Mastering the Influencer Marketing Minefield: A Guide to Success

In recent years, influencer marketing has emerged as a widely adopted strategy for businesses seeking to enhance their brand visibility. Collaborating with public figures and influencers can provide access to vast audiences and boost engagement. However, this marketing approach also comes with hidden risks.

Influencer marketing - good and bad examples

Associating your brand or product with a particular influencer can have both positive and negative consequences, as their image and actions reflect on your brand. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to conduct thorough research before diving into influencer partnerships. Understanding the influencer’s background, values, reputation, and audience alignment is essential to ensure a harmonious fit and mitigate potential risks, guaranteeing a successful and authentic influencer marketing campaign. In this article we will dive deeper into the topic and discuss how media monitoring comes in handy in such situations. 

The Benefits of Influencer Marketing 

Increased Reach

Partnering with a prominent public figure can expose your product or brand to a much wider audience. Their following and influence can help expand your brand’s visibility and attract new customers.

Enhanced Trust and Credibility

Public figures are often seen as experts or authorities in their respective fields. By associating your brand with someone who is highly regarded by their audience, you can gain credibility and enhance trust among potential customers.

Brand Alignment Through Influencer Marketing

Choosing the right public figure can help align your brand with their values and beliefs. This alignment can strengthen your brand perception and attract customers who identify with that individual’s persona thus strengthening the brand positioning and image.

Strengthen your brand through influencer marketing

Potential Risks Involved 

Reputation Damage

If the public figure you choose becomes involved in controversy or scandal, your brand can suffer from negative association. It is vital to ensure that the public figure’s personal values and behavior align with your brand’s image and ethos.

Lack of Authenticity

Failure to thoroughly research a public figure can result in a mismatch between your brand and their actual personality or history. This misalignment can lead to a lack of authenticity, thereby diminishing the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand.

Legal and Financial Ramifications

Ignoring proper research can also result in legal and financial implications. If the public figure you connect your brand with has undisclosed conflicts, legal troubles, or breaches their contract, it can lead to costly legal battles or damage to your company’s reputation.

Influencer Marketing Gone Wrong 

Nike & Lance Armstrong (2012)

Nike, a renowned sports apparel brand, had a long-standing sponsorship deal with professional cyclist Lance Armstrong. Armstrong was a celebrated athlete and cancer survivor, but in 2012, he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles due to doping allegations.

The revelation of his doping scandal tarnished his reputation and raised questions about his integrity. Nike faced criticism for standing by Armstrong for so long despite mounting evidence of his misconduct. The association with a disgraced athlete damaged Nike’s reputation, and the company eventually terminated its sponsorship deal with Armstrong to mitigate the crisis.

Unsuccessful influencer marketing example - Nike and Lance Armstrong
KANSAS CITY, KS – JUNE 09: Lance Armstrong speaks to the crowd prior to the innaugural game between the Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City at LiveStrong Sporting Park on June 9, 2011 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Charlie Sheen & “Two and a Half Men”

Another prominent example is Charlie Sheen’s termination from the hit TV show “Two and a Half Men”. As one of the show’s main stars, Charlie Sheen’s personal life and actions were closely scrutinized by the media and the public. His involvement in various controversies, public meltdowns, and erratic behavior led to a negative public perception.

As the show’s producers struggled to manage the situation, the program’s reputation suffered, and advertisers grew hesitant to be associated with the show due to the uncertainty surrounding Charlie Sheen. Consequently, this detrimental association with a troubled public figure eventually resulted in Charlie Sheen’s dismissal from the show.

The decision to part ways with the show’s lead actor was a necessary step to salvage the brand image of “Two and a Half Men,” illustrating how a public figure’s behavior can have a substantial impact on the success and perception of a product, even a highly popular TV show.

Influencer marketing gone wrong - Charlie Sheen and Two and a Half Men

Kendall Jenner & Pepsi

Kendall Jenner’s partnership with Pepsi stands as a cautionary tale in the realm of influencer marketing. The ill-fated campaign attempted to blend social justice activism with the famous beverage, resulting in a severe disconnect between the brand’s message and the real-world issues it attempted to address.

The oversimplification of complex social and political movements was met with widespread backlash, underscoring the importance of genuine alignment between an influencer’s image and the values of the brand. This misalignment not only tarnished Pepsi’s reputation but also highlighted the potential risks when influencer marketing lacks authenticity and sensitivity to the socio-cultural context.

Kendall Jenner & Pepsi - a bad example of influencer marketing

The Good Example – Charli D’Amelio & Dunkin’ Donuts

Teenager Charli D’Amelio is one of TikTok’s superstars, with a followers base exceeding 150 million users. In 2020 Dunkin’s Donuts decided to capitalize on her widespread TikTok influence by starting a partnership that soon became an outstanding example of successful influencer marketing.

The partnership introduced a signature drink called “The Charli” and showcased Charli herself indulging in Dunkin’ delights. This resonated with her engaged fanbase, driving a remarkable 57% surge in Dunkin’ app downloads and bolstering sales of the beverage.

The authenticity of Charli’s content and her genuine enthusiasm for the brand played a pivotal role in this accomplishment, highlighting the potential of well-executed influencer collaborations to drive tangible business results.

Charli Damelio and Dunkin Donuts - good influencer marketing examples

The Role of Media Monitoring Services

In a world full of bad examples, be Charli D’Amelio & Dunkin’ by making use of media monitoring.

To minimize the risks involved in connecting your brand with a public figure, comprehensive research is essential. This is where media monitoring service companies, like Perceptica, come into play. Our services provide valuable insights and information to help make informed decisions. Here is how we can help:

Public Figure Monitoring

Our media monitoring services can track the activities, online presence, and public sentiment surrounding the public figure you are considering. Tracking their social media posts, news mentions, and public perception can reveal potential red flags or controversies that could impact your brand.

Reputation Management

In the event of a scandal or negative news related to the public figure, our media monitoring services can help you stay on top of the situation. By receiving real-time alerts, you can respond swiftly, mitigate any potential damage, and protect your brand’s reputation.

Industry Analysis

We also offer an in-depth analysis of the industry landscape surrounding the public figure. This analysis can help you gauge the public sentiment, understand the target audience, and make well-informed decisions about potential partnerships.

PR Crisis Management

At Perceptica, we know from experience that even when you do your homework, things could go wrong. In those cases, businesses need a trusted ally to help them mitigate the negative effects of a potential PR crisis, caused by unsuccessful influencer marketing campaigns. 

With our Crisis Monitoring & Analysis you can handle controversies with grace and efficiency, ensuring your brand remains resilient. Our expert team constantly keeps a watchful eye on real-time public discussions, track sentiment changes, and keeps you ahead of the latest trends,  allowing you to respond swiftly to emerging issues.

PR crisis management with media monitoring by Perceptica

Connecting your brand with a public figure can be a powerful marketing strategy if done right. However, the risks associated with hasty decisions or inadequate research can be detrimental to your brand’s reputation. Thoroughly researching the public figure’s background, reputation, alignment with your brand’s values, and potential risks is crucial. When it comes to media monitoring, influencer marketing and identification, and reputation research, Perceptica stands as a trusted expert, aiding businesses in making informed decisions for successful influencer marketing endeavors. 

By utilizing our services, you can access valuable insights to make informed decisions and safeguard your brand’s reputation, request your demo today.

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