Cool By Association
When I was in high school my friends and I would attend on Disco Nights at the local skating rink. We would wear our own tight fitting clothing, chains and all of us had our own skates. It was a beautiful thing. The only problem on my end was that I was a terrible skater. I had no balance (technically, I still don’t). Most of my night was sitting on the side with friends when they took a break doing rad shit. Cause they were cool. At this place, at this time, we were the coolest. And I was part of that, even though I had no business being cool (also, technically, I still don’t).
Yet. I was cool by association. It is what basically the entire advertising industry has been doing for ages. I just had a conversation about how much I wanted a Wheaties box with all my favorite sports heroes when I was a kid. Even though it tasted like cardboard (the cereal and the box). It was entirely based upon being cool by association. That is why influencer marketing is never going away. It can’t. Because that is who we trust the most. If there is a person who I relate to in some way, I am going to trust their recommendation on the world far more than even my own family. “Those people get me.” Or some such refrain.
So it will go for the next few years as businesses find out how to pay folks a few dollars to get people who relate with them to buy their product. No matter how actually good it is. I would be shocked if Mary Lou Retton had actually eaten Wheaties. But she sure enjoyed the money that they gave her to be associated with it. You should look at all these influencer marketing folks the same way. And the brands that are using them are just drafting off their cool. Just like I did in far to tight pants and blue suede skates as a youth.