Festival fashion plays a key role in the magic of Coachella, and 2019 was no different. From athletics giant Adidas to online retailer star BooHoo, fashion brands vied for the attention (and Instagrams) of festival-goers with one-of-a-kind activations. Given the wide array of apparel brands participating in the phenomenon, this month’s Tribe Top 10 is dedicated to highlighting some of the most impactful Coachella 2019 campaigns to take the stage.
What does it take to capitalize on festival momentum and translate the hype into digital earned media success? Here are some festival best practices:
1. Invite Loyal Brand Ambassadors
When it comes to compiling guest lists, brands might aim to invite only top-tier influencers in an attempt to drive high engagement. Instead, brands should focus on inviting their own uniquely loyal squad of ambassadors—those who already mention the brand organically on social media. When influencers feel recognized and valued by a brand they are passionate about, they become even more motivated to create frequent, high-impact content. Brands may also invite new faces into their festival squads, but the newer brand family members should still share the brand’s core values and have demonstrated an authentic preference for the brand. By inviting ardent brand supporters who are genuinely grateful for the opportunity, brands can ground the resulting content in authenticity and eliminate the need for paid partnerships.
2. Identify Influencer Friend Groups
Not only should brands engage on-brand, loyal influencers, but they can also identify key influencer friend groups who are already predisposed to creating content together. While festival activations serve primarily to fortify an influencer’s emotional connection to a brand, they can also help enrich a brand’s personality by harnessing the power of genuine influencer friendships. Followers enjoy seeing influencer friends whom they know and admire interact with each other, so highlighting these relationships during the festival can result in more compelling content. By providing an aesthetically cohesive, brand-focused space for these “squads” to spend time together, brands can inspire both appreciation for the brand and high-engagement content creation.
3. Engage Attendees Before the Festival
While festivals only run a few weekends out of the year, brands should begin engaging their guests long before the official festivities commence. In the weeks leading up to the event, brands should personally reach out to their invitees to express their appreciation for the influencers’ attendance. By prefacing the trip with thoughtful gestures, like personalized “festival prep” packages, brands can spark excitement among both the star guests and their followers, who will be eager to see what the rest of the festival journey has in store.
4. Create a Memorable, On-Brand Experience
Throughout the festival, brands should design memorable, on-brand experiences conducive to eye-catching, high-engagement content creation. From the transportation to the lodging, brands should take advantage of every opportunity to curate an unforgettable and Instagrammable experience for their influencer guests to share with their follower communities. For example, brands can greet their guests with personalized gifts or gestures. Influencers who feel like valued members of a brand’s inner circle are more likely to create genuine, higher-impact content mentioning the brand. While the festival is ostensibly the trip’s main event, brands should strive to foster a unique influencer experience full of share-worthy details beyond the festival itself.
5. Maintain Influencer Relationships After Festivals
Equally important to crafting a memorable festival experience is following up with influencer attendees once the festival ends. Brands can express their gratitude to influencer attendees by sending personalized and thoughtful follow-up gestures, such as handwritten thank you notes, photo albums from the trip, or branded festival recovery packs. These follow-ups help sustain the festival partnerships by deepening influencers’ genuine, emotional attachment to the brand and providing them with more material for future content creation.
Find out who won Coachella 2019 by reading the full report!