Are Custom Celebrity Concepts The New Influencer Marketing?

On December 19th a 22-year-old Youtuber launched a burger concept in 300 locations across the United States.

I only mention this story because I know a lot of people following this newsletter sell food products on Amazon and are always considering new ways to grow their brand.

Jimmy spent less than a minute pitching the concept at the end of his most recent video (at the time of writing this, that video has 26 million views). 

Of course, it would be next to impossible to launch that many restaurants simultaneously, so instead, what he did was launch an app and sell exclusively through delivery services. 

The app is a great proxy to the amount of influence this creator has because it instantly shot to the top spot on the iTunes app store. (A feat that requires 40-50k downloads per day.)

What’s unique about this story is the marketplace powering his launch.

Influencer marketing as we know it typically means someone famous getting compensated directly for sharing a product with their audience, by the person or company who owns that product.

For example, Sour Strips pays popular Instagrammers to post about their candy. 

Instead, what’s really happening behind the scenes of this Burger concept is a business called Virtual Dining Concepts is striking deals with influencers and working with their own chefs to create unique, easy to replicate food concepts. 

There is already Mariah Carey’s Cookies, Tyga’s Chicken Bites, Mario Lopez’s Tortas, and more. 

They then take that concept to casual dining restaurants across the country with underutilized kitchen staff and allow them to fill the supply. 

As consumers, we’ve already seen the idea of capitalizing on underutilized capacity work for many popular marketplaces; Airbnb for our houses, Neighbour for storage, and Hipcamp for camping spots to name a few.

To expand on that idea for you and your brand, maybe there is an opportunity for you to white label “drops” or different celebrity concepts 

Maybe you don’t even have a food brand but you own the infrastructure of another product development business, can you pitch celebrities on a new product concept if you got similar business owners on board in different cities? 

If nothing else, this story should emphasize that all the leverage eventually accrues to whoever owns the attention and relationship with the customer NOT who has the best product.

With that in mind, I would encourage you to take a look at your customer experience roadmap for 2021 and start planning ways to make it more personal.

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