August 12, 2019

How Brother Uses Influencer Marketing to Appeal to a Younger Generation [Case Study]

Influencer marketing case study: brother

Sewing machines and printers

While most people may associate Brother with printers, Brother actually started out as a company repairing imported sewing machines in 1908. They have since then expanded massively, and currently offer a wide range of products: from printers for offices and houses to machine tools, industrial sewing machines, and even karaoke machines.

To promote their line of color label printers, they turned to influencer marketing and Influo.

Jo De Jaeger, Labelling and Mobile Solutions Manager at Brother, was happy to spill the beans on Brother Belgium’s very first influencer marketing campaign.

 

 

 

Label printers and influencers

Let’s start from the beginning: why did you want to try influencer marketing?

Jo: As you may know, Brother is a Japanese multinational. For the label printer division, the Japanese head office wanted to appeal to a younger generation. And so they started looking at influencer marketing. They gave label printers to around 20 Japanese influencers, who vlogged, blogged and posted content about the label printers on social media.

The results were impressive: Brother went from the number 3 brand in Japan for label printers to being the undisputed leading brand. And all of this is under a year. The increase in sales they saw was phenomenal!

Of course, the Japanese marketing division wanted to know if we could replicate their impressive results in Europe.

That is exactly what happened. The Nordics division was the first European division to try out influencer marketing, and right now there are campaigns running in multiple European countries. In September, there will be an evaluation of which country performed the best. Let’s see how well we score!

 

 

Why did you choose to work with Influo?

Jo: As we had never done influencer marketing before, we were looking for a partner with a lot of experience. We reached out to multiple influencer marketing companies and in the end, we decided to go for Influo Studio, where Influo takes care of the management of the campaign.

We chose Influo for two reasons. First of all, we were looking for a partner that would be there for us. As it is the first time we did influencer marketing, we wanted to be sure there would be a lot of guidance and we could learn some best practices.

Secondly, it was important for us that we could measure the results of our efforts. Influo’s technology collects a lot of data about every single piece of sponsored content and those insights are important for us. We know exactly how much everything cost and what we got in return – for the campaign as a whole, as well as for every influencer and even every piece of content separately.

 

Corporate values and letting go of control

What was your experience working with influencers for the first time?

Jo: It was hard, to be honest, as you don’t have control over the final publication. Once you select the influencers you want to work with, it’s up to them.

We normally have all our content professionally staged and shot in a professional studio, where you have total control over the look and feel of the final product.

Influencer marketing requires a totally different way of working. It’s more real-life and authentic. You cannot stage anything as a brand.

The content was also much more emotional in a sense. The Brother brand is very curated, which can make it feel a bit distant. The influencer content, in contrast, was very human: it was nice to see how influencers used our label printer for real-life events like a baby shower, the birthday party of one of their kids, to organize their kitchen, etc.

 

View this post on Instagram

Happy like a kid 😄. I couldn’t wait to share this. . Lately I had a collaboration with @uk.brother , very known as a leading brand in printing. There came my chance to try the last #Brother #VC500W printer that prints stickers ! And the results are amazing.💥 . This is exciting for me because it’s a creative way to share my little graphic creations I’ve been cooking in my spare time. . Do not hesitate to follow : . The brand -> @uk.brother . My work -> @stz.visuals . . I made a little video when I tried it the first time. I’ll post it later and also share more of my creations in the theme of week (animals). . #BrotherPrinter #Sponsored #collaborations #stzvisuals

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What was in your brief?

Jo: Even though it felt uncomfortable at first, we really gave the influencers a lot of creative freedom. I think you have to if you want to see good results. In the end, you have to give the audience what they want. And influencers know their audience better than we do.

The only thing we stressed very much, though, were our corporate values. Brother takes corporate responsibility very seriously: we do not tolerate violence, racism, sexism, vandalism or drugs. And we wanted to be sure that the influencers we were working with would share these values.

 

View this post on Instagram

Onder het mom van een gezonde geest in een gezond lichaam kan ik heel gelukkig worden van een georganiseerde en vooral opgeruimde boekhouding. 🥰 Ik mocht van @uk.brother daarom aan de slag met hun nieuwe Label Printer om zo mijn mappen een nieuwe look te geven. En zeg nou eerlijk; niks leuker dan dat ook je saaie mappen ook nog bij de rest van je interieur passen toch? 🧐 Ik ben benieuwd, wie ordent in jullie huishouden het papierwerk? 🙋🏽‍♀️ #brotherprinter #colourlabels #vc500w #organized #organizedhome #georganiseerd #mappen #labels #diylabels #earthtones #aardetinten #organisedlife #organisedmum #opruimen #cleaninghacks #sponsored #sponsoredpost #ad #diyhome #folders #organizingideas #organizingtips #homeorganization

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And then the influencers started posting. What do you think of the content they created for Brother?

Jo: Seeing the content the influencers posted was my favorite part! We were happily surprised. There were some real gems.

The extra creativity you get by working with influencers would be reason enough for us to do influencer marketing. We got to see how our customers interact with our product, and it made us see our product in a whole different light.

Because we were so happy with the content, we even made a dedicated space on our website where we added the content the influencers created, so our website visitors can click through to the Instagram feeds and blogs of the influencers we worked with.

 

The results

The results of the campaign were good: the campaign performed at an above-average engagement rate of 9.00% and a relatively low cost-per-engagement (CPE) of €0.25. How do you evaluate your first influencer marketing campaign? Do you consider it a success?

Jo: What impressed me the most is how much you can measure everything. The marketing mix of Brother consists mainly of print, and it is hard to know what the real impact of a campaign is sometimes.

With influencer marketing, it is different. You know exactly what your reach is, how many people saw the sponsored content and how many engaged with it. It’s fascinating data.

Next time, we will give each influencer a discount code, so we can also track the effects of the campaign on our sales. But as the product is new in Belgium, we first wanted to establish a baseline.

 

How do you evaluate the collaboration with Influo?

Jo: We couldn’t be happier with the services of Influo. The whole campaign, from start to finish, went very smoothly. The Influo Studio concept, where Influo takes care of the management of the campaign, was perfect for us. We didn’t have to invest time in the execution of the campaign, which freed up time for learning about influencer marketing.

What we appreciated the most is that we got to follow the campaign on the Influo platform. This way, we got updated in real-time about every step in the campaign: we saw how the Influo experts set up the campaigns, communicated with the influencers, etc. It’s invaluable how much you learn that way.

 

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🌱 Comment vous souvenez-vous des besoins de vos plantes? Aujourd'hui j'ai réalisé un petit DIY qui va m'aider à me souvenir de leurs noms et de ce dont elles ont besoin comme lumière et humidité ! J'ai détaillé la marche à suivre dans ma story du jour et elle est résumée sur le blog.👏 J'ai utilisé l'imprimante à étiquette VC-500w de @uk.brother 😁 Belle soirée à vous 💚 / Sponsorisé par Brother #brother #brotherprinter #colourlabels #vc500w #plantsmakepeoplehappy #plantsarelife #plantnames #plantlady #plantaddict #urbanjunglebloggers #diy #diyplants #homediy #craft #instaplants #plantes #tendancedeco #planters #homedecor #interiordesign #blogbelge #diyblogger

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Facts about Brother:

Year founded: 1908
Main product: printers
HQ location: Nagoya, Japan
Number of employees: 37,769

 

 

Campaign goal:

Generate awareness for a new product. The Brother VC-500W Colour Label Printer is the only color label printer on the market.

 

 

The campaign:

75 pitches by influencers
Deals made with 10 influencers
Total fanbase reached: 167K
1 April – 31 May
Rewards: Brother VC-500W Colour Label Printer + variable cash rewards

 

 

Content creation:

12 Instagram posts created
24 Instagram stories created
4 Facebook posts created
1 Pinterest pin created
3 blog posts created
6 pieces of additional content created

 

 

Results:

165 K impressions on social media
4,785 people engaged on social media
9.00% engagement rate on social media
835 total blog views

 

 

Content type Amount Impressions Engagement Engagement rate
Instagram post 12 47.6 K 4,638 9.73%
Instagram story 24 112 K
Facebook post 4 4,513 125 2.77%
Pinterest post 1 991 22 2.22%
Blog post 3 835
Content creation 6

 

 

View this post on Instagram

📸 Short video of my latest collaboration with the printer brand @uk.brother . This time I do not dance, I reveal my other passion that touches the design / illustration. . So I received this little wonder to test and share with you its many features. What's more authentic than a reaction you have when you try something you want for the first time. The funny thing is that, as you see, I try to keep it serious, because in my mind, I know I'm being filmed, but when I see all the possibilities of this little machine here, and that my creations come to life on a sticker, I can not hide my childish happiness haha. This smile at the end proves it. 😀 . Feel free to visit their pages. . Thanks #BrotherPrinter thanks Life . #stzvisuals #colourlabel # VC500W

A post shared by 𝘿𝙤𝙢. | Dominique Schmitz (@dominique.stz) on