Case Study: Consider Your Audience Before Taking Partnerships or Else
Partnerships are more important than ever, especially for influencers. A great collaboration between an influencer and a brand can create magical results. At the same time, the wrong partnerships could be detrimental to one's brand. An excellent example of this is Chrisette Michelle. She was an important staple in the R&B music scene for years. That was until she decided to perform at President Trump's inauguration back in 2016. Since the Concert, she has lost significant amounts fans and even got dropped from her label. The gig wasn't a typical deal between a person and a company, but I still see the performance as a Partnership. By agreeing to the concert, she created an informal partnership with the Trump brand. Nowadays, Trump's brand is associated with divisiveness in America. The "partnership" didn't align with the values of her fanbase, so she got negative feedback.
Money is fantastic, and we should all try to make as much of it as possible. But, the money is not worth it if your brand is going to take a fatal blow. Once the money is gone, all you have left is your brand. Pretend that I am gospel singer whose target demographic includes middle-aged Christian people. One beautiful day, I check my email, and I have an attractive offer from Diddy and the good folks over at Ciroc. They offer to pay me one million dollars over the next year if I promote Ciroc Vodka on my upcoming world tour. The offer is incredibly attractive. But this partnership would conflict with my target demographic's values. I can't promote alcohol consumption in a concert where families are in attendance. My brand would become indirectly linked with behaviors associated with consuming alcohol. This partnership would benefit me short term, but I need to think past that. Brands take a lifetime to build and take a second to destroy. Protect your brand and choose partnerships that compliment your audience.