How to Avoid Inauthentic Brand Partnerships during the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us, which means family gatherings, delicious meals, Christmas traditions and … a lot of shopping. This is the time of year when brands are fighting for their share of attention with consumers in a lot of noise, and need to develop creative ways to stand out and reach their audiences.

Partnering with the right influencer can cut through the noise.

For brands, influential content creators are key factors in developing successful marketing campaigns. Runner, cyclist and outdoor enthusiast, @rorysouthworth, is a content creator apart of the Freestak community who partnered with the all-natural sports nutrition brand, Lucho Dillitos. He has built a loyal following from the ground-up who not only trust his content but make purchasing decisions based on the products he uses.

The eco-friendly energy bar and mindset of the brand coincide with the lifestyle of @rorysouthworth, his values, and his overall content. Therefore, the collaboration was authentic and trusted among his followers. As a result, the brand was reaching its target audience.

The wrong brand for you and your audience.

Not all brand-influencer relationships represent a good partnership though. Companies are grasping at opportunities to collaborate with influencers in hopes of building loyalty with customers. This can especially become true over the holidays when brands use peak consumer purchasing months to release new products, reach wider audiences and stand out from their competitors. As a result, it is important for content creators to be extra cautious and particularly more selective when choosing which brands to collaborate with.

With products in high demand, each brand wants an edge throughout its marketing campaigns which means more influencer-brand collaborations. With this comes the risk of inauthentic relationships between brands and influencers. Unnatural partnerships can not only affect your authenticity as a content creator but tarnish the trust and relationship you’ve created with your followers.

Seek out lasting relationships.

In order to build your reputation and authenticity as a content creator, be strategic with your partnerships. These shouldn’t be brief collaborations over the holidays, but brand relationships that you have put effort into building over time. Though the holidays may bring more opportunities and it may seem exciting to jump at multiple collaborations, it’s important to evaluate each proposal that’s presented to you in order to ensure it’s in alignment with own values.

Just because it’s the holidays and your audience may be more inclined to look to you for product advice doesn’t mean you should stray from relevancy to your previous content.

Consider these questions when assessing a brand partnership during the holidays:

  1. What type of brand are you partnering with and how are they involved in the endurance sports industry? Is it within your niche?
  2. Do they have a proven track record of building relationships and collaborating with new influencers?
  3. Is the partnership going to be a mutually beneficial commitment that aligns with your own objectives?
  4. What are their values and ethics and do you share the same vision and voice?
  5. Are their partners and/or followers in alignment with yours?
  6. Is their branding and social media original and authentic?
  7. Have you checked with a reference or third-party source to ensure the offer and collaboration is credible?

Ultimately, will you enjoy the collaboration and does the partnership feel right? Confidence and trust in a relationship with a brand are important factors to consider in order to have a successful, authentic partnership.


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