THE HARD SELL
When I become loyal to a brand, blogger / influencer it's largely down to who and not what. Their life. What they eat. How they exercise. Their favourite beauty products. What they're reading. That's the pot of gold.
The unedited and spontaneous moment is a far more interesting insight than the meticulously choreographed and extensively photoshopped, filtered and tweaked image (often in a 5* star hotel - or luxurious equivalent) surrounded by red roses whilst robed and/or brandishing a product that they were paid to promote, that they most likely... don't like.
The lipstick that they choose to promote, of their own accord, for free and without fanfare is so much more fucking interesting because it's REAL.
This applies to brands. An Insta / Facebook feed built to solely to showcase new products, or to advertise an "exclusive" flash sale (generally the 7th that month therefor not that exclusive) with a grid thoughtless because it's really there to meet sales targets absolutely void of appeal.
I recently encountered a 'sponsored' ad on instagram; an established heavyweight was prostituting itself simply to gain followers. It was A BANK! A reputable, long-standing and highly regarded institution of household familiarity. One worth it's weight in gold. (Aside for their hunger for young followers) WHY did they deem it necessary to infiltrate a platform that's predominately visual where imagery and creativity takes prevalence over words and figures?
This infuriated me, to the extent that it began to torment me greatly on how we presented Honeymoon Hotel. We ran a lot more sales when first starting out, our feed was tinged too much with garnering customer interest and basically trying to keep our company alive. (Unless you accumulate profit at the start then you're fucked, basically.)
Any promotional messages are now kept to a minimum, for reasons explained above. I don't want to be that brand that gains their followers only when they're decorating and scouting art only to be deserted once their room reached it's completion. Being shackled to posting content for likes or sticking to a palette that I think our customer's expect / appreciate is as appealing as spending my career designing Black & White lyrical typography just because it's a guaranteed seller, or expected of us, or popular.
I have so much regard and fondness for the few brands that keep things interesting and relatable because offering that extra layer of personality (not just a means to connect you to what they're flogging) turns their business into an old friend who shares your taste, outlook and vibe. This applies to those rare bloggers / influencers who serve us a side dish of blunt, unglamorous reality (if it's alongside their edited, unattainable 'best bits' then that's fine)
Show us your spots. Preach about miraculous unsexy Spanx. Post pictures just before pay day when all you've got to eat is toast. This. Is. Interesting.