Acknowledging the bigger role influencers play in fashion and beauty, Tractenberg & Co. is opening The Studio, a space for the swelling number of digital powers to interact with brands.
The interactive showroom, designed by Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler, will be used for one-on-one influencer meetings and product briefings as well as serve as a backdrop for social media posts in real-time.
The Studio is due to bow on Tuesday at Tractenberg’s Manhattan office with a holiday theme created by Doonan and is designed to help influencers bring brand stories to life. Installations will change to encourage the social stars to visit frequently. The goal is to not only be a place to shoot but a setting to develop visually appealing content.
“The landscape has changed so drastically since I opened the agency in 1999,” said company founder Jacquie Tractenberg. “It’s a completely different world where you have the opportunity to rely on influencers to become brand ambassadors who can show consumers how they interact with products in a meaningful way, and in real-time. The Studio provides an environment where these influencers can do just that. The peer-to-peer recommendation has become so valuable.”
The space will be themed seasonally with appropriate decor and will provide a workspace for influencers to produce digital materials. It also will be a place where they can meet with brand personnel. “The concept is genius,” affirmed Doonan, the creative ambassador at large for Barneys New York who will host the opening along with Adler. “This mysterious new generation of influencer can come here to create organic content and engage directly with her brands in a space that’s inspiring and helpful.”
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The Studio is thought to be the first of its kind. Nina Van Arsdale-Berg, the executive director for global communications at Smashbox Cosmetics, voiced her support for the space, which is designed to help brands keep up with the new media landscape. She said the studio will be useful in helping brands reach their consumers by working more closely with the influencers.
Ian Ginsberg, president of C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries, said it will help him find an avenue to give influencers the tools to share his point of difference. “The Studio is that solution, giving influencers an intimate space to interact and create unique content,” he explained.
Admittedly, influencers and bloggers face challenges of shooting products in the right environments to share with followers. Those who have viewed the location said it elevates the online experience with tools for a professional presentation.
“They’ve created a space with great lighting and marble which is always appreciated for our feeds,” explained digital influencer Marianna Hewitt of Lifewithme.com.
Karen Frank, vice president U.S. marketing and skin-care innovation for Kao, said the setting will help companies link with the right influencers for their brands. “Today consumers are looking more to authentic voices to learn about new products and services, so identifying and cultivating real relationships with the right influencers is very important,” she said.
Surprisingly, even though influencers exist in the digital world, The Studio is viewed as a way to meet face to face, according to Reesa Lake, senior vice president at Digital Brand Architects.
“Tractenberg & Co. was one of the first agencies to truly embrace the evolution of the influencer landscape,” Lake said. In a world where communication is almost limited to e-mail and digital communication, it’s refreshing to have face-to-face meetings and relationships. The Studio will give talent the opportunity to further engage with brands off-line.”
The advantage of seeing the products and sharing in real-time appeals to Luanna Perez-Garreaud of Le-happy.com. “It’s a time when brands have to keep up to date on the most effective ways to communicate as the world is moving so fast.”
Avon, which has its roots in helping women be their own bosses and earn financial independence through beauty, sees The Studio as a unique destination for those who have the ear of today’s consumers. “It will allow us to expand our reach within this community and increase the frequency of opportunity where they can interact with the product,” concluded Debbie Coffey, vice president of corporate communications for New Avon LLC.