Even the most respected and venerable design print media are shifting their value propositions away from providing brands with channels to reach large audiences to identifying important and influential design pros by publishing their projects. These magazine companies are also starting to bring the right design pros together with interested brands via digital and live events. The real marketing work now happens between the design professional’s social content and their followers, collaborated on and planned out in advance in ways that benefit the brand while feeling highly authentic to the influencer’s followers.
Every year, at the Design Influencers Conference, influencers and brands initiate relationships by sharing their contact information and needs and abilities on sticky notes posted to a white board. At the forefront of print media’s changing value proposition, Esteem Media, which got its start with traditional magazines like New England Home, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Mountain Living, and others, is the producer of this conference.
Designers and home décor makers, sellers, and brands now openly collaborate in ways that result in authentically enthusiastic content where the brand, influencer, and the influencer’s followers all win. It’s a powerful formula since consumers seem to prefer taking recommendations from people they follow rather than a brand’s salesforce or marketing campaigns.
Two of the earliest high profile home décor Influencer Marketing initiatives continue twice each year at the Spring and Fall High Point Markets. The Style Spotters program, where selected influential design professionals identify products that catch their eye and share those selections on their social channels, remains highly beneficial to both the Spotters and the brands they choose to highlight. Also, the High Point Market Design Bloggers Tour brings 10 design bloggers to every Market where they visit more than a dozen sponsoring showrooms, and create content they deem worthy of sharing with their followers. Though the pandemic forced us to suspend this highly successful program shortly after the 2020 team was recruited, we expect to have it back up and running just as soon as conditions allow.
Mostly though, Influencer Marketing in the home furnishings industry starts with face to face relationship building between design and brand professionals. At every High Point Market, exhibitors and showrooms remain eager to meet new design pros who can specify their products and, sometimes even more importantly, influence their online and offline friends to do the same. High Point Market was an early and dedicated supporter of influencer marketing, creating uniquely well thought out programs and sponsoring the Design Influencers Conference to activate influencers for mutual benefit and overall industry prosperity.
If you are a design professional who is interested in expanding into influencer marketing, finding the brands that inspire authentic enthusiasm in you is the hardest and most important task. High Point Market, with its vast array of exhibitors, is one of the best places to start your search.