- Very few influencers have managed to transform their notoriety on social media into stand-alone businesses.
- But some who have succeeded have built businesses worth over $ 1 billion.
- These are the 5 most valuable and successful companies founded by influencers.
Some dance, others play pranks, others give career advice. But at the end of the day, influencers are called influencers for a reason: they have a hold over their audience, especially when it comes to purchasing goods and services.
While sponsored brand deals or short-term licensing deals are popular with creators, few have managed to use their followers to create something bigger: an independent and valuable brand that can outlast their virality.
It’s no surprise that most creators don’t start their own businesses. It can be costly and risky. Meanwhile, slapping a name on products, from lipsticks to household items, secures a paycheck with little fuss.
For those starting their own businesses, lasting success is often elusive. Businesses can be driven by fads or scandals.
“It’s all about the personality,” said Shannon Coyne, founder of consumer products consultancy Bluestock Advisor. “It’s easy to fall out of favor.”
It’s also a lot more work. Influencers often need to fundraise, build a team, and balance their work as a creator with their work as a business owner.
“The biggest challenge has been working all day on the real business and still having to partner up as an everyday lifestyle influencer,” Something Navy founder Arielle told Insider. Charnas. “It’s still my number one challenge to this day.”
But those who build sustainable businesses can see a big payoff. A few select influencers have managed to take advantage of the boom in e-commerce to create multi-million dollar brands that rival industry giants. Insider has compiled a list of the five most valuable brands founded by influencers.
These companies cover many industries, from apparel to fitness to beauty. If they all started thanks to the popularity of their founder on social networks, they are now brands in their own right.
Glossier, for example, was founded by online beauty blogger Emily Weiss in 2010. It’s now a brand worth $ 1.8 billion, and many fans of the brand’s cult products don’t even know. not who Weiss is.
Other brands, like Something Navy, are newer, but promising. The company, which is partly owned by Arielle Charnas, was launched last year and said it made more than $ 30 million in revenue in its first year of operation. That is expected to increase this year as the business continues to expand into the brick and mortar business.
A common point ? All brands are founded by women, which some say has only made the process of starting a business more difficult.
“One of the toughest times of my entire life, honestly, was trying to convince a male dominated industry that bloggers were going to be important and that they were going to be the next thing,” Amber Venz Box, CEO and co-founder of LTK (formerly Reward Style) told Insider, referring to raising funds from investors. “An investor told me years later when I came up with Baxter [her husband] that the front desk said, “Oh, the guy you meet brought his wife.” And it was true, I was his wife, but I ran the business. “
To form this list of power, Business Insider relied on a mix of our own reports and data from sites like Pitchbook, with industry experts refining the finalists. For all brands on the list, figures were available either from the companies themselves or from various data sources. We chose companies based on factors such as revenue, funding, social reach, growth and longevity, and did not include product brands or licensing agreements.