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My influencer marketing & luxury packaging strategy

Continuing to blend brand & growth 🚀


Ahem. I mean: What catapults a brand to the front of the pack and distinguishes it from competitors?

That question has been sending me down a loong rabbit hole. 

And it’s a tough one to answer. 

A partial answer: It boils down to the precious first impression with a new product + it’s ability to live up to a good reputation.

You’ve felt how powerful this can be.

Especially if you’ve ever unboxed an Apple Mac (or any well-packaged premium product). 

I still remember opening my first Mac…

Peeling the outer plastic wrapping triggers a growing sense of anticipation.

You slowly lift the top layer of the box off--which takes like 7 full seconds--and then, gently remove each meticulously placed item from its packaging. 

It’s an experience (there’s even ASMR channels dedicated to unpacking tech products). 

And that experience is exactly what I’ve been working on reverse-engineering for our first flagship product. 

How I’m reverse-engineering Apple’s product packaging for my nefarious gains 🧑‍🔬

We’re positioning our flagship product as a special type of all-in-one “kit.” 

We’ve sourced our initial items for the kit…

Selected our color combinations for the product…

And decided how we want the box to open (magnetic strip with a ribbon). The last piece of le puzzle? 

Figuring out the optimal way to house multiple items in way that balances three important goals: 

1): Gives a premium, polished, and high-end feel 

2):  Is cost-effective and actually keeps the items secure 

3): Encourages consumers to keep and re-use the product & packaging. In fact, we’re betting on this for our early influencer marketing strategy

This has me exploring how different types of foam inserts impact a product’s image and “feel.” 

Specifically, I’ve been rabidly researching and speaking to manufacturers about: Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) foam vs. Expanded Polyethylene (EPE) vs. Sponge foam. Ya know, the fun stuff…

TLDR: Acoustic foam is the current choice. It’s cost-effective, does a great job of “holding” the product, and gives a strong visual appeal. 

While researching I stumbled on a paper sharing how product packaging drives consumer buying decisions. And it came in clutch!

It confirmed my hunches around this topic.

Mainly that: 

  • Your product is your packaging

  • When catering to a female audience (our brand does), packaging plays an even bigger role

  • Many consumers plan to re-use packaging. Which is good brand awareness for us!

  • When it came to forming swaying consumer buying decisions, “color” was the biggest factor, followed by visuals, photographs, and icons 

It also helped me justify all the packaging I’m hoarding to my wife, who was NOT happy with my new obsession with packaging lol.

Influencer’s R us! 🕺

For years, we thought of ourselves as a product-oriented company, meaning we put all our emphasis on designing and manufacturing the product. But now we understand that the most important thing we do is market the product.” — Phil Knight, Founder, Nike. 

Influencer marketing is HOT right now. The 2024 influencer marketing report dives deep into the topic and it shows a promising future: 

  • 60% of those those who budget for influencer marketing intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2024

  • Nearly ¼ of marketers surveyed plan to spend more than 40% of their entire marketing budget on influencer campaigns

And you don’t need the IQ of a Rick and Morty fan to know why…

In such a crowded world, why go through the pain of building an audience from scratch when you can leverage someone else's?

If you read January’s end of month Brandkenstein growth report, you’d know that we’re betting heavily on influencer marketing for initial traction and sales. 

Mainly because the brand is:

  • Literally starting from scratch and has no audience

  • We’re in the world of ecom/fashion, and influencers reign supreme. They drive consumer trends and taste 

(Note: I just finished reading the story of how Nike’s founder, Phil Knight, built the billion dollar behemoth brand from scratch and it’s a riveting story—that involved a lot of “influencer marketing.” 

If you’re interested in influencer marketing yourself, check out this YT guide by Founder magazine.

It’s a great tactical overview of their research process and tools you can use for influencer marketing. 

Influencer marketing: my template and favorite resources ⭐

Here are some resources that I’m finding extremely helpful as I flesh out the influencer marketing strategy: 

  • Modash: An influencer marketing search engine and campaign management platform. The tool came in clutch for finding niche and nano influencers. I’m narrowing influencers by gender, interests, engagement rate, and more.

You’re limited to viewing the specific details of 20 influencers. But I just created multiple accounts to work around it. #thinkoutsidethebox #startup #brokeytechstack.

  • ChatGPT: To take all those usernames I copied and list their account URLs into a spreadsheet.

I spent HOURS trying to be create a crafty workaround with APIs in Google Sheets to scrape Instagram follower counts. I failed miserably…

And lost a few precious hours because I lack the technical prowess do that. I guess I’m not as smart as a Rick and Morty fan *cries in single-digit-IQ* 🥲.

In the end, I rolled my sleeves up got my hands dirty with some manual data entry—and the support of good o’le drill music

Next steps: 

  1. Separate influencers into tiers based on follower count:

  • Micro: 1k-10k

  • Mid: 10k-100,000

  • Large: 100k-500,000k

  1. Create offers for each of these tiers. We’ll pay mid-large tiers. And offer free products to Micro influencers in exchange for promoting our products.  

  1. Start reaching out and picking the top 50 influencers across Instagram and TikTok. 

    I think it’s wise to focus on a few cities and influencers in similar networks to create a “viral effect.” But that’s all theory right now.

Interested in using the same custom sheet I’ve built for tracking influencer marketing? I’ve made a template for you here🙂.

And that’s a wraaaap!

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Second end of month Lab Report coming soon!

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