There’s a new trend in the influencer sphere, one which Ivka Adam is calling “influencer commerce.” The founder and chief executive officer of Iconery, a fine jewelry supply chain as a service, spoke at the Summit on Influencer 2.0: the rise of influencer launches.
“Before the Internet age, brands set the trends top down and poured millions into advertising to generate awareness,” Adam said. “Then brands recruited celebrities or athletes to augment their image or enhance their awareness. Now, thanks to social media, we have influencer marketing, which is influencers curating the world around us. We trust these influencers and follow them because of their authenticity. But now we have Influencer 2.0, which, instead of influencers pushing a brand’s products, they’re launching and marketing their own products.”
Iconery has worked with celebrities, influencers and brands such as Rashida Jones, Jen Gotch, Stone Fox Bride, Luv AJ, Michelle Branch and Goop. Over the past two years, the company has designed more than 500 pieces of jewelry and launched 21 influencer collections. Adam estimated that it would take an influencer four to six months to launch a jewelry line on her own. Iconery’s start-to-finish process is around two to four weeks.
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“When influencers have the ability to create products, they already have the built-in audience to which to sell them immediately,” she said. This ability, she added, both levels the retail playing field and poses a threat to brands who use traditional retail models because to some extent, “influencers are the new brands.”
Adam estimated that influencer commerce is on track to become a billion-dollar industry, citing Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez as examples.
“Influencers know their audience better than a brand ever could because people want to connect with people,” Adam continued. She also noted that social media and e-commerce are quickly merging to offer a more consolidated online retail experience, which will eventually make it even easier for influencers to sell their own products.
Brands can get involved in influencer commerce via the following: collaboration and powering influencer brands. Adam also encouraged ceo’s to step out from behind their desks and “unleash their inner influencer.”
“At Iconery, we believe influencer commerce will usher in the next generation of billion-dollar brands,” she concluded.