FounderMade unveils influencer marketing secrets for brand success

FounderMade unveils influencer marketing secrets for brand success
Lisa Price, Founder of Carol's Daughter, Meghan Asha, FounderMade CEO, Jessica Cruel, Editor in Chief Allure Magazine

Last week, New York City’s Skylight at Essex Crossing transformed into a creative incubator as thousands of innovative brands, retailers, distributors, investors and entrepreneurs made their way to the vibrant lower east side for FounderMade’s Innovation Show NYC 2024. The one-day expo, which began as a pitch event in 2015, has grown into a large-scale media company that specializes in “best-in-class content and experiences created specifically for tomorrow’s brand innovators.” Industry leaders in beauty, food and wellness were in attendance for a full day of networking, discovery and education. Speakers included Lisa Price, Founder of Carol’s Daughter, Scarlett Leung, Brand Officer & co-founder of Pretty Tasty Tea, and Cason Crane, Founder and CEO of Explorer Cold Brew.

Meghan Asha, FounderMade CEO

This year’s edition delved into the dynamic world of influencer marketing, offering attendees a roadmap to success in the digital age. A captivating roundtable discussion brought together industry experts to dissect the art of partnering with influencers and celebrities. From selecting the perfect brand ambassador to measuring campaign effectiveness, the session provided a treasure trove of actionable insights.


Finding your perfect match

The importance of authenticity resonated throughout the discussion. Maggie Berghoff, USA Today Best Selling Author, Author of “Eat To Treat”, advised brands to seek influencers whose audience and brand values align seamlessly. She highlighted the potential of “micro-influencers,” creators with smaller, highly engaged followings, for new businesses. Cason Crane, founder of Explorer Cold Brew, emphasized the power of genuine connections, advocating for influencers who truly resonate with the brand’s product: “As a caffeine conscious cold brew company, you know, we have the only decaf cold brew concentrate on the market. So it’s finding people who are decaf drinkers or pregnant moms, for example. That’s where we find the most compelling partnership: when it’s a very specific.”

Building bridges, building brands

The panel championed the power of long-term partnerships. Audrey Peters, a TikTok star, underscored the value of brand loyalty in fostering trust with her audience. Consumers are more receptive to recommendations from creators they know and respect. Maggie Berghoff echoed this sentiment, suggesting that consistent collaborations cultivate deeper connections and brand recognition over time.


So much has changed since august let alone a year lol 💀

♬ original sound – Audrey Peters🍒

Data: the silent partner

While brand awareness remains a key objective, measuring success requires looking beyond vanity metrics like follower count. Jen-Ai Notman, VP of Marketing at PopFlex, shed light on their “Power Index,” a system prioritizing engagement over follower size. They strategically gift products to smaller creators who actively promote the brand: “Not everyone has the same engagement. And so we were rewarding smaller creators with higher engagement. That’s a key element in our index and then how often they share. So we could have a smaller influencer that was obsessed with us and posted about us every day and they could reach our top tier versus someone like we’ve gifted Brie Larson who would post once and then she would be in our top tier. So it really kind of made it a little bit more equitable for creators that have a smaller engaged following, but also rewarding people for posting more”.  Cason Crane of Explorer Cold Brew mirrored this approach, outlining a tiered influencer partnership strategy encompassing gifting, conversion-focused collaborations, and macro-influencer partnerships.

TikTok Shop: a trend with a question mark

The speakers explored the booming popularity of TikTok Shop, a feature facilitating in-app purchases. While some brands, like PopFlex, have witnessed initial success, concerns linger regarding its long-term viability. Jen-Ai Notman voiced frustrations over glitches and integration issues: ” We were one of the early Brands on there and it was so attractive. They were funding discounts for our products to our audience. Because we have a creator as a CEO, we got early access. She is known to sell products. Every single social media is trying to hack shopping. That’s were the money is. But with TikTok, when we first joined, it was extremely glitchy, not all the orders were being integrated in Shopify. We had angry first time customers (…) And TikTok is pushing it too hard. I don’t love TikTok Shop at this moment”. Audrey Peters cautioned about the platform’s unpredictable nature. Both speakers advised brands to approach TikTok Shop cautiously, acknowledging that it might not be a universally reliable strategy.

The final word

FounderMade offered a comprehensive guide for businesses, big and small, navigating the influencer marketing landscape. By prioritizing authenticity, building long-term partnerships, and utilizing data-driven decision making, brands can leverage influencer collaborations to propel themselves to new heights. While emerging platforms like TikTok Shop present potential opportunities, a strategic and cautious approach remains paramount.


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