Are influencers evil for fashion brands? Are they the bad boys and girls that take advantage of fashion brands?

The 10 Golden Rules for Fashion Influencer Marketing

  1. As a Brand you should start from A. Brand Positioning B. Brand Strategy C. Brand Action Plans in this order (but also be prepared to be flexible on your planning). The choice of the influencer happens at point C, so there’s a lot of Brand work before starting activities with influencers (and a lots afterwards regarding customer service)

  2. The Brand comes first. Always pick up ambassadors who can help telling the story of the Brand. Therefore the brief must be very precise but the project should be developed by the influencer, with her/his own style.

  3. The Brand shouldn’t delegate the success of his own storytelling to the influencers. Never expect that a single, one-shot collaboration will fix the problems the Brand hasn’t fixed itself before.

  4. The influencer can get to the Brand an immediate ROI only in China (see Mr. Bag, for example)

  5. Influencers in the Western countries are more useful as a magnifier for the product and the lifestyle of the Brand, much less as a vehicle for sold out pieces

  6. Influencers may fake their followers numbers as well as fashion press may play with magazines printed copies, so do your diligence as a Brand and choose only the best of both

  7. As a Brand you should have a varied, dynamic editorial plan in which several influencers give their contribution on top of other projects developed by the Brand (on products, inspiration, Brand values, corporate topics)

  8. As a Brand be unique, original and find your own voice. Never follow the mass, never follow the influencer only because she has 1 million followers.

  9. Less is more. Less collaborations but at a deeper lever and medium term are more effective than too many, one-shot and very superficial.

  10. Ideas must come first. Ideas transformed into projects and stories are much more powerful than just a nice girl wearing the Brand products.

Influencers are a new media that should be integrated in a 360° marketing plan. Only in this case we can expect a successful creation of a strong Brand Equity in the medium term. There are no short cuts to business growth, neither through 10 million followers influencers.

Susanna Nicoletti is a Senior Marketing and Communication professional and Advisor in the Luxury and Fashion Industry