There’s a story behind every brand. This week we sat down with our friend Brian, a partner of the iconic yet affordable shades by Zero UV. They have an incredible, authentic approach to working with influencers and it has paid off in more ways than you think.
What was Zero UV’s best and worst experience working with influencers?
I believe the answer to this question has evolved quite a bit over time. The Influencer (Blogger) + Brand relationships have definitely changed over the past 5-7 years. Interacting with influencers in the past was a very raw and organic relationship, even though individuals wanted to work with larger brands to catapult their digital popularity. The fashion world was a very different industry, where large brands solely tried to control the newly establish digital advertising market. Unfortunately larger brands did not understand the true purpose of influencer marketing. Large brands made it all about themselves, not recognizing that influencers were evolving into their own type of organic image. This opened the door for smaller brands like us. Till this day, zeroUV works very hard to create and maintain meaningful relationships with current and potential influencers.
We would say the best experience, is how we have gained legitimate friends within industry influencers, watching individuals grow, and become actual brands or icons themselves! It is an honor having the opportunity to observe people grow into amazingly creative and talented individuals.
As for negative experiences, we do feel larger brands finally have realized the power of influencer marketing and have started creating a new type of relationship between brands and influencers. We do understand that this is a career for many successful influencers, but it is becoming more common for first time influencers to reach out to us with a marketing deck and price listings for services. It seems certain influencers are more interested in going any direction the money will take them.
But in all, we have been blessed to work with so many creative and talented individuals over the years.
What three words would you use to describe influencer and why?
Passionate, Creative, and Independent:
These are the main reasons why these people are such a large part of our everyday lives. Influencers make the effort to share their creativity with their fans, without being swayed by negativity or listening to what they cannot do. Influencers know they cannot please everyone, but their passion keeps them moving forward. Successful influencers understands the importance of independence in order to maintain a consistent image and stand by what they believe in. Fans do not want to follow influencers who are completely “influenced” by others.
What are five tips you would give to other brands looking to connect and collaborate with influencers?
- Communicate exactly what type of collaboration you are looking for.
- Be sure you understand you do not own the influencer’s time. Even though you have an agreement, influencers must maintain an organic experience for their fans.
- Respect the influencer’s followers and friends. These are potential new fans for your brand.
- Be honest and genuine. Be sure to communicate know that you appreciate them, and the effort they have taken to incorporate your brand into their feed.
- Always be thankful.