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Glam Getaways: Do Influencer Brand Trips Really Pay Off?

Photo via Darcy McQueeny’s Instagram (@darcymcqueeny)

Published on February 7, 2024, 7:07 p.m.
by Alexis Anderson.

We’re all familiar with influencers and the seemingly fun and luxurious brand trips they are invited to attend. From Alix Earle’s glamorous Tarte brand trip to Dubai to Darcy McQueeny’s all-inclusive trip to Los Angeles for White Fox Boutique’s “birthday celebration,” we are all enamored with these influencers’ experiences. However, there seems to be a question circling these events: Do these trips actually help brands create awareness and gain customers?

According to Aspire, “The trip is a win-win for both brands and influencers.” Through influencers, companies are able to market to many different people who wouldn’t have otherwise been familiar with their brands. And for the influencers, well, they get extravagant trips that they don’t have to pay for.

So, even if an influencer makes their following more aware of a brand due to the trip, does it actually help the brand sell more? The answer is absolutely. Influencers have the trust of their followers — so much so that 62% of young women base their purchases off of what products influencers talk about.

These brand trips might seem like they aren’t worth the prices brands have to pay, but the statistics say otherwise. Let’s take Tarte, for example. It was estimated that the Dubai trip cost around $65,000 for each of the 50 influencers who were invited and their plus-ones. However, in January of 2023, when the trip took place, Tarte’s earned media value went from $10.9 million on Jan. 1

Photo via Alix Earle’s Instagram (@alix_earle)

to $19.4 million on Jan. 25, just from influencers using the hashtag #TrippinWithTarte on TikTok.

Although Tarte seemed to gain a lot of positive attention through this Dubai trip, there were some negative views on the topic as well. For some, according to Time magazine, the trip seemed to be “a ‘tone-deaf’ display of luxury during an economically challenging time.”

Others were bothered by the trip’s perceived discrimination due to the lack of diversity and the way minority creators were treated. Cynthia Victor, a minority creator on TikTok, shared her opinion on the topic in a video where she talked about how she got a smaller room and wasn’t able to stay as long as some of the other creators.

So, brand trips do have their upsides, such as better brand awareness and higher social media engagement. However, in combating the negative sides of brand trips, brands would be more successful if they didn’t seem to “flaunt wealth” in these trips and if they did better at having a diverse array of influencers selected to attend. In doing so, brands will create better consumer-brand relationships, resulting in positive public relations for the brand.

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