Sima Kumar richardbeckerman, barneys...
Sales Associate As Influencer
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In the first week of April, Lush UK announced they were quitting social media with this post on their Instagram account. The brand shared they have grown tired of fighting the ever-changing world of algorithms and did not want to pay to show up in their followers' news feeds. This created a whirlwind of commentary online. Lush UK has 202,000 followers on Twitter and 569,000 on Instagram and more than 423,000 likes on their Facebook page. Internal sources cited plans to leverage their employees into micro-influencers, giving them the power to promote the brand through their own channels. Whereas this seems precarious at best to any marketer, there is one example found online where it seems to be working.
Image via: @lush Instagram
Behold Richard Beckerman of Barney’s in New York City. A sales associate working in the famed shoe department of the iconic shoe department. Beckerman seems to have leveraged Instagram to do his job with the support of his employer. So what is the opportunity here for someone working as a sales associate in luxury fashion in the UK? It’s quite simple actually, take this example where Beckerman states clearly the profile is not officially associated with BNY or www.barneys.com but does have an official Barney’s email ID. With a following of 67.1K he’s obviously doing something right.
Image: via Instagram
As the world of customer service becomes more digital, this is a great example of being entrepreneurial in your job while also creating personal influence. For anyone who is entering into the world of fashion retail, this is a great way to show proactive involvement in a sales job while also amplifying oneself personally to career mapping to other positions moving forward. If you’re working in a sales role at a luxury retailer this strategy is definitely worth bringing up to management as a way to increase sales and meet personal and team KPI’s.
How Lush UK will role this out is a different story. Whereas the brand does have long-standing employees and loyal customers, it’s employee profile is also younger which means turning to their staff to engage and promote the brand means they open themselves up to high churn as sales associates leave the brand for other jobs. Is this a step in the right direction? We will have to wait and see. In the meantime - luxury and premium brands can definitely learn a thing or two from Richard Beckerman - who by all online accounts from those who have met him, say he is friendly, approachable and provides exemplary customer service. And that personal service is one thing an algorithm is never going to be able to usurp.