If you work in marketing, you know how effective influencer marketing can be. You probably know the names of the most popular social media influencers making millions a year through brand partnerships and integrated advertising. Social media is where 99% of today’s influencer marketing takes place.
But what if we told you that the biggest influencer of all does not even have accounts on social media? Neither does she receive paychecks from brands for boosting their sales. Her name is Meghan Markle, and she is about to become a part of the British royal family.
Since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced their engagement, all the eyes seem to be on a princess-to-be. Given the royal status of Meghan Markle and the fact that she’s looking like a true fashion icon, it’s not surprising that whatever she wears becomes the next big thing in the fashion world. Experts call it the Meghan Markle effect.
Most Telling Examples of the Meghan Markle Effect
Here’s a case in point. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended the Invictus Games in Toronto. Megan was spotted wearing ripped jeans from the Californian brand Mother and holding a brown bag from Everlanen. The jeans sold out in less than three days, and hundreds of people signed up for the waiting list. Mother’s website saw a 200% increase in traffic (more than on Black Friday!) As for Everlanen, there are over 20,000 people on a waitlist for the same model of bag Meghan Markle carried.
Here’s another example—Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s official engagement announcement. Meghan wore a white wrap coat by Line the Label. The same day the brand’s website crashed because of too much traffic and that particular coat sold out in a few hours.
The. Website. Crashed. Let that sink in.
It’s hard to say how people guess what brand of jewelry was on Meghan, but somehow they recognized earrings from Birks and the brand’s website saw a 500% increase in traffic volume. Interestingly, the Meghan Markle effect has turned out to be a long-term “influencer marketing campaign” as the traffic on Birks website spikes each time the royal fianceé wears the same earrings.
If you’re not impressed by a 200 or 500% increase in website traffic, you will love the next case. During the first official appearance after the engagement, Meghan Markle held a bag by Strathberry and the so-called Meghan Markle effect was not long in coming. The bag sold out in as little as 11 minutes. And what increase in traffic do you think it caused? A whopping 5,000%.
It does not take much time for reporters to publish an immediate “brands breakdown” each time Markle demonstrates a new fashion look. It takes even less time for the spotted items to be sold out. It took Black Halo brand only 10 hours to clear out stock of its “Jackie O” dress after the royal bride-to-be appeared wearing it for one of her public outings.
The most mind-blowing example of Meghan Markle’s style influence, however, is neither about jewelry nor fancy bags. Surprisingly, it’s about ordinary black jeans (emphasis on “ordinary.”) As soon as Meghan Markle appeared in public wearing black jeans from a small-at-the-moment Welsh brand Hiut Denim, demand for the jeans skyrocketed to the point that the brand had to relocate to a bigger factory two months later.
Meghan Markle is by no means the first woman in the royal family to have such powerful fashion influence, but the effect her wardrobe has on the public is expected to be much bigger than that of Kate Middleton.
In any case, whatever Meghan Markle wears sells out. And let’s face it: what she wears looks gorgeous. This is what the press calls the Meghan Markle effect and what we call “Influencer Marketing Level: Royal.”
Influencer Marketing Lessons By Meghan Markle
- If you produce high-quality product or service and practice value-added marketing, you won’t necessarily need to send free samples to celebrities. Sometimes celebrities endorse brands without even realizing they do so.
- Influencer marketing can help promote even the most trivial things. Yes, even those absolutely ordinary plain black jeans. When it comes to influencer marketing of top level, people don’t just want black jeans, they want those particular black jeans.
- Although everyone is crazy about micro influencers these days, if you can afford a celebrity-level influencer whose audience is a good match with your own target audience, just do it.
- If done right, influencer marketing might result in temporary “inconveniences” like dealing with a website that crashed because of too much traffic, working long hours to process all the orders, or even relocating your manufacturing to a bigger factory.
- Just like classic advertising, influencer marketing is effective when it feels native. The best you can do as a brand is to offer something influencers will fall in love with on their own.
Has your brand ever been endorsed by a celebrity? How far would you go to have your brand “endorsed” by a royal?