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Introduction

When influencer marketing, finding an influencer is one of the most important steps you’re going to take. It has to be someone that has the potential for significant reach, that will share quality content about your brand or product, and who has an audience that aligns with your desired target customer. This is hard to find. But every once in a while, brands will strike gold, and the results will be massive.

This was certainly the case in 2020 and 2021 when Dunkin’ Donuts partnered with TikTok superstar Charli D’Amelio. It was a collaboration that had a big payoff for Dunkin’, a huge success for a brand trying to reach a new audience. It was a TikTok influencer marketing success story, so let’s break down what the collaboration was, its result, and what we can learn from it.

The Influencer-Brand Collaboration

Charli D’Amelio is the biggest superstar on TikTok. She is a Gen Z content creator, the most followed account on TikTok, with over 140 million followers. She is young and trendy, with a massive platform and an audience size bigger than most countries. In short, she is a highly valuable mega-influencer that has the power to boost sales and improve branding for any company. She also had expressed a love for Dunkin’ Donuts in her content without an established partnership.

Dunkin’ Donuts is a hugely successful coffee and donut chain; however, they compete for dominance over younger audiences with Starbucks. Starbucks is consistently trendy on social media with secret menu tips, misspelled names on cups, and more. Dunkin’ had to find a way to match the appeal Starbucks has with social media users.

They decided to launch a partnership with D’Amelio. This partnership was multi-layered. They created a drink called the Charli, an order D’Amelio had said was her favorite. Fans could order the Charli at any store. They also launched a “Charli x Dunkin’” contest, where fans had to share pictures or videos recreating iconic Charli and Dunkin’ moments. The winners would get to meet D’Amelio in a video conference.

They also eventually released a second drink and a merchandise line. The collaboration was promoted heavily by both D’Amelio and Dunkin’ on their social accounts. This helped spread the word to millions around the world.

The Result

The results of the campaign were significant. The Charli went on to sell hundreds of thousands of cups within the first five days of its launch. There was also a 57% increase in downloads of the Dunkin’ Donut app, which the brand had been trying to push. Dunkin’ broke its record for daily users of its app the day The Charli was released. There was a 20% overall sales boost for cold brews the day the drink was released and a 45% increase the following day.

Long story short, the campaign was a massive success for Dunkin’. It drove huge sales and helped them tap into a vital audience. D’Amelio, who was 17 when the partnership began, cultivates a younger following. This helped Dunkin’ reach high school and middle school-aged children and teens. It also drove traffic to Dunkin’s social media accounts, helping them grow their brand.

What to Learn from This

There are several core takeaways from the success of this collaboration. It shows the power that influencers can have if used correctly. D’Amelio has a massive following and fits the demographic that Dunkin’ wanted to reach. She also has a pre-established love for the brand, making the partnership more authentic. An influencer fit is a huge precursor to a successful campaign.

Another important takeaway is how a multi-pronged collaboration can help brands. Dunkin’ based a product on D’Amelio, got her to share the brand on her social media, shared her on their social media, and started a contest based around D’Amelio. Essentially, they went all in on their collaboration and used many different methods to make it work.

While not every brand will be able to afford a collaboration with an influencer of this size, there are still important takeaways from the campaign. It shows the importance of a good fit and how a well-executed, multi-layered influencer collaboration can make a world of difference for a business.

Partnering with influencer marketing firms helps brands improve their social media results. Influence Hunter is a top influencer marketing agency with significant experience helping businesses develop high-performing, customizable campaigns. We’ve partnered with brands ranging from global corporations to rising start-ups to generate successful influencer marketing outreach. Contact Us Today to find out how we can help grow your business.

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