Origins is going big with small-scale influencers.
By Rachel Strugatz, WWD on March 27, 2017
Today, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned brand is launching an influencer-based campaign, #MyPerfectWorld, in tandem with the expansion of its A Perfect World range. But unlike many other beauty brands that partner with mega-influencers that have one million followers or more, Origins is looking to micro-influencers.
Nine women with varying backgrounds from dancer to data strategist are headlining the campaign. Courtney Scott, Mikaela Kelly and Sunita Ramnarine, who have 22,000, 14,200 and 129,000 Instagram followers, respectively, are just a few of the influencers taking to their social media channels to help Origins launch three new products. A Perfect World SPF 20 Age-Defense Eye Cream with White Tea, A Perfect World SPF 40 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea and A Perfect World Antioxidant Moisturizer with White Tea go on sale in all Origin stores and origins.com today.
“There’s a little bit of fatigue,” Trenesa Stanford-Danuser, vice president of global communications and strategic alliances at Origins, said of the “mega-influencers” she keeps seeing over and over. She used adjectives like accessibility, approachability and authenticity to describe the group as being “critically important” to growing Millennial traffic surrounding A Perfect World range, which is targeted to women 24 to 35.
These “mega-influencers” with followers in the millions also command astronomical fees, which many marketing budgets don’t have the bandwidth for. Brands like Laura Mercier and BareMinerals, for instance, have forked over half a million dollars to work with top names in the blogosphere. Origins, however, reportedly only paid each of the group four- to low-five-figure sums to partake in the campaign, taking their number of followers, engagement and reach into account. Origins, which worked with Fohr Card to select the nine influencers, declined to comment on fees it pays influencers.
“It does make the resources go a little further when you can tap into these lesser-known brand ambassadors,” Stanford-Danuser continued, quickly adding that new algorithms on Instagram today still can’t guarantee that followers will even see the content posted by influencers who could have millions of fans.
But the decision to take this route wasn’t just a money thing. Industry experts believe that influencers with low to more moderate fanbases actually could foster more engagement than someone with millions of fans, and this is what Origins is hoping to tap into.
Beth Spruance, vice president of global marketing at Origins, said the strategy for #MyPerfectWorld was a hybrid of paid outreach online and organic content living on influencers’ and the brand’s social channels. Additionally, Origins’ 65 freestanding stores and 366 Macy’s, Belk and BonTon doors will be branded with corresponding #MyPerfectWorld collateral. Larger Origins shops will have custom window designs featuring the influencers, and a Snapchat filter available across all Origin stores goes live today too.
Two years ago, a program for the brand’s first Millennial skin-care line, Original Skin, became the first significant influencer activation. It was composed of twentysomethings who used the “quarter life crisis” theme to talk about the products on social.
“We went 100 percent digital marketing four years ago; we went dark on traditional,” said Stanford-Danuser. “Original Skin out of the gate was our first full-scale campaign… [when we decided to] play 100 percent in social and digital.”
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