Influencer Marketing  |

How Molly-Mae Hague has changed the game

INFLUENCER MARKETING

Working with influencers should be seen as not a quick win but a long-term strategy.

Influencers should serve as an extension of your brand, building trust and success along the way. This is where the PrettyLittleThing collaboration with Molly-Mae serves as a great example because they have struck the perfect balance between guidance and creative freedom.

The reality star and influencer, Molly-Mae Hague recently announced that she is the new creative director of PrettyLittleThing. The 22-year-old revealed her biggest career move yet via social media to her 6 million followers.

Prior to Molly-Mae finding fame on the 2019 series of Love Island, she was already working in social media as an influencer. Series five of Love Island was reported as the highest-rated series which no doubt helped Molly’s personal brand and career.

Since leaving the Love Island villa back in 2019, Molly-Mae famously bagged herself a £500,000 brand deal with fast fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing. Her PrettyLittleThing x Molly-Mae collection was a huge success, with many of the items selling out within 24 hours. This first collection was just the start of Molly’s career with PLT launching her second collection with 100% of profits going to the charity Mind. After Molly-Mae recommended donating profits and cancelling the launch event, the fast fashion retailer supported her decision following the death of Love Island host, Carolyne Flack. Carolyne was a huge part of Molly and Tommy’s (her partner) life, supporting them through the early stages of their relationship on Love Island, so it only felt right to support her family and raise awareness of mental health.

This is something brands love about certain influencers like Molly-Mae. They use their platform for good. It would be easy for Molly to forget her Love Island roots and instead focus on profits, but instead she chose to take this pivotal moment in her career to remind her followers to always be kind. This is the perfect example of a successful collaboration. PLT recognised the importance of this campaign and gave Molly the autonomy and backing to do what she believed was right.

Influencers can make or break a business – They are a force to be reckoned with. With this in mind, all businesses must do their research to ensure each influencer they’re considering working with is right for their brand, reaches their target audience and is credible. What we mean by credible is, does their messaging resonate with your audience and are their followers truly engaged with all of their content?

Working with influencers should be seen as not a quick win but a long-term strategy. Influencers should serve as an extension of your brand, building trust and success along the way. This is where the PrettyLittleThing collaboration with Molly-Mae serves as a great example because they have struck the perfect balance between guidance and creative freedom. Molly’s creative freedom will inevitably increase following her recent appointment as Creative Director.

So what does it mean to be a Creative Director?

A creative director is someone who makes high-level creative decisions within the brand. They are involved in every aspect of the creative process from planning advertising, content creation, copy and design. Here at Riley and Thomas we can act as your art director or creative director to ensure your brand remains true to its origin and focuses on it’s target market. We can work with you to create your brand and website as a starting point building from there. Our team of creatives can then help you to plan photoshoots, art direct on the day and make those high-level decisions, taking the pressure off you. Get in touch today to start your creative journey.

Molly-Mae is believed to have signed a seven figure deal for this new role taking on aspects of design to lead the brands aesthetic down a new and improved road. Many have questioned, is she under qualified or too young for this position? Personally, I think she is perfect for the role. Why? She has managed to build her own personal brand, as well as, Filter by Molly-Mae, her tanning brand achieving huge success with no qualifications. She’s achieved more than most will in their lifetime and that’s down to her entrepreneurial mindset and knowledge of the fashion industry.

Someone might have all of the qualifications in the world but absolutely no drive or real-life experience to make those challenging decisions. With many employers arguing that young graduates aren’t ready for the workplace and lack key experience, should we really be questioning Molly’s age and experience level? She has proved that she can collaborate with global brands and successfully started a business.

I believe many people are questioning the title because she is redefining what used to be a brand ambassador. With influencers wanting more of a say and having a greater impact on the businesses they work for, why shouldn’t someone from that industry moves into a position like Creative Director? It’s a huge milestone for influencer marketing and shows that it is powerful and is here to stay.

My only question with Molly becoming Creative Director of PLT is how hands-on will she be and will this shift her focus from her own personal brand?

The life she leads is all down to her hard work and dedication to her personal brand and Filter by Molly-Mae. Will taking on this new role will limit her time to collaborate with other brands furthering her career as an influencer. With this in mind, becoming a creative director is a huge achievement and is something that she should be truly proud of.

I also believe that Fran, Molly’s manager deserves a mention as she has played a pivotal role in helping Molly to achieve these huge life and career goals. In a recent Youtube video where Molly and Fran talk about the business side of Molly’s life, Fran revealed that Molly turned down a £2 million deal with a high street fashion brand because Molly did not buy their clothes. This is what brands and followers love about Molly, she’s genuine. If she posts an ‘ad’ it’s because she loves, uses and wears that brand. Their relationship is something to be admired. Fran always pushes Molly-Mae to achieve her goals whilst staying true to her values. This is how Molly’s following is so strong and brands need to take a page out of her book.

Why is it so important to have a great relationship with your manager or marketing agency?

Forming great client relationships don’t happen overnight, they take time and effort. Communication plays a huge role in client success coupled with transparency and honesty. As an agency it’s important for us to set realistic goals that benefit both parties. A good agency or manager will outline clearly defined goals and then work with the client to devise a solid strategy to achieve these KPI’s.

It’s all about collaboration and both parties singing from the same hymn sheet, otherwise the relationship will quickly break down.

How new is a celebrity becoming a Creative Director?

Not new at all really. Molly is actually the first influencer to gain this role, however the idea of having a brand ambassador or celebrity becoming a band’s Creative Director isn’t a new thing. Just a week after Molly’s announcement, supermodel Kendal Jenner was appointed as Forward’s new creative director. Although the idea of a celebrity becoming a Creative Director isn’t new, the relationship is. Back in 2010, Polaroid appointed Lady Gaga as it’s Creative Director, however it didn’t have a meaningful impact on the brand due to inconsistency so the relationship ended in 2014. I believe that brands have learnt from Polaroid’s mistake and now want to ensure the collaboration benefits both parties and aren’t just seen as putting a well known celebrity face to another brand’s name.

People love to hate celebrity appointments, but they continue to happen because they’re good for business. After delving into the benefit Molly-Mae has brought to PLT and the influencer industry, are you thinking of adapting or introducing influencer marketing into your strategy?

Influencer marketing is shaping the entire marketing industry and there is a real place at the table for them. Here at Riley and Thomas, we can help your business through creative direction and brand management to ensure each influencer you work with has a meaningful impact on your business.

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