The Influencer Report

We’ve officially entered the age where bloggers have really crossed over from simply running their own personal sites to starring in campaigns, commercials and even on magazine covers. Now all forms of social and digital media are allowing bloggers to really succeed in running their own business.  – Harper’s Bazaar

The blog I’ve found and will be analyzing is called: Fashion Mumblr

An influencer refers to “a person who is able to generate interest in something (a product) by posting about it on social media”. This blogger and fashion influencer is a London-based woman running a lifestyle blog designed to emphasize “attainable and inspirational details with a special focus on the subjects of fashion, beauty, and travel.”  Just like any paying job there are many different tasks, deadlines, campaign directions, pivots, and research. Being a fashion blogger or influencer also means there is a ton of competition.  

Fashion influencers/bloggers have become trusted sources of new and emerging trends and products for fashion audiences to rely upon for inspiration and consumption. No longer are designers and brands solely reliant on their marketing team, websites, single social media networks, etc., but sometimes decide to turn to the influencers and brand ambassadors that the fashion consumers have deemed as trusted trend-setters.

Modern purchasing behaviors in the industry start with visual inspiration and mass conversation — unique forms of communication that fashion blogs promote.

Now that companies see digital influencers and bloggers starting to drive more sales than celebrities, brands are building more campaigns for influencers into their marketing budget. Ultimately, this means that bloggers have much more room to earn a profit through various different mediums.

We know that fashion is a constant changing industry with new products and trends being created and new designers itching to be publicized around the world at any given moment, making identification with loyal consumers and their preferences vital to any amount of success. It is this fact that makes marketing and branding fashion more complex than in other sectors because of the velocity and vastness of this industry.  A low-cost form of distributing online media, specifically important to new designers whose budgets remain at lower capabilities, bloggers spend their time searching for high-quality products and trends, to supplement a blog post to attract the largest audience possible.

Marketing and Social Impact Theory

Social Impact theory states that professionals must position themselves to benefit from fundamental changes that are occurring in the ways people decide on which products and services to consume, and how they actually consume them. With the fashion industry’s quick pace, reliance on a unique brand image and established relationships in all aspects of a business venture, fashion blogs have emerged as leading foundations for strategic marketing. Fashion marketing uses common techniques of advertising and market research with the addition of tools specialized for the fashion industry such as product development, branding, pricing, and forecasting.

Blogging enhances these tools as the sites are exposed to large, trusted followings, determined by a combination of fans, email subscribers, page views, comments, etc. When combined with their relationships with fashion designers, their influence extends in the form of vital components to brand exposure. Oftentimes, bloggers post new content at least once a day, making their sites ideal sources for public relations outreach in such an industry whose products and branding moves at a consistently fast pace. Our digital age of marketing makes blogging just as, if not more, valid as any other form of publicity in reaching a brand’s desired audience(s).

A Day in the Life of a Fashion BloggerFashion Mumblr is seen here, collaborating with Michael Kors to showcase their product, Access Watch, for this video.

My thoughts

Okay, overall I am impressed – with the scale of work it takes to be a fashion influencer, with the amount of content in a fashion blog + social media platforms. While reviewing Fashion Mumblr’s blog and social media platforms, I have acknowledged that fashion blogging could be a positive and beneficial tool to supplement and improve public relations and marketing strategies in the fashion industry – if done ethically and sustainably.

On the flip side

To influence is to affect, to sway, to transform. To influence someone is to move their opinions away from authenticity. Anyone with social media today is constantly being bombarded with the opinions of influencers. I feel we unconsciously let go of our own opinions to replace them with those of the people we follow. (For some, not all)

Magazines have been influencing our fashion choices for years, but they have never reached as many people as influencers do. Their reach extends so wide that the culture of inauthenticity that they promote is becoming almost universal. It’s even possible that influencers themselves are inauthentic. The very presence of financial motivation subconsciously modifies what they believe to be an authentic choice. 

The danger in this is that we all eventually become a mass of indistinguishable beings lacking any individuality. There is value in individuality. And I think fashion influencers are endangering it. 

-April

2 thoughts on “The Influencer Report

  1. Hi April, This was an interesting blog post. I didn’t really think of fashion blogging but it totally makes sense that this would be a good platform; it can get information out quickly for companies if they find a few bloggers they like. As you mentioned, fashion changes constantly and with magazines and commercials it takes time and a lot of money to use those platforms to sell their product. Even if a magazine puts out an issue each month, it can only hold so much information, and it’s at least a month old, so they are trying to forecast what will be “in” by the time the magazine is read. Blogging is a great way to get their products out earlier than a magazine or commercial; plus it’s a quick way to stay up on the competition. If their competitor puts out a blog post about a specific style they seems to be selling well, the other company can counter it with their own product.

    I agree with you that, “The very presence of financial motivation subconsciously modifies what they believe to be an authentic choice.” I’m guessing any high influencer fashion blogger is getting their product for free or are able to use it for their videos. The one shot in the video is her going into a meeting without a package and coming out with a package; so obviously they gave her something to use in her next blog. The company is using/paying the blogger to influence their clothing line; yet, I think a lot of people don’t take that into consideration when they are watching the blogger. As you mentioned, the blogger looks authentic and it comes off as they just want to give you information about a great product and you can look as good as they do without specifically saying, “Look at this gorgeous blouse that ‘so and so gave me’; I didn’t have to pay for it”.

    I agree with you that there can be a lack of individuality in fashion and styles; I think that has always been the case in the fashion industry. How can every fashion company at the same time (without talking about it – ha ha) decide that skinny jeans are in and boot jeans are out; or the color of the year is …, everything seems to be in that color no matter where you look. So if the color that is in, is a color you like and looks good on you, great; but if the color is one you don’t prefer or doesn’t look good on you, you’re going to have to wait for next season and hope that you can find some neutrals in the mean time.

    I think for some people, who lack fashion sense, it can give them a style that they can try to emulate, but it also puts pressure on people that they have to look a specific way to look good. They never show last season’s jeans that can go with a blouse from this season, which to me makes it inauthentic. A lot of people cannot afford to change their whole wardrobe every season and it would be nice to have bloggers show what a new blouse from the spring season, can look good with last year’s jeans. Plus I’m guessing most fashion bloggers use high-end products, and again, most people cannot afford to buy high-end products, yet they make it look like it is attainable.

    I enjoyed your post and take on the fashion blogging industry.

    1. Hi @loveofdance7,

      Thanks for your comments; I think you put a lot of great thoughts into your message here. Fashion blogging is such an interesting topic to dive into – there are so many directions I could have gone with this blog post. These kinds of blogs are clearly still very relevant right now and they act as a creative outlet for so many different influencers. I also think, minus some of the negative aspects such as authenticity, it’s a great path that allows people to connect, learn, and consume all while providing new opportunities for possible financial gain and marketing skills.

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