A Brand’s Guide To Successful Influencer Partnerships
Successful partnerships between brand and influencer can result in stellar reviews and global praise for both parties. Take musician and icon Harry Styles and his plethora of entertaining and quirky ads for Gucci. Styles is not only universally loved, but respected for his progressive views, inclusive rhetoric and his boundary-pushing outer image, which accurately reflects Gucci’s brand values – innovation and progression.
Alternatively, the public split between long-time partners Adidas and Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) proved cringeworthy and actively hurt the brand’s image. If you somehow missed the media storm surrounding this, Ye’s series of actions sparked outrage including posting antisemitic comments on Twitter. However, it was the subsequent handling of this problem, or lack thereof, by Adidas that had a negative impact on the brand. Ye seemed to directly challenge the brand during a podcast appearance: “I can say anti-Semitic things and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?”  This left Adidas advocates feeling disappointed and confused as to why the brand didn’t cut ties or speak out sooner to condemn Ye’s offensive ideologies.
Gen Z are the biggest consumer group and also place the highest value on “brand authenticity” so it is imperative that brands’ ethos are reflected in their partnerships with ambassadors and influencers.
Here are 5 of our top tips to create a smooth partnership between a brand and an influencer:
Carefully select your influencers based on values, not just content
– Make sure the influencers you select to represent your brand share the same values as your brand.
– Consider whether the influencers representing your brand resonate with your audience. For example, to attract Gen Z, brands must highlight their commitment to societal challenges such as diversity, environmentalism, sustainability, climate change and world hunger. 
Do your due diligence on influencers pre-collaboration
– It is key to research your influencers before working with them.
– Everyone has a digital footprint these days, so scour their TikTok, scrutinise their blogs and sleuth on Twitter – could any old content resurface and hurt your brand?
Establish clear boundaries with your influencers
– Make sure your influencers know and understand your brand values.
– Give the influencers guidelines for what is deemed acceptable and unacceptable content.
– Let your influencers know the consequences of posting inappropriate or unacceptable content.
Deal with negative fallout quickly and decisively
– Have an action plan in place for if an influencer gets into controversy. Put out a statement using decisive language to outline the actions you are taking as well as reiterate your brand values.
– Understand that the implications can go further than your brand’s reputation – who else can be impacted? Your employees may feel uncomfortable being associated with negative stigma – be understanding and transparent with your internal team.
Work with smaller influencers – ditch the celebrities!
– Although using famous faces in adverts can increase attention and relevancy through their familiarity, they also can ruin your brand in one foul swoop (or Tweet), simply due to the sheer amount of media attention and volatility of fanbases – meaning your brand’s reputation hangs in the fate of their hands, which can result in catastrophic fallouts.
– Use influencers with smaller followings to build brand trust through the word-of-mouth style of marketing. Friends buy from friends, which leads to more meaningful purchases.