Why enterprise companies hire celebrity and influencer partners
It's 2023, and everyone wants more. As a marketer, you know that a star-studded collaboration should yield more than a few viral Instagram posts. To open hearts (and wallets), you need a strategic approach. Enterprise companies know this to be true, and as such, they’re getting strategic with celebrity and influencer partnerships.
Creator economy scoop: Pinterest and luxury brands
In this edition, we explore Pinterest as the go-to platform for luxury brands, the disparity in pay between BIPOC and non-BIPOC creators, and the relationship between fans and creators. We also explore some influencer trends to look out for in 2024, and share a creator spotlight about an inspiring adventurous creator.
Creator economy scoop: How many ads are on TikTok?
In this edition, we explore TikTok's current ad landscape, the ways the FTC is tightening regulations for creators in the nutrition space, and much more.
How to build the right creator roster in 2023
With the way the social media landscape constantly changes (we see you Threads and X), brands need a bit more predictability when working with creators that are on these platforms. In a recent conversation with Ashley Riske, #paid’s Head of Creator Partnerships, she shed light on the key aspects of working with creators and debunked several misconceptions associated with the process.
The era of entertainment marketing is here: Tracking the right metrics will help you stand out
TikTok is the champion of entertainment marketing. This is mainly because TikTok viewers are clinging to short video content as a primary form of entertainment, especially in the face of inflation.
Tear a page out of "The Last of Us" marketing strategy
A modern digital campaign for a TV show comes with a familiar checklist. Using trending songs or sounds on TikTok? Check. Diced-together compilations of the show’s greatest moments? Check. Same old, same old? Check, check.Yet the biggest name in TV this year—HBO’s “The Last of Us”—is raising eyebrows because of what it didn’t do. Some of their best social media marketing has bucked the trends. Instead, they’re starting with a new premise:
How and why luxury fashion brands are focusing on sustainable alternatives
Luxury fashion has a problem. According to McKinsey, the industry is responsible for over $2 billion in greenhouse gas emissions every year. That’s roughly 4% of the world’s total output.
Ugly ads don’t mean bad ads: Try these expert tips for high-intent ads
Before you decide if you agree to disagree with avoiding “ugly content” for your brand, we want to introduce you to a friend specializing in ad campaigns for ecommerce brands.
Does it still cost 5X more to acquire customers than to retain them in 2023?
The “5x rule” is a beloved stat, tracing its roots to sources at Bain Capital. But here’s the thing: the stat is…well, kind of old. We’re talking 2014. Possibly even earlier.
HOORAE’s Tiana Harris on their partnership with Walmart
Black creators, despite their talent and often being the main drivers of social media trends, are often overlooked for partnership opportunities with brands. Naturally, this oversight has led to a gap in which Black creators have less access to paid opportunities or even visibility on social media and other creator platforms.
What responsibilities do sustainable brands have to educate (without) alienating customers?
Striking a balance between creativity and appealing to customers is often a tenuous one for marketing teams.Add in the massive competition for traffic and sales, and you might find a brand or two swinging for the fences only to end up striking out spectacularly.
Content not performing? How to create platform-native content that drives results
You’ve seen it a million times in the DTC and B2B worlds. A company will take the same piece of content and plaster it across the brand’s various social media channels. The results? Lackluster. Maybe it will get engagement from the social media manager (SMM) who posted it—and, if they’re lucky, the SMM’s mom. (Provided they’re on Twitter, of course.)What’s wrong with this strategy? Aside from the fact that it never works, it’s rare to see brands—especially B2B companies—dive deep into every social media platform’s unique quirks. As a result, they rarely post creative content that engages their target audience.
Where are brands finding new talent? Hint: It’s not LinkedIn
There’s been talk about ‘Quiet Quitting’ and the ‘Great Resignation’ over the last two years, which means brands wanting to fill positions and needing employees have to take a good, hard look at what they’re offering how they’re reaching potential candidates.
Five examples of viral creator-brand ad collabs
Come launch time, brand and creator collaborations have a way of looking effortless. From product names to color palettes, it’s as if the brand and creator were made for each other. A look behind the scenes, however, shows that success is no accident.
How to maintain customer loyalty as the inflation spikes the cost of goods
Sure, Black Friday saw an all-time high in eCommerce sales. But if you’ve been to any grocery, retail, or marketplace in the last year, you’ve likely felt the effects of inflation. Everything is more expensive right now. For example, prices for food increased by 10.4% in 2022 (the biggest increase since 1981), and energy prices have risen 41.6% over the last year (the largest since 1980).
How Awful Cloth grew a mindset brand through organic creator relationships
Fact: Everyone likes to wear hoodies. Fact: Everyone wore hoodies during the pandemic. Fact: We all love expressing ourselves in different ways. Fact: Everyone can do with a little positivity in their day-to-day lives. Combine all these attributes, put them into a wishing well, and what do you get? An optimistic brand that sells positivity-focused clothing, writes Monday motivation quotes, and sells really bright and happy hoodies.
Banknotes’ 2022 holiday DTC gift guide (and giveaway)
Check out the coolest DTC gifts and enter for a chance to win $500 to spend on yourself and some friends
Gen Z thinks your marketing is bad: Here’s what you can do about it
According to a 2022 Knit Report, Gen Z makes up 40% of the global consumer population and has $600 billion in spending power. The report also states that 72% of Gen Zers think brands need to do a much better job marketing to them—especially if they want to win their loyalty.
Ways eCommerce brands can grow sales the remainder of 2022
While the overall attitude regarding the current economy is lackluster, NRF reports that retail sales will still grow between 6% and 8% to more than the $4.86 trillion recorded in 2022.Even if consumers are upset by inflation and the current state of the economy, the good news is they are still spending—especially during the upcoming holiday season. In fact, 30% of all retail sales typically happen between BFCM and Christmas.
Social media endorsements: Brands and DTC influencers play hide and seek with disclosures
Over the past month, Parker has engaged with a number of micro-influencers on Twitter to promote its credit card and official launch party (which happened on Sept. 29), generating FOMO on behalf of the brand.Some of the influencers have disclosed they’ve been paid, adding a #sponsored hashtag to their post or some other indication of a professional relationship. Others, though gushing about the credit card and its party, have not indicated sponsorship.
Marfa Stance is transforming activewear one modular garment at a time
The popularity of activewear has been on a steady rise over the last five decades.From wearing velour tracksuits and leotards in the 70s and 80s to bike shorts and yoga pants in the 90s and 00s, there’s a theme: people want to dress comfortably. One problem is how do you dress for an active (or leisurely) lifestyle and still look polished?
BANKNOTES readers: We want to hear from you
In an effort to provide the best and most useful content across eCommerce, retail and the creator economy we'd like to hear from you, our readers.
10 marketing experiments that worked: 10 unconventional use cases that paid off in 2022
The world of eCommerce marketing is like a jungle, densely packed with mainstream content for as far as the eye can see. You need an appetite for experimentation to survive this saturated eCommerce space and create a standout brand name. With strategically designed marketing experiments, you can create mind-blowing campaigns to deliver a great customer experience that gives consumers a reason to hit the “buy” button. It’s a great way to test your risk tolerance, go beyond generic marketing tactics, and discover new solutions to maximize your marketing ROI.
Is the Metaverse the future of fashion?
During the Drapers Future of Fashion conference in June 2022, Hilsum, the senior director of product innovation for the luxury fashion global platform Farfetch, took it a step further and shared that the metaverse (along with developing technology) will be “the next stage of luxury shopping.”
Chipotle’s Neiv Toledano on their partnership with ‘Corn Kid’
How Chipotle partnered with the 'Corn Kid' to produce a short-form video for their social media channels, which is now their highest-performing social media content.
Why storytelling is critical for DTC success
It’s clear that consumers are selective about where they spend their money, and brands that share specific beliefs and values have won the hearts of the modern-day consumer over brands that slap a logo on their product that’s made in the same factory as thousands of others.
Triple Whale: How an enterprise SaaS found a highly relatable voice on social media
If you want to be successful in B2B marketing, make your efforts look more like DTC marketing. At least that’s the emerging train of thought, and strategy being following by Triple Whale, a marketing analytics and attribution SaaS.
How Pura sells the sense of smell, even across digital platforms
Brands that sell fully sensory products, especially senses that don’t translate well in a digital setting—taste and smell—have a unique marketing challenge. It’s not an easy task, but some brands, like Pura, are still somehow knocking their eCommerce sales out of the park.
What’s your sign? How brands are using astrology to start a conversation
Gone are the days you’d only find a generic horoscope at the back of a gossip magazine. Now, you can shop for candles that speak to your zodiac sign or even order a fast food meal that aligns with your vIbEz. In other words, astrology is undergoing a marketing makeover.
Market research in the world of COVID and eCommerce
In a lot of ways market research is a legacy tactic, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored by brands big and small. In fact, market research as come a long way from the focus groups of the past. While formal studies and surveys are still on the table, the host of potential market research channels now open to marketers has grown exponentially.
DTC brands turn to crowdfunding investments as recession looms
The uncertainty in the current eCommerce environment along with the pullback from VCs has led to tougher sledding for brands looking to raise capital rounds. But it’s not all doom and gloom.Over the past month, a group of community-driven DTC brands has turned to crowdfunding as a means to fuel growth. Obvi, CROSSNET, and Wunderkeks publicly launched investment rounds targeting different audiences—from customers, friends, and family to DTC founders and angels.
Yeezy Gap merchandising: Insensitive or innovative?
Instead of displaying the latest Yeezy x Gap collection on traditional hangers and display plinths, the clothes appeared in giant black bags placed around the store floor. There was a firestorm of comments on social media after a tweet showing the offbeat visual merchandising for the Yeezy x Gap collection went viral.
Marketing books pivots from the Gutenberg press to ‘Booktok’
Printed books have survived the invention of the radio, television, video games, the internet, social media, and virtual reality. While it remains to be seen how much longer printed books will exist alongside whatever the metaverse ends up being, Lindy’s Law—the longer something has existed, the more likely it is to have a longer remaining life expectancy—suggests that books will be around for many years to come.
From DTC to retail: How brands are migrating into big box stores
As more and more DTC brands start moving into retail stores (and legacy brands move toward adding a DTC arm to the company), there’s going to be a blurring of the lines – making it essential for brands to incorporate a variety of sales channels into a strategy in order to remain competitive.
IN BOLD PRINT looks to become source of truth on 'sustainable' DTC brands
The inspiration behind IN BOLD PRINT came from an all-too-familiar scenario—the founders kept seeing brands use sustainability as a marketing tactic and making baseless claims such as “clean,” “eco-friendly,” and “green.” Pradhan and Valor found themselves spending countless hours researching and evaluating what makes one brand’s product more sustainable than another.
Small fashion brands are preparing for upcoming climate regulations
The fashion industry is on a trajectory where self-regulation may be coming to a drawn-out end. The fashion industry contributes an estimated 4% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, with fast fashion companies like H&M, Shein, and Zara responsible for half of those emissions. As people learn more about this reality, pressure from a growing number of climate-conscious consumers have forced large fashion brands to invest in voluntary sustainability efforts to prove they’re doing something about their impact on the planet.
Cigarette advertising: How government regulation and public perception changed everything
It was only in the 1970s that government regulators would finally begin to listen to the medical community and restrict cigarette advertising in any meaningful way. But does that mean cigarette advertising stopped?
Are teen magazines back? How TooD is reinventing them (with a twist!)
Designed to cultivate engagement around various topics while highlighting related products, TooD Beauty is using nostalgia for teen magazines to create content for both the website and social platforms.
BURN!: Are brands trying too hard (And is everyone over It)?
In today’s world, most of us will take a bit of humor anywhere or any time we can get it, right?For a lot of online users, that humor comes in the form of spicy takes and roasts – the bigger the burn the more engagement, likes, and comments a brand will get.
Sarah Moret of Curie on her Shark Tank experience: What it takes to land a deal with the Sharks
Curie focuses on natural and effective body products. The star of the show is the brand’s aluminum-free deodorant, sold in both solid and spray form. Additional products include a clay detox mask, whipped body wash, moisturizing body oil, hand sanitizer, and candles featuring their three unique scents.
How brands like Parachute and Sweetgreen are embracing chaos
Instead of traditional campaigns, brands are embracing general upheaval, changes in the workforce, managing supply chain issues, and are going toe-to-toe with brand competitors.
Social marketing and condoms: From Thailand to the United States during the AIDS crisis
In 1974, Thailand tackled poverty with an unconventional approach: promoting the use of condoms. That same year, the average Thai family had seven children. Women didn’t have many opportunities outside the home, and supporting a large family was next to impossible on small wages during a recession. Rather than control the population by limiting the amount of children people could have by law, Mechai Viravaidya wondered if condom marketing and distribution alone could reduce the size of families over time. Viravaidya, a former minister who was frustrated by the Thai government’s inability to set a national family planning policy, founded the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) to take on the task.
History of vitamin and supplement advertising: Proof that nothing is original
Vitamins and supplements have been in regulation purgatory since they were first developed in the early 20th century. At first because of lack of knowledge, then because of lobbying, vitamins and supplements have never been subject to the same regulatory requirements as other health products.
Anine Bing: From Influencer to Global Brand
From the editorial feed to classic styling, Anine Bing Official strikes that perfect balance between curated feed and the use of trending tools to keep followers engaged and interested.
Never an escape from drudgery: How cleaning innovations were advertised to women
Between 1860–1965, we saw the invention and mass adoption of the electric washing machine, dishwasher, and vacuum cleaner. Paper towels reduced the amount of rags to clean. Liquid soap and germ-killing disinfectant sprays made it easier to sanitize surfaces. And none of it reduced the amount of hours spent on housework.
Growing brand partnerships on TikTok with insight from Kristina Mikhalkova of Vessi
Brands and creators are partnering to leverage TikTok’s creative power—and the results are eye-popping. With a recent TikTok report outlining impressive results from these partnerships, there’s no time like the present to team up with your favorite creators to establish social proof, boost brand and product awareness, and increase sales.
Tampax marketing: Then and now
Now that Tampax has reached the top of the global market share food chain, period product startups are pouncing on the opportunity to unseat them. Can they?
The hype-cycle history of gaming: From E.T. to Cyberpunk 2077
Why do we have the gaming hype-machine we have today? And what will it look like 20 years from now if the metaverse matures past its clunky present form?
How do brands like Peloton deal with an unexpected PR crisis?
So, what happens next for Peloton and how do brands come back after being skewered in the court of public opinion?
Need makeup tips? How Jones Road Beauty went viral on TikTok
Against all odds, Jones Road Beauty videos went viral multiple times, reaching 1M views within 24 hours and attracting over 130,000 followers in less than a week.
An interview with Chris Vaccarino of Fanjoy on the power of partnering with creators
I had the opportunity to interview Chris and Fanjoy’s VP of Talent, Josh “Caru” Glodoveza, to learn more about the power of partnering with creators
How New Balance became the king of collabs
Here we are, wracking our brains to imagine a world where New Balance is going toe-to-toe with Nike to claim its position as a culturally dialed-in brand in the sneaker business.
Colgate marketing: Then and now
In 2015, more than 200 years after its founding, Colgate became the only brand in the world purchased by more than half of all households. Keep reading to find out how Colgate got from point A to point B with more than two centuries of steady innovation
Abercrombie & Fitch's approach to marketing: Then and now
The Abercrombie & Fitch brand story is a reminder that entrepreneurship is a journey that will almost never take you to the places on your itinerary.
Joanne Coffey on flexible influencer marketing and becoming a retention marketer for Jones Road Beauty
I recently interviewed Joanne Coffey, a data-driven email and SMS marketer who works with early-stage startups in the DTC beauty industry.
CVS Health’s approach to marketing: Then and now
Find out how CVS pharmacy grew through weekly sales, fanatic couponing, and sophisticated loyalty programs—and how that growth is fueling the future of CVS as a healthcare giant.
Brands are mocking themselves and it might be working
Brands like Duolingo, Grubhub, and KFC are running through their own versions of this formula, all with successful view counts on TikTok, YouTube, and even the Lifetime Channel. But we have to ask — is the sass leading to sales?
Pabst Blue Ribbon marketing: Then and now
Keep reading to find out how Pabst Blue Ribbon’s brand has twisted and turned throughout the years, by paying attention to geographic differences in sales … particularly in Portland, Oregon
How an agency comprised solely of Gen Z employees creates viral ad campaigns
To better understand how brands can engage Gen Z; I interviewed Charlie Naus, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Carson+Doyle agency
How Scotch & Soda went from wholesale to global DTC brand
Retailers who face a decline in sales or foot traffic—especially once consumers get back in-store—will need to shake things up if they hope to compete with brands like Scotch & Soda.
Aimé Leon Dore secures the bag. Now what?
A few thoughts on LVMH’s investment in ALD and why it’s a great move for them.
Doritos marketing: Then and now
Little known fact: Walt Disney helped create Doritos. Keep reading to find out how Doritos took a big chomp into the snack market with big product risks, controversial marketing tactics, and partnerships that fuel brand relevance.
How to build true brand community for the long haul
A conversation with community experts about how to build a community in 2022 and why it even matters at all.
Walgreens’ approach to marketing: Then and now
Find out more about how Walgreens has evolved since it was established in 1901 and how a longstanding culture of innovation is helping them regain market share.
Marketing lessons from Marvel
5 pages to steal from Marvel’s promotional handbook
How to use live events to capture the attention of Gen Z
If brands want to connect with Gen Z—especially during live events—they must rethink traditional advertising and meet them where they live—on their phones.
Eli Weiss on chasing curiosity, playing the long game, and how to be a good boss
Chatting with the King of CX about life, work, and how to take care of your employees
Absolut's approach to marketing: Then and now
Starting in 1836, Absolut has achieved global recognition through contemporary art, party culture, and investments in design.
Instagram collabs: What’s in it for brands?
Instagram recently rolled out a new feature that has brands buzzing: Collabs.
Coca-Cola marketing: Then and now
Now, 133 years later, 94% of the world’s population recognizes the Coca-Cola brand. And it’s no wonder they do Coca-Cola spends an annual average of $4 billion on worldwide marketing!
2022 State of CBD advertising
We've created this report to help CBD brands understand the do's and don'ts of advertising and social promotion of CBD products.
Luxury fashion’s obsession with gaming
Balenciaga, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton are flocking to the metaverse, and here’s why.
Michelin's approach to marketing: Then and now
From taking over the family business in 1880 to creating the legendary culinary star system, Michelin has been reinventing their brand for decades.
Patagonia's approach to marketing: Then and now
From suing Donald Trump to asking people NOT to buy their jackets, Patagonia has been on a bold mission to protect the plant and build a world-class brand at the same time.
Gatorade's approach to marketing: Then and now
From science experiment to 72% market share, find out how Gatorade mastered athletic sponsorships—but not without some serious fumbles in messaging.
From IT to tea: Andy Hayes’s journey with Plum Deluxe
As my love of tea grew, I realized my background in computing put me in the perfect position to start my own business.
Building brand loyalty: retaining your best customers while creating a lasting community
It’s no secret that shoppers continually return to brands they love and trust
Marvel’s approach to marketing: Then and now
Marvel has come a long way from its origins as a comic book series to become one of the biggest media empires in the world.
IKEA's approach to marketing: Then and now
Find out how IKEA built a brand based on consumer effort: the effort to visit the store, navigate its showroom maze, and build the products they purchased from it.
The anatomy of a great collab
Collabs are essential for the modern brand. Here’s what separates the good from the great.
Brands like Starbucks, oVertone, and Nike + Run Club are using gamification to boost customer experiences–will it work for you?
Retail brands are starting to implement gamification features. So what does that mean for everyone else?
Levi's approach to marketing: Then and now
From 1872 to 2020, let's examine the last 143 years of Levi's brand. Keep reading to find out more about the lessons Levi’s learned amidst missed fashion trends, ten years of falling revenue, debt, and a comeback no one expected.
Think it’s time for a reinvention? Brand collaborations is the way to go
Sometimes, a brand collaboration doesn’t make sense at first but when done, has the potential to build momentum and popularity.
How Allen Edmonds created an eco-conscious brand
Allen Edmonds has dedicated time, energy, and resources to building an eco-conscious recrafting program—without giving up luxury, leather footwear.
Polaroid’s approach to marketing: Then and now
Polaroid was founded over 75 years ago in 1937, since then, the brand has been running at an intersection of technology, innovation, art, and photography.
Jacob Zuppke on AutoPets’ DTC origins, and embracing the new creator model
Building a company and figuring out your marketing strategy is tough work. Learn how AutoPets uses DTC and Creators to skyrocket growth.
World War II marketing: Then and now
World War II advertising: When government and corporate America began a beautiful friendship
How Zenni drives record numbers through partnerships with Chicago Bulls, Iris Apfel, Rashida Jones, & more
The most successful partnerships are ones when the partner is already a fan of our brand and understands our values.
Test Joanna Mahserdjian of Upstate Rug Supply on building a modern heritage brand Copy
In this age of fast food, social media, Photoshop, and superficiality, we’re steadfast in our belief in authenticity
The TikTok method that scored Run Gum 7k followers in 6 Hrs
See how TikTok creator @growithjessie uses this method to triple followers for multiple brands
Jordan Karcher on creating social impact through Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co.
Jordan built Grounds & Hounds to save rescue pups and provide great service and products that also make a positive impact on society.
Pop-up Shops: Are they worth trying—and could it work for your brand?
For brands, having a limited-time pop-up experience helps create a buzz around new products
Chanel’s approach to marketing: Then and now
We explore the full history of the House of CHANEL from Coco to eComm
Berkley Bering of Past Life the Collective on building a sustainable, empathetic approach to fashion
The truth is: I didn’t start this business because I wanted to get into fashion.
Nike’s approach to marketing: Then and now
Nike has created some of the world’s greatest marketing moments and innovations which put their name on the athletic apparel map forever.
Jackson Cunningham of Tuft & Paw on the concept of validation in entrepreneurship, putting cats’ needs first, and investing in the customer experience
Since our founding, we’ve grown quite fast, but our focus has remained the same: putting cats’ needs first.
It’s Gucci’s 100th Birthday. They’re just getting started.
Gucci’s the only luxury brand that’s getting younger. Here’s what we can all learn from them.
Storytelling and identity for fashion brands: What it means
We buy clothes to feel good in our skin and differentiate ourselves from others. That’s why fashion brand stories that double-down on identity are so powerful
Otherland founder Abigail Stone on how storytelling & nostalgia fuel her brand narrative
I always knew deep in my heart I wanted to run a business.
Biohacking Sleep: How Eight Sleep is inventing the sleep fitness category
Casper is a mattress. Eight Sleep is an entire sleep system.
How Brooklinen, TULA skincare, and others find, evaluate, and select creators
We can draw inspiration from brands that already have a system in place for finding their ideal partners.