Inside Generation Style is an event that demonstrates the fashion blogger's influence. Partnerships like this are becoming integral digital marketing strategies for companies like Norma Kamali and Orla Kiely. - Jennine Jacobs, Founder, IFB
At 7:30 pm tomorrow the doors will open for "Inside Generation Style," a runway event featuring fifteen fashion bloggers wearing summer trends from Norma Kamali's KamaliKulture & Orla Kiely, hosted by Intel and Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB). IFB is supporting the event with a multi-platform (Twitter, email, Instagram, YouTube) marketing push.
With blogger & brand partnerships only growing in popularity, I was interested in hearing from a handful of the participating bloggers about what elements are necessary for a well-executed partnership
What makes a great fashion blogger-brand partnership?
A great blogger-brand relationship is mutually beneficial, and neither party has to step away from what makes their brand special/unique. It's all about being open and sharing ideas - coming to agreed upon a collaboration or program that suits both parties. Also, a great blogger-brand partnership is not a one-off project, it is about building a long-term professional relationship and finding ways to work together again and again.
I think that [brands] can hugely benefit from partnering with bloggers. We use products, both recreationally and professionally, on a daily basis. When we do find them useful in documenting our experiences, or when we're introduced to or discover new products on our own, you can bet that we'll share that product with our readers. A mention or endorsement from a blogger can promote awareness among a new audience and generate more sales for the brand.
- Laura Ellner, On The Rack
The best blogger-brand partnerships happen organically because both parties truly respect each other’s work and the product they produce. When you have that mutual respect and admiration, you trust eachother’s creative work and do not place too many rules and regulations around your collaboration. This creates and genuine partnership that resonates well with the readers.
Between Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and our blogs, of course, we stay connected to our followers in everything we do. In return, we have a loyal group of readers who live similar lifestyles. This combination makes us and our readers their perfect target audience.
- Caroline Knapp, Sweet Caroline in the City
I think the best brand/blogger partnerships are those that would already occur as natural relationships without the exchange of media coverage or compensation. Before committing to an agreement, I think both sides should ask themselves: ʺWould I shop from/recommend/support this person or business if there were no other goals/motives involved?ʺ Too often (on either side), we think that any partnership is better than nothing, but if more thought were put into it, I think we'd see much more meaningful and value-filled connections and campaigns.
Of course we love blogging about designer collections and pretty shoes above all else, but I don't think many tech companies realize that as fashion bloggers (especially those of us who run as small businesses), we are constantly utilizing the latest technology developments to run our sites. Not only are we early (and incredibly engaged) adopters of the latest gadgets/software, but many of us also have loyal followings who are interested in behind-the-scenes peeks at how we keep things running. I think it's brilliant (and generous!) of Intel to realize and act on the valuable impact of the community that IFB offers, and I hope they are merely paving the way for many others still to come.
- Jessie Artigue, Style & Pepper
The best blogger/brand partnerships focus on building authentic relationships. The ideal outcome of a partnership for a brand is when a blogger becomes a true ambassador. The success of a partnership also depends on the partners involved. Are the bloggers chosen able to clearly identify with the brand? Are they able to become real representatives of the particular brand? Are they living that lifestyle? Just because a blogger has a larger audience doesn't mean that they're the right person to work with. It has to make sense.
[Bramds] work with bloggers like us because they recognize that we are both consumers and opinion leaders in our industries. We work with technology and constantly communicate with others in the digital space, but most importantly - our voices are heard. We can try their product and express to others how that product or brand has played a role in our everyday blogging lives.
- Jinna Yang, Grease & Glamour
A great blogger- brand collaboration happens when there's natural synergy between the two partners. This could be based on aesthetics or brand values and identity. I think it's important for bloggers to stay authentic to themselves during partnerships because therein lies the value of the blog that the brand wants to tap into. At the end, a great partnership results in something mutually beneficial and creates something innovative and valuable to both parties, that neither the brand nor the blogger would be able to do without the other.
In this particular collaboration, [the brands involved are] able to tap into each blogger's brand of style and cool and access a fashionable audience.
- Carolyn Hsu, The Hsu Closet
I like when a brand is trying some thing new and interesting that my readers would think is fun. A lot of girls in fashion love the runway shows, so it is a great idea to have the real girls whose sites they follow strut their stuff down the catwalk.
Bloggers have a great reach and a captive audience, so we will get the word out to the stylish [reader] who might need a compact computer like this in their life.
- Jenni Radosevich, I Spy DIY
Partnerships are like any other creative venture: if brands create a clear, inspiring brief or project outline and the blogger brings a great point of view and work ethic to the table, the outcome is usually fresh and authentic.
If I have a truly great experience with a brand, I will evangelize their product for life, and really mean it! It’s more than just showing a logo or using a hashtag – projects like these are about nurturing a group of advocates.
- Ann Somma, Holier Than Now
A great blogger-brand partnership comes with mutual benefits. Both parties need to make sure that they will be both gain something from their relationship be it exposure, press, clothing, or money. I also always make sure that the brands I decide to work with fit my style to a tee.
It's smart...to work with bloggers who are quickly becoming the leading influencers in fashion (some already are).
- Dani Bernstein, We Wore What
A great blogger-brand partnership is an instinctual ʺyes!ʺ it just makes sense; if you need to think about it for more than two seconds, then it isn't meant to be. It has to be a natural win-win for both parties!
There once was a time when fashion feared technology; thought that it could just get on buy and chug along without it! It did, for quite some a while, but now it is the moment to evolve with the times. Bloggers can very well represent the next phase of pioneers in how fashion is presented and dare I say, branded, to consumers, and since our careers are web and computer-based, it is crucial to have the quickest, most efficient, reputable, and reliable source in order to get our images edited, our content written, and live as soon as possible.
- Julia Denado, Fashion Pulse Daily
You have to stay true to yourself and your style when picking and choosing partnerships. As tempting as it is to say YES to everything, I've been trying to weed out projects that don't support the brand that I am trying to create with NYCPretty. Also, if you truly do love the product or company that you're branding with, you're much more likely to have a successful collaboration.
By having top style bloggers use and promote their products, [brands can] reach a much more trendy, fashion forward audience than they might otherwise. The brand is getting a ʺchicʺ and ʺcoolʺ stamp of approval by having us strut our stuff down the runway, all while carrying a sleek little laptop as an accessory. Genius!
- Christine Bibbo Herr, NYC Pretty