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Article: What is an influencer, really?

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What is an influencer, really?

In an industry that is saturated with so many options, influencer marketing has been a form of marketing that many companies are utilizing and is one that can be extremely powerful.. when done intentionally. Being in a space that allows us the opportunity to work with influencers is something we are extremely grateful for BUT... we have noticed a few things that don't quite sit right with us and we think it's important to talk about it. 

Last week, we touched on this topic briefly in our stories and were pleasantly surprised at the feedback we received from our community and influencers alike. If you didn't catch that preview we have added a topic highlight to our page on Instagram because we think it's important for our audience to know where we stand at all times, when it comes to how we present ourselves and how we want others to represent our brand. 

If you aren't familiar with our brand, Andra was founded in early 2022. My vision for the brand was and is to this day, to be a pillar of encouragement for women who want to make the world a better place by starting with themselves and their personal lifestyles. I began with style and fashion because for me, when I was so caught up in living for other people, this was something that changed based on my environment and that lead me to compromise the life I truly aligned with. There is a lot more to be said here, but for now we will keep it short and sweet. I have experimented a lot with many different paths and lifestyles that were not truly my own and experienced first hand what it feels like personally and the type of energy it creates outwardly, when who you are doesn't align with a certain aspect of your lifestyle. 

When we think about Influencer Marketing today, we know that this is now a recognized career on a larger scale than it has ever been and creators are being presented massive opportunity to work with bands, both big and small. Influencer marketing was created long ago very organically when brands began to notice that word of mouth marketing is and will always be the most powerful. This really took off as social media blew up and the influencers who basically built the fashion influencer industry to be what it is today, were just women who loved fashion and posted about the things they truly loved. This meant that these trail-blazing women purchased items on their own and styled these purchases to align with their unique femininity and style. This was great for two things:

1. The creator developed trust with her audience and attracted her ideal follower that aligned with her lifestyle because she was authentic and real.

2. The brand that was showcased noticed individual creators who tagged their products and were confident in offering them partnerships based on the fact that they had made their own purchases and truly loved the brand.

The more we have worked in the influencer space, the more data we have collected and the more attention we have given to this topic. We have done it all- given discount codes, PR gift boxes, flash influencer sales and a few more common influencer requests and we realized that this doesn't draw out our authentic audience. We get an alarming amount of collaboration requests, as I am sure all brands do, but the one thing that is missing from these requests is what our brand will gain from the partnership. These requests come in with a message that reads "OMG I absolutely adore your brand and love it so much that I know my audience of 25k followers would love it too!" and attached is monetary expense for our brand. This would be wonderful but when we look into the creator we notice that they have never engaged with our social media accounts, do not follow us, and have never made a purchase. So how do they know that they truly love our brand? How do we know that our investment is going to convert? How do we feel good about a partnership that is seemingly purely based on money? I will be honest and admit that it is a bit overwhelming and feels very surface level to me. Dare I say it.. but it feels fake. 

Want in on a secret? Our community and consumers can feel that energy too! If we work with just anyone who will say anything about the products they promote then our audience learns not to trust the influencers we partner with. Don't hate us for this but we think this is where the influencer industry will ultimately start to destroy itself. Brands will no longer find it beneficial to have such dedicated influencer teams when their efforts are not returning. Our community and consumers in the fashion space are real people with great intuition. So we are looking for the influencer who gets it like we do and who is real and authentic and intentional about creating personalized content for our brand. 

We are looking for the best of the best of the best. We are ultimately creating a community based on trust, inspiration, integrity, intention, honesty, authenticity and all the things that make it so beautiful to be a woman! We absolutely want those same values to be reflected and embodied in the people we work with. When we bring on collaborators this is our way of saying that we are okay with that person being a part of our vision and a collaborative effort towards the face of our brand- and that's a big deal. 

We have decided to host our own Non-Influencer Influencer Search Event. This event will be held multiple times throughout the year where we will open up our brand, for a short period of time, where real women can apply to work with our brand! Your follower count does not matter! We will be looking at the elements we listed above and will take this very seriously. We are working on creating a dynamic partner experience that will offer great benefits for our collaborators so we will be selective in our choices. Our first event will be held this month so tune in to our socials for more information and to stay up to date! 

I know this was a lot and is somewhat controversial but I want to make it clear that we know who we are and we aren't here to just blend in and hop on trends. We truly want to make a difference.

I have enabled comments in this blog section and I want to have a discussion. Leave your comment below and let's expand on this! 

As always, thank you for being here with me. 


Alexandra | Founder + CEO



1 comment

I LOVE this!! People today are grasping for any ounce of authenticity because of how saturated this market is and how many influencers say “I LOVE this” about so many products. It is SO important in this day and age and to me, that people become picky to what and who they choose to work with. Not everything is a LOVE and that’s okay. You need to post about what is genuine so that you can gain that trust and relationship with your community. I love that you’ve opened a conversation about this and have not been afraid to speak about this as a brand. This shows how authentic and genuine you all are, and I hope you receive the same energy back.

Alexandra K.

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