Skip to content
A looking glass and a heart emoji

Value-Based Marketing With Influencers

Mark Jackson

Mar 3, 2024

“Brand longevity” is the assessment of a brand’s lasting power. Can a brand stand the test of time, connect with a new generation, and maintain relevance? Only a few brands have the ability to last for generations, which is a combination of many factors like relevance in a cultural zeitgeist and strategic marketing.

One brand that immediately comes to mind is Coca-Cola. It was cool then, it’s cool now, and chances are it will be cool tomorrow. 

Coca Cola bottles

So, how do brands get the Coca-Cola effect? The truth is, most don’t. In the famous words of Heidi Klum, “one day you’re in, and then next day you’re out.” It is the sad, true fate of many brands. The marketing of 10 years ago can feel irrelevant with a new generation, and a fresher brand is always there to fill your shoes.

Brand Relevance vs. Brand Awareness

It is important to understand that brand relevance is not the same as brand awareness.

Brand Awareness: How familiar a brand is in its ecosystem, i.e. do people recognize your brand’s name?

Brand Relevance: How credible a brand is, i.e. how well marketing efforts align with specific topics.

The market is saturated with brands, who at the bottom line are offering relatively similar products. The way to distinguish your brand from the competition is by connecting with your audience on a personal or emotional level. That is brand relevance. Meaning, there is something about your brand that is relevant and resonates.

Influencer Marketing and Brand Relevance

Influencer marketing is one of the most authentic marketing channels and enables brands to establish a  personal connection with an audience. For this reason, many brands choose to work with influencers in an attempt to rebrand and gain relevancy with a new audience.

Brands will often work with influencers in an attempt to rebrand and gain relevance with a new demographic and assert credibility with an ambassador who authentically promotes brand values.

Value-Based Influencer Marketing Examples

Abercombie & Fitch is a brand that had strong brand awareness but lacked brand relevance around specific topics and thus felt tone-deaf to a younger audience. However, with the use of influencers, these two brands were able to release themselves in the cultural narrative and authentically build meaningful connections with a new audience.

How Abercombie Utilized Influencers

American fashion brand, Abercrombie & Fitch was easily one of the coolest brands in the early aughts. It was a brand catered for the “cool kids”, who in the cringy words of the former CEO Mike Jeffries weren’t "overweight or unattractive."

Abercrombie & Fitch advert

But, if you remember Ambercrombie during its heyday, that was the vibe. Pretty preppy kids in polo shirts and nautical sweaters. The brand was based on an idea of exclusivity which “made sense” 15 years ago. Let’s be honest, a lot of things were weird back then.

Enter a new generation of shoppers. Conscious Gen Z consumers often put brand values at the forefront of purchasing decisions. Ambercrombie’s narrative did not align with the new “cool kids”, and the brand faced a major identity and financial crisis.

Tip: Learn more about influencer marketing for Gen Z

Customers today want a brand that is inclusive and reflects the faces of shoppers. This was Abercrombie's biggest obstacle, to rebranding with inclusive messaging. To achieve this the brand partnered with a diverse ray of influencers that allowed consumers to understand it is a brand for everyone.