola effect? The truth is, most don’t. In the famous words of Heidi Klum, “one day you’re in, and then next day you’re out.” It is the sad, true fate of many brands. The marketing of 10 years ago can feel irrelevant with a new generation, and a fresher brand is always there to fill your shoes.
The market is saturated with brands, who at the bottom line are offering relatively similar products. The way to distinguish your brand from the competition is by connecting with your audience on a personal or emotional level. That is brand relevance. Meaning, there is something about your brand that is relevant and resonates.
Brand Relevance vs. Brand Awareness
It is important to understand that brand relevance is not the same as brand awareness.
How familiar a brand is in its ecosystem, i.e. do people recognize your brand’s name.
How credible a brand is, i.e. how well marketing efforts align with specific topics.
Influencer Marketing and Brand Relevance
Influencer marketing is one of the most authentic marketing channels and enables brands to establish a personal connection with an audience. For this reason, many brands choose to work with influencers in an attempt to rebrand and gain relevancy with a new audience.
Brands will often work with influencers in an attempt to rebrand and gain relevance with a new demographic and assert credibility.
Abercombie & Fitch is a brand that had strong brand awareness, but lacked brand relevance around specific topics and thus felt tone deaf to a younger audience. However, with the use of influencers, these two brands were able to release themselves in the cultural narrative and authentically build meaningful connections with a new audience.
Abercrombie & Fitch
American fashion brand, Abercrombie & Fitch was easily one of the coolest brands in the early aughts. It was a brand catered for the “cool kids”, who in the cringy words of the former CEO Mike Jeffries weren’t “overweight or unattractive.”
But, if you remember Ambercrombie during its heyday, that was the vibe. Pretty preppy kids in polo shirts and nautical sweaters. The brand was based on an idea of exclusivity which “made sense” 15 years ago. Let’s be honest, a lot of things were weird back then.
Enter a new generation of shoppers. Conscious Gen Z consumers often put brand values at the forefront of purchasing decisions. Ambercrombie’s narrative did not align with the new “cool kids”, and the brand faced a major identity and financial crisis.
How Abercombie Utilized Influencers
Customers today want a brand that is inclusive and reflects the faces of shoppers. This was Abercrombie’s biggest obstacle, to rebrand with inclusive messaging. To achieve this the brand partnered with a diverse ray of influencers that allowed consumers to understand it is a brand for everyone.
Influencer: Remi Bader
Brand Relevance: Size Inclusivity
Remi Bader is a full-figured model with some serious social media cred. With 275K Instagram followers and over 1.8M TikTok fans, Remi is loved for her funny fashion content where she does brand hauls or pre produces ridiculous photoshoots. Past collaborations include Zara, Free People, and Nike.
Abercrombie partnered with Remi to promote their new denim collection, which comes in very inclusive sizing. Notice how in the post on Abercrombie’s page they include the model’s pronouns, #woke.
Influencer: Francesca Miller
Brand Relevance: Social Justice
Gen Z consumers want a brand that isn’t afraid to speak out about important social issues and has a moral compass that leads their decision. That is why many brands now run campaigns focused on social justice in order to connect with customers in a more meaningful way.
Abercrombie partnered with visual artist and college student, Francesca Miller to co-create a shirt for their For Joy, For Justice campaign which celebrates Black Joy. A very important campaign for a brand that initially lacked diversity.
Influencer: Isis King
Brand Relevance: LGBTQIA+
Isis King was the first openly trans model to compete on America’s Next Top Model. Since the show she forged a rather successful television and modeling career, as well as a prominent social media following with 158K+ Instagram followers.
Abercrombie partnered with Isis during their 2021 pride campaign, which supported a collection co-created with the Trevor Project. The brand also announced a $200,000 donation to the Trevor Project as part of an ongoing initiative to “come together and support each other”. Not only is the brand partnering with relevant influencers, but they are putting their money where their mouth is.
Gain Brand Relevance With Influencers
Are you looking to connect with a new audience in an authentic and meaningful way? Influencers are the best way to credible promote your brand and show a wider network who you are and what you stand for. Schedule a call with one of our influencer marketing experts and learn how Klear can support your brand goals.