top of page

Optimal channel mix? Lessons from leaders and losers

Most businesses are not proactive enough in optimising their social channel mix for the realities of the present. "If ain't broke, don't fix" echoes across office hallways, and Zoom conference meetings. Any change that occurs is a sceptical attempt to test the waters. The under-performance becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The "this is not for us" mindset sets in.

At HYDP, we have a different view. First, we analyse your current channel mix and ROI by channel. Second, we evaluate our confidence level in delivering against your overarching brand KPI’s, based on your current and target customers. Third, we make a strategy recommendation for other opportunities within the creator economy.

Looking at industry benchmarks for inspiration is something that we often see. We're sceptical of this approach. Benchmarks are averages, and we work for our clients to be trailblazers and not middle-of-a-pack performers.#nbsp;

Benchmarks are historic, and we want our clients to be future-thinking, and less backward looking. Benchmarks are flawed, in that they capture company size, not its growth or profitability.

Instead, we prefer to look at the leaders and laggards. Leaders are doing something that no one else is doing. Laggards realise that significant change is necessary to turn things around. Here are some of our favourite examples:


Gymshark: By turning fitness creators into Gymshark Athletes, an exclusive club, the company recognised a new generation of sporting role models, catching Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour off guard. Gymshark Athletes had both the attention and the trust of millions of people around the country (since many trusted them with correct form and workout routines).

PLT:#nbsp;Conversely to Gymshark, PLT allowed anyone to become its affiliate. Yet similarly, it led to an outcome that is similar - by democratising access to a modelling career, they recognised micro-tastemakers who did not meet the arbitrary beauty standards the fashion industry. PLT remains the leader of user-generated content, whilst also adding macro-influencers to its roster, with Molly Mae Hague exclusive deal a prime example.

Stance Socks:#nbsp;Brands that are concerned with their products "not being cool enough" to emulate PLT's success should look to Stance. In no time, they turned a commoditised item, socks, to an object of mainstream desires. One of Stance's most effective campaigns was a brand collaboration with Stephanie La Cava. An essaying with only 15,000 followers at the time was instrumental to Stance's storytelling and ability to capture the audience with its "sexiest collection ever".

Audible: By sponsoring a large selection of academic YouTube channels, Audible aligns itself with audiences that are passionate in pursuit of learning. Since bookworms are the likely adopters of Audible's product - they are going directly to their prospective customers. Often, Audible's sponsorship comes across as philanthropic - by supporting niche <50k follower channels, they are not maximising their ROI. Yet, it is the strategy that works well - influencer engagement is both performance and brand marketing.


Microsoft: The company's share price remains stagnant for 16 years, before Microsoft hired its first influencer relations manager in 2016. Aiming to solve the problem of being branded a boring, faceless brand, they hired a wide range of 'real people' including Emma Gannon, author of The Multi-hyphen Method. In stark contrast to large US corporations, Emma acted as a signal that Microsoft help you to figure things out, whether you have or have not already. It is not the only reason, but Microsoft has quadrupled since.

GAP: After struggling to keep with digital-first disruptors, GAP went all in - it signed a 10-year, 10-figure deal with Kanye West. Whilst the full results of the creator brand collaboration are yet to be seen, the market has reacted positively with $1B in sales expected in year 1. A fair observation would be that Kanye West is not a digital-first creator, yet there is little doubt that the next Kanye West-sized partnership will be with a social media creator.


bottom of page