Canadian Influencer to Watch: Winnie Harlow
3 Minute Read
· Winnie Harlow is MKTG’s Influencer to Watch.
· Winnie would be a strategic fit in the spaces of fashion, NBA culture and athleisure.
· Winnie is a strong influencer within the GTA, Canada, and beyond – find out why she is quoted as the 6Goddess.
Influencers continue to prove that they are a powerhouse when it comes to driving sales for brands—outdoing major celebrities when it comes to inspiring the purchase decision. Influencer marketing can drive up to an 11x increase in annual sales versus traditional digital marketing. Brands consistently use influencers because they can boast an incredibly attractive proposition: low-cost & high-return.
When partnered with a brand, influencers are essentially providing personal recommendations to their loyal followers. 95% of consumers trust recommendations from others over content that comes directly from a brand with one of the key targets being millennials as 70% of millennials of use peer recommendations when making purchase decisions. *Data from Nielsen.
The influencer space continues to grow and is extremely populated, which provides a challenge for brands to find the best person that can authentically fit with their campaigns. At MKTG, we facilitate the connections between brands and influencers frequently – recommending the ideal influencers for clients through deep dives on their audience demographic to ensure that they’re able to achieve the clients’ business objectives. Building on this experience, we’re now launching our Influencer to Watch series. Through this series, we’ll highlight influencers from variety of categories – providing our subscribers with insights on influencers – from areas of best fit (sport, fashion, music etc.), to recent accolades that validate their growth, to which demographic would be best fit, and more!
Our influencer to watch this week is Canadian fashion model, Winnie Harlow.
Winnie Harlow is a Canadian fashion model and activist. She gained fame as a contestant on the twenty-first cycle of the U.S. television series America's Next Top Model – making an impact after opening up about the struggle with her visible form of the skin condition vitiligo. Since the show, Winnie has become a force within the fashion scene, and has worked with top brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Swarovski, Desigual and Diesel.
Winnie has quoted a lot of her success due to the drive she developed after experiencing intense bullying – which forced her to be home schooled. Her followers relate to her journey as she was able to turn a negative into a positive which sparked her activism against bullying. Winnie is also a spokesperson. Winnie teamed up with Dove for their Real Beauty campaign, which involved a media tour on teaching young women the importance of self-love and positive body image.
1. Glamour Editor’s Award
2. Shorty Award: Best in Fashion
3. Nominated for Teen Choice Award
4. 2016 appeared in Beyoncé’s Lemonade video
5. 2017 was referenced by Drake in his hit song “Signs”
Area of Strategic Fit #1: Fashion
She has grown in the industry to become the social media “it” girl. As a fashion model, the most apparent partnership would be with fashion brands. Winnie scored a ticket to the 2018 Met Gala which is one of the most exclusive fashion events in the world – this opened the door for further exposure.
Area of Strategic Fit #2: Canadian Brands that cross culture with basketball
Winnie has a loyal Toronto following and is quoted as the “6Goddess”.
Born in Toronto, we see a lot of her fans stemming from the 6ix which makes Winnie an ideal influencer for Canadian product launches. Her Canadian fans respect her journey as she continues to put Canadian models on the map around the world. Winnie makes frequent visits to the city and is often seen at Raptors games.
Due to her prominence in fashion and her personal passion for basketball, this makes her an organic influencer for brands that have established themselves at the intersection of fashion and basketball. For brands trying to break into this space such as PUMA (a brand who recently got back into the NBA space by signing NBA althetes and new sneaker launches), Winnie would make a strategic fit as a partner for merch promotion.
Area of Strategic Fit #3: Athleisure
Athleisure (casual yet stylish clothes designed for a post-gym look) has been a growing style trend. Brands have been expanding their collections to incorporate more and more athleisure pieces. Winnie was the face of the 2017 Nike VaporMax campaign, a shoe known for its comfort, signature style and functionality. The areas of opportunity in this space are endless as brands can leverage Winnie’s fashion look and large following to pair with athleisure collections.
With a respectable backstory, authentic social media support from her Canadian followers and a connection with sports and fashion, there’s no doubt Winnie Harlow is an influencer to watch.
Look out for more influencers to watch from MKTG!