The new school of influencers can take tips from its elders

As Condé Nast launches a postgraduate programme dedicated to social media influencers of the future, legacy brands provide insight into building relevant brands with staying power.

Photo: Jonathan Daniels

Condé Nast Italia recently announced the launch of Condé Nast Social Academy in partnership with one of the world’s most prestigious business schools – Milan’s SDA Bocconi School of Management. The certified postgraduate degree programme will offer classes on communication, social marketing and digital media, with graduates becoming a part of Condé Nast’s network of 300 social influencers.

According to the group’s Chief Executive Officer Fedele Usai in an interview with WWD, the academy’s aim is to “invest in education in order to have a well-trained and, most importantly, ethical category (of influencers)”. With the media company’s combined digital properties registering 35 million users in August 2017, the programme will offer the lucky students valuable insight from leaders of some of the group’s most successful platforms.

While the new programme, along with social media in general, is driven by progression, it will do well to take lessons from its elders, such as Vogue – Condé Nast’s 125-year-old fashion bible – and Vanity Fair, which received a record-breaking 11 million unique users in one week, following the debut of its new online redesign and editorial channels. The most important lessons that CN’s future influencers can learn from both titles are:

  • Strong storytelling skills
  • A cohesive cross-network strategy that leads back to the source
  • Most importantly, always maintain a clear and strong brand identity.

Make the connection

As media continues to expand and open up new channels, everyone’s looking for unique ways to connect with customers. Here are just a few innovative examples:

Nike Connect

You either love sports shirts, or you hate them. However, Nike has created a seriously cool shirt that builds on the fan bond. The sportswear giant recently launched NikeConnect, a special technology that is integrated into sportswear, allowing fans to follow their favourite teams through their jersey. For the launch of this year’s NBA season, the company launched a range of basketball vests fitted with a near-field communication (NFC) chip. Using NikeConnect’s new app, the wearer can place their smartphone against the chip to access exclusive team content, taking fans “closer to the game than ever before.”



Insta’s first Digizine

Singer/songwriter FKA Twigs recently launched the first issue of what is considered to be the first Instagram magazine. AVANTgarden is a “digizine” published using Instagram slides. This unique creative route offers the innovative artist a new way to connect with her 1.1m Instagram followers. The first issue: Roots. Shock. Beauty is a 10-page slideshow with Twigs as Editor, featuring magazine style photography and styling, complete with creative collaborations and credits.


A bright idea

This December, London’s South Bank will feature a Christmas tree with a difference. The UK charity, Marie Curie has developed a memory-powered interactive Christmas tree. To highlight the charity’s work caring for people with terminal illness, the fairy lights on the tree will be powered by people sharing their memories on social media. For every post on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LightUpXmas the lights will grow brighter.


Celebrating service

The US online clothing retailer Zappos came up with the idea of promoting its renowned excellence in customer service by reenacting some of the funniest true customer stories. From a budding ballerina and her quest for the perfect ballet shoes, to the husband who had to intercept his wife’s returned Zappos package in which he’d packed her jewellery, these simple, low budget commercials are a funny way of illustrating the brand’s core value in a way that we can all relate to.

View ads at Zappos

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