Trend Alert: Macy's Style Crew

Trend Alert introduces you to the latest brands, products and services that are trending with 16-24s.

As marketers increasingly question the value of endorsements from celebrities and big name influencers, a new form of micro influencer marketing is emerging. Major brands such as Macy’s, GE and L’Oréal have discovered that they have a whole community of engaged brand ambassadors right under their noses, and already on their payroll.

Employee advocacy isn’t an entirely new concept, but it’s only recently that brands have turned the focus of their influencer marketing strategy inward to their own teams. In the fashion and beauty industries in particular, typical employees are stylish, trend-setting and influential among their peers. Whether or not they have thousands of social media followers, their recommendations are respected by their friends, family and whoever else they may come into contact with online.

In the past, brands have been afraid of allowing employees to represent them online, demanding they add legal disclaimers to their social media bios, but now they are increasingly waking up to their potential to drive sales. Some retailers have even launched internal influencer programs.

Macy’s is one of the largest department store chains across the US with around 130,000 employees. They launched an influencer program called Macy’s Style Crew last year, with an initial group of 20, which grew to 400 participants in 2018. They use social media such as Snapchat and Instagram to promote products, and are rewarded affiliate-style with a percentage of the profits of anything they sell. The scheme has been a huge success, with reports claiming that one participant produced a total of $15,000 of handbag sales in a week, and plans to expand it to cover a wider range of products in 2019.

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