Will H&M’s ambassador program turn employees into social influencers?
H&M has selected 15 employees to lead its first employee ambassador program in the U.S.
The company selected the 15 from among the nearly 16,000 H&M employees working in stores and offices across the country, choosing a diverse group based on their social media content, personality, location, brand values and style.
As part of the yearlong partnership, the retailer will feature the 15 on a “Meet our H&M Insiders” microsite, with images of the ambassadors links to 40 style suggestions from each.
The fast-fashion retailer said the H&M Insiders program shows “H&M is a workplace where you are encouraged to be yourself and dress your personality, no matter what that is.”
The program encourages consumers to see how the insiders “incorporate H&M into their everyday lives, from edgy outfit styling to chic home decorating.”
H&M has featured employees in its advertising and its Place of Possible (P.O.P.) recruiting campaign. The H&M Insiders program, however, builds on the April introduction of H&M League, a year-long partnership of 22 external influencers curating, styling and creating content.
H&M League marked a shift from the retailer’s previous practice of working with 25 to 50 influencers each month. The goal of the change was to turn influencers into lifelong brand advocates rather than individuals looking to finish their quota of Instagram posts, Mario Moreno, H&M USA’s head of marketing, said at NRF NXT.
According to NRF’s blog, Mr. Moreno’s suggestions for turning influencers into ambassadors included making the training and retention of influencers as important as it is for full-time employees, focusing on content collaboration and understanding the quirks, preferences and tendencies of each influencer.
Macy’s is another chain that has gained attention for its employee influencer program. Macy’s Style Crew enables employees to share promotional posts on their social media feeds and receive a portion of the profit realized from product sales.
An article in The Atlantic last year said brands using employees as influencers may offset the high costs and behavioral risks of outside influencers and gain greater diversity.
- H&M USA Celebrates Launch Of Employee Ambassador Program, H&M Insiders – H&M
- Meet our H&M Insiders – H&M
- #HMLEAGUE: GET INSPIRED BY OUR 22 AMBASSADORS – H&M
- H&M Donates $200,000 To Girl Up, An Initiative Supporting Girls’ Leadership And Gender Equality – H&M/PRNewswire
- 3 tips from H&M for turning influencers into ambassadors – National Retail Federation
- Macy’s taps staff for their influencer clout – RetailWire
- New Study Finds Instagram Influencers Are Growing Fast In Number; Here Are 6 Tools To Take Your Account To ‘Blue-Check’ Status – Grit Daily
- Why So Many Fashion Brands Are Casting Their Own Employees in Ad Campaigns – Glamour
- Employers Are Looking for ‘Influencers’ Within Their Own Ranks – The Atlantic
- Macy’s Wants To Turn Hundreds Of Its Own Workers Into Fashion Influencers – Buzzfeed News
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of H&M’s plan to use employees as influencers as well as its new focus on lifelong ambassadors? What’s holding back more retailers outside Macy’s and H&M from recruiting staff to become influencers?