Brand Values are the cornerstone of Influencer marketing

The Brand Values map - from "The Influencer Match Tool" (TM)

The Brand Values map - from "The Influencer Match Tool" (TM)

Back in 2012, there was a  increasing problem that was facing many global brands I was creating Influence, social and entertainment campaigns for.

The issue was that most global brands had marketing teams running multiple Influencer / talent / gifting campaigns and often the Influencer choices being made were not a good fit for the brands values or personality.

Agents would often recommend anyone that would make their 20% fee as large as possible and there were lots of "friends" being chosen, or sometimes the choices were just wrong - this is a subjective business after all.


Understanding the type of Influencer you want is partially about quantitative data - how large is the audience, where do they reside, what age are they and does their audience align with your business goals. There are lots of tools to help you to do this.


When it came to the qualitative data, however, there were lots of incorrect recommendations being made and this meant that Senior and global teams were spending a long time vetting campaigns. To help brands through this problem I created "The Influencer Match tool (TM). 

This tool has three parts.

STEP 1) The process starts by a Brand filling out a "Brand values map", listing the values that are most important to it on a scale of 1 to 10. See below.

The Brand Values Map

The Brand Values Map

This proved to be a highly valuable process in itself as the Executive teams were forced to all agree where their brand values sat - it created lots of lively discussions as team members discussed where their brand was and where they wanted it to be in the future.

STEP 2) Influencers in question are then graded on the same system, this can be done manually, subjectively, or you can use social data and Machine Learning Tools to automate the process - but we recommend human eyes always give it the once over. 

STEP 3) Overlay the two for a "Percentage Match". 

The image below was for a real campaign I did for a skin care brand looking for an Ambassador. 

The Brand Values Overlay

The Brand Values Overlay

The end result was brands setting limits where they would only work with Influencers who who had say a minimum 75% values match. What happens is quite remarkable. if Internal teams are forced to evaluate their own Influencer recommendations they tend to be very cautious and provide excellent choice. If agencies are made to follow the programme it emboldens them to make choices that they think are right, not choices that they think will just be accepted by the client.

The volume of Influencer recommendations also reduced significantly, saving lots of time and giving clarity and alignment on the Influencers and celebrities that brands did, or didn't, work with.

Systems like this are not perfect, but they help create alignment and save time in what is a highly subjective business.