Influencer Marketing helps brands break through the clutter

Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that leverages the influence of individuals with a large following on social media or direct access to influence a consumer. While most think of influencers as celebrities named Kardashian, Beyonce, or Lebron, open your minds to finding ways to reach those consumers who love your brand, and can influence their friend on Facebook, their neighbor at the backyard BBQ or their coworker at the lunch table. Influencer marketing can help brands break through the media clutter by providing a more targeted reach, authentic and engaging content, and better ROI compared to traditional media strategies.

Influencer Marketing

Old school marketing.

Gone are the days of old-school marketing from the 1970s, where brands used to blast their messages to a broad audience through limited mass media channels. The goal was to force consumers down the brand funnel, from awareness to purchase and loyalty, with repetitive advertising that couldn’t be avoided. The focus was on day-after brand recall, even if the ads were intrusive and annoying. 

But this approach is no longer an effective media strategy for today’s brands. To succeed in today’s landscape, a more sophisticated influencer marketing approach to influencer marketing is needed.

New-school marketing.

Influencer marketing represents a shift towards a new-school approach to marketing. Instead of broadcasting messages to a broad audience, the focus is on reaching and engaging the brand’s most dedicated fans. These loyal followers are encouraged to spread the word and drive awareness through their own influence among their friends and network. 

The endorsement from a trusted peer holds greater weight in the purchasing decision compared to a random advertisement. 

As the brand gains wider recognition, potential customers seek advice from respected peers who are knowledgeable about the latest offerings in the category. They also look to avid brand fans for validation, as proof that the brand lives up to its promises.

Influencer marketing using brand loyalists

Using influencer marketing to drive brand growth

Merely creating brand awareness is a flawed objective, as it lacks any real impact. Awareness can easily be purchased, but as a marketer, what you really want is for your marketing efforts to inspire action. Whether it’s changing a consumer’s thoughts, emotions, or behavior, the goal is to establish a connection, be it immediate or developed over time. Influencer marketing provides a unique opportunity to build this type of bond and make a lasting impact on your target audience.

Influencer marketing not only generates awareness, but it also prompts action. When executed properly, it has the power to shape consumer thoughts, emotions, and behaviors without them even realizing it. In a world overflowing with marketing noise, simply creating a TV ad or digital ad adds to the clutter that consumers have to navigate through daily. Partnering with an influencer who commands a following and has the trust of the target audience can help cut through the clutter and increase the brand’s chances of success.

Influencer Marketing uses brand lovers to influence their network

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Beloved Brands is a comprehensive guide that covers the fundamentals of brand management. It goes deep on strategic thinking, brand positioning, brand plan development, advertising decisions, media planning, marketing analytics, and the brand financials. This is an opportunity to build your marketing skills to help your career. And, it will provide you with the roadmap for driving growth on your brand. 

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Consumer adoption curve

The role of influencers on the consumer adoption curve.

One significant distinction is what type of consumers they focus on. I want to introduce the idea of a consumer adoption curve, which leverages four types of consumers:

  • Trend influencers.
  • Early adopters.
  • Early mass.
  • Late mass.

Through this perspective, I will demonstrate how brands can leverage influencers to engage with consumers at different stages of the brand journey, from the introduction of a craft brand to becoming a dominant player in the mass market.

Adoption Curve Media Plans

Trend influencers.

Trend influencer type consumers are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest products, eager to be the first among their social circle to try them. They value the opinions of trusted experts and rely on them for guidance. In industries like cars, sports, technology, fashion, entertainment, and food, there are authoritative bloggers and reviewers who have become the voice of the market.

Marketing teams who have a truly groundbreaking offering should target these experts and provide them with a comprehensive understanding of the brand story and unique selling points. This will increase the likelihood of these experts recommending the new product to their followers

Early adopters.

Early adopters are known for their love of new and innovative products. They keep an eye out for the latest trends and are quick to embrace new brands that catch their attention. They trust their trend influencer friends to provide information about new brands and products. 

But, early adopters don’t just rely on their peers for validation. They also look to well-known social icons, such as movie stars, musicians, or athletes, to confirm the product’s worth. If these public figures are seen using the product, it gives early adopters the assurance that the brand is about to become mainstream. These consumers are always ahead of the curve and love to be the first ones to try new things.

Early mass.

Early mass consumers are a critical demographic for marketers and brand managers. They are the early majority, not quite as quick to adopt new products and trends as the trendsetters and early adopters, but not as hesitant as the late majority. They seek out the opinions and experiences of trusted peers and friends, valuing their credibility in the decision-making process. These individuals are relied upon for guidance and advice on various subjects, including brand and product choices.

Late mass. 

Late mass consumers are known for their cautious approach to new products and brands. They are often the last group to adopt new products and tend to be more skeptical when it comes to trying something new. They typically wait for the brand to gain widespread acceptance and popularity before considering making a purchase. This approach is driven by a need for security and a desire to avoid potential disappointment.

However, when they do finally decide to buy, they look to their friends and peers for recommendations. They trust the opinions of people they know and value the experiences of those closest to them.

Competitive strategy Brand Strategy

Influencer marketing to win the competitive battles.

Craft brands.

Many brands start in someone’s garage or over a kitchen table at midnight. Start-ups should deploy a craft brand strategy. To stand out, be utterly different to a core group of trend influencers who are frustrated with major competitors. Be willing to take a “high risk/high reward” strategy. It is O.K. if your brand alienates those who are not yet ready to take on something new. Playing it too safe will lead to your destruction. Do not worry about the mass audience, and avoid trying to be too big, too fast.

Disruptor brands.

As your brand grows, you can transition to a disruptor brand strategy. Utilize your core audience of trend influencers to gain a core base of early adopters. While a craft brand attracts the attention of trend influencers, the disruptor brand must dial up its aggressive stance and call out the major brands. Use your significant point of difference to pull consumers away from the category-leading brands to make them seem detached from the needs of the consumer.

Challenger brands.

As your brand continues to grow, you can use your increased resources and power to take on a challenger brand strategy against the leader. You can use the influence of the trend influencers and early adopters to attract the early mass audience. With a significant consumer base, more brand power, and increased financial resources, your brand must gain hard-fought proximity, allowing you to go head-to-head with the power player leader. The challenger brand should turn the leader’s strength into a weakness, pushing it out of what consumers want, while creating a new consumer problem for which your brand becomes the solution.

Power player brands.

At the power player stage, the strategy shifts to maintaining your leadership position. You should take on a defensive strategy, to attack in response to any player who threatens your brand. While the trend influencers and early adopters played an essential role in making the brand a household name, you have to be comfortable that your earliest brand fans will eventually leave your brand and look for what is next. They may even call you a “sell-out.” Stay focused on the mass audience.

Consumer journey

Using influencers to move consumers along their journey.

Customer Journey Choices, sales funnel, marketing funnel


To drive awareness, you need to stand out and be seen in a crowd. Invest in mass media to gain entry into the consumer’s mind using TV, digital, viral video, out of home, or magazine. Where it makes sense, sponsorships and experiential events, and influencers can increase the consumer’s familiarity with the brand.


To move consumers to the consideration stage, use influencers to teach those seeking to learn more. Use public relations to make the brand part of the news, whether through traditional, social, or blogger channels. Engage the online user review sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, or category-specific review sites.

For more complex or higher risk purchase decisions, consumers will rely on search for almost everything, even if to just confirm what makes sense. Marketers can use search sites, such as Google, expert review sites, and online content, or long copy print media. The brand website comes into play and should include the right information to close off gaps or doubts, then move consumers towards the purchase decision.


Media options to help trigger purchase, include point-of-sale advertising, with in-store signage, displays and sales materials to prompt consumers at the purchase moment. Remarketing is a great tool to push consumers who might feel stuck at the consideration stage to reconsider and buy.


After the purchase, you must turn usage into a ritual among your most loyal users. Cultivate a collection of brand fans, using VIP programs and experiential events with special deals. Layer in emotional advertising to tighten the bond.


Once you have a strong base, you can mobilize your brand lovers, by intentionally creating shareable experiences, which will trigger brand lovers to share with their network through social media. With the new social media tools, the smartest brands are getting their most engaged consumers to drive awareness.

Marketing Excellence

We empower the ambitious to achieve the extraordinary.

Without a doubt, our role at Beloved Brands is to help the ambitious marketers who are trying to improve their marketing skills. Most importantly, we will prepare you so you can reach your full potential in your career. You will learn about strategic thinking, brand positioning, brand plans, marketing execution, and marketing analytics. As well, we provide a suite of marketing tools, templates that will make it easier to do your job, processes that you can follow, and provocative thoughts to trigger your thinking. 

Have you gone through an assessment of the marketing skills of your team? Take a look below:

The fundamentals of marketing matter.

Our Beloved Brands marketing training programs cover different streams to suit the type of marketer you are. For instance, our marketing training covers consumer marketing, B2B marketing, and Healthcare marketing. 

The marketing fundamentals that we show in this article are part of what we use in our marketing training programs. Ambitious marketers will learn about strategic thinking, brand positioning, brand plans, marketing execution, writing creative briefs, advertising decision-making, marketing analytics, and marketing finance

Importantly, when you invest in our marketing training program, you will help your team gain the marketing skills they need to succeed. Without a doubt, you will see your people make smarter decisions and produce exceptional work that drives business growth. 

Finally, I wrote our Beloved Brands playbook to help you build a brand that your consumers will love. If you are a B2B marketer, try our B2B Brands playbook. And, if you are a Healthcare Marketer, try our Healthcare Brands playbook.

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We designed our brand templates to make it easier for you to do your job.

Moreover, we provide brand templates that help you run your brand. For instance, you can find templates for marketing plansbrand positioningcreative briefs, and business reviews. Altogether, we offer brand toolkits with all the presentation slides you need. 

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Everything a Marketing must know about.

Importantly, Brand leaders need to know how to think, define, plan, execute and analyze with the best of them. Moreover, while the brand leaders don’t really know how to do anything, they are looked upon to make every decision. Have a look at our five minute video on everything a marketer must know. To read more, click on this link: Everything.

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If you are looking to make your marketing team smarter, we can help. To get started, email Graham Robertson at [email protected]

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Advertising Decisions

The Creative Brief defines the box.

At Beloved Brands, we believe the best creative people are in-the-box problem solvers, not out-of-the box inventors. This builds on our Strategic ThinkBox we used in our planning process. The box below demonstrates how we need creative work that is focused on the target, fits with the brand, delivers the message, and executes the strategy. 

As marketers, we kick off the advertising process using a Creative Brief to define the box the creative advertising must play in. The execution align with the brand positioning work and deliver the brand strategy statements you wrote in your marketing plan. Moreover, we show examples of the good and bad of the Creative Brief. And, we introduce our Mini Brief for smaller projects and the Media Brief as part of media decisions. We have a Creative Brief template you can use. 

The creative brief defines the box that marketing ideas must play in

Using brand strategy

As marketers, we kick off the advertising process using a Creative Brief to define the box the creative advertising must play in. The execution align with the brand positioning work and deliver the brand strategy statements you wrote in your marketing plan. Moreover, we show examples of the good and bad of the Creative Brief. And, we introduce our Mini Brief for smaller projects and the Media Brief as part of media decisions. We have a Creative Brief template you can use. 

Use our Creative Checklist to determine if the creative work is in the box.

Then, we introduce a Creative Checklist that is designed to help you make advertising decisions. When you see the creative marketing execution come back from your experts, use our creative checklist to make decisions. Next, use your feedback to your marketing experts to steer the ideas back in-the-box. Importantly, the Creative Checklist highlights the gaps you see. Your role is to provide your problems with the work, while avoiding providing a solution. Let your creative marketing execution experts use their in-the-box creativity to figure out new solutions that will fit the box. 

The creative checklist helps make decisions on in-the-box creativity

To illustrate, click to review how our Creative Checklist helps decide if the creative advertising fits the box..

Use our ABC’s of Advertising: Attention, brand link, communication stickiness

Here are four questions to ask:

  • First, is it the creative idea that earns the consumer’s attention for the ad?
  • Then, is the creative idea helping to drive maximum brand link?
  • Next, is the creative idea setting up the communication of the main consumer benefit?
  • And, is the creative idea memorable enough to stick in the consumer’s mind and move them to purchase?

Creative Checklist details in-the-box creativity

To illustrate, click on the ABC’s of advertising to see details.

Get comfortable with various advertising techniques.

Learn how to be better at advertising. Explore other advertising ideas such as emotional advertisinghumorous ads, feel-good ads, and ads that bring consumer insights to life. Moreover, read how to conduct your own marketing research, social media plans, or using influencers.  

Video on how to use in-the-box creativity

Have a look at our video on how to use in-the-box creativity to ensure our marketing execution stays on strategy. We introduce how our Creative Brief defines the box the work must play in. And, our Creative Checklist to allow you to decide if the marketing execution delivers. To read more, click on this link: How to use in-the-box creativity. 

To view, use the ▶️ controls to play our brand strategy video. 

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