Young Influencers To The Rescue

In late August, influencers including 15-year-old Loren Gray (6.5 million Instagram followers), 16-year-old Nia Sioux (4.5 million Instagram followers) and 13-year-old Jacob Martin (309,000 Instagram followers) began touting a new clothing collection they designed for Target. Part of Target’s children’s apparel line Art Class, which is designed for kids by kids, the new fall collection features clothes inspired by six influencers who not only had a hand in the line’s creation but played a big role in its marketing strategy. Each influencer used Instagram to tell his or her audience how much fun they had working with Target to create the unique, personal designs. The result? The posts racked up hundreds of thousands of likes and thousands of comments like this one by lorxlover on Loren Gray’s Aug. 23 post: “I swear I’m going to persuade my mom to buy it.”

The collaboration is part of a nascent trend that’s seen brands like Target, CoverGirl and Band-Aid revamp their influencer strategies, moving away from one-off deals to long-term relationships where influencers help craft product or retail designs on an ongoing basis.

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What It Means:

While brands have to be comfortable giving up some power to influencers so they can speak and operate in their own style, the benefit of true collaborations result in long-term relationships, not one-off transactions.

Influencer Joy Cho, who has 382,000 Instagram followers, has worked with Band-Aid on colorful designs.
Photo: Casey Brodley for Oh Joy