People are the new billion-dollar brands

September 7, 2020

The best influencers, celebrities, music artists, and athletes, have on thing in common: their core business is their ability to grow their brand. This concept isn’t new. Everyone from the likes of Jay-Z and Tony Romo, to Kylie Jenner has successfully built a moat around themselves by leveraging their brand. With platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, SubStack, Linkedin, TikTok, etc are creating more opportunities for people to become Influencers. The barrier of entry to becoming an influencer and celebrity is lower than ever.

The days are counting down until we see a $1billion dollar influencer; however, we see celebrities like Lebron James using their brand and access to capital to build out their own companies like SpringHill and Uninterrupted. This is not industry-specific either. Whether you’re an athlete or a history teacher, you have the ability to build yourself into a high revenue-generating brand.  

Still, the only way influencers and celebrities will reach that point is by building out cross-functional in-house teams across marketing, product, eCommerce, design, engineering, and operations. These teams are hired to achieve one goal, scale the business. But much like traditional agency models, margins become tighter as you have to hire talent to meet the demand for projects. The workaround is to develop insource. The agencies of tomorrow will partner with high profile individuals to build out these teams with the top tier talent. Ultimately, these agencies become in house COO’s .

The companies of tomorrow will be people first. I’m not talking about how these brands service customers. I’m talking about the fact that the company is built off the personal brand of the influencer, celebrity, or athlete in question. These high profile individuals are the brand and distribution channel for their business. The platforms (IG, TikTok, Twitter, YT) they choose are the tools necessary to amplify their distribution and acquire more customers. Whether it’s through eCommerce, media, or a digital product, the sky is the limit.    

People are the new brands.  And at the end of the day, people want to connect with people. We’ve learned that more than ever during these times, but we’ll understand it even more in the future.

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