Thinking Forward: Why are Influencers the Ultimate Marketing Partners for Brands?

May 20, 2024

Influencers have become a powerful tool for businesses to stand out, connect with audiences, and increase sales. At Leger, we also strongly believe in the potential of including influencers in your research to build your strategic decisions. Here’s how you can effectively generate and test great ideas for your brand’s next product or service by working with them.

First things first: why should you trust influencers with your next big ideas? 

There are often confusion or misconceptions about influencers and their work, contributing to the occasional negativity surrounding them. But in reality, influencers are great marketing partners for brands thinking forward. 

33% of Americans follow influencers

Their credibility lies in the trust established with their audience, rendering them not just content creators but authoritative and knowledgeable voices in the online community. Brands should capitalize on this credibility, looking at influencers as reliable guides directing their followers toward trustworthy products and experiences.

Influencers set trends by being deeply connected with their community

Influencers are continuously shaping consumer preferences and driving market trends by immersing themselves in daily conversations with their followers and therefore cultivating a profound understanding of their desires, preferences, and even problems. This direct line of communication between the influencers and their community creates a kind of intimacy that is much harder—if not impossible—to replicate with brands.

Influencers are natural leaders in their niche. Just as some professionals working in finance are experts in finding out what’s next in the financial world, influencers can determine what trends are coming among their online community members.

The importance of influencers in the product development process

By engaging influencers throughout the product development process, brands can gain insights from influencers regarding current trends, target consumer preferences, market gaps, and feedback from similar products offered by competitive brands.

Influencers’ ability to see what’s coming next offers brands a key strategic advantage. This is particularly true for consumer package goods (CPGs) and travel brands, where products, collections, lines, destinations, and experiences are constantly tied to seasons, trends, and people. However, brands across all industries can reap substantial benefits from including influencers’ insights in their research.

Take our collaboration with an International Hotel Chain, for instance. We conducted multiple phases of research among luxury travel influencers and target consumers to validate and refine five new service ideas tailored for esteemed high-end loyalty members. One service will be rolling out this year, while others, confirmed through this partnership, are strategically positioned in the pipeline for the next two years.

Tracey Berkenbush, VSP Research Leger USA

Furthermore, influencers, serving as early adopters, can help your brand beta test products or services and provide genuine feedback and real-world experiences, paving the way for product refinement before broader market release. 

3 tips for working with influencers in the context of innovation and product development

It’s likely you’ll invest significantly for this collaboration—make sure the fit is right. You can minimize the risk of choosing wrong by following these few tips:

1. The influencer’s audience matches your target audience. Ask them to talk in detail about their audience. Not only their age, gender, and location (those are easy stats to get on any platform) but more importantly:

  • Who are they?
  • What do they do?
  • What do they like?
  • What are their pain points?

2. Work with influencers who have a high engagement rate. Views and likes are great, but they won’t give you the insights you need to decide what ideas are worth developing. You’ll want to work with influencers who can quickly engage and connect with their audience and provide real value through their content or answers.

3. Include your influencers in the early brainstorming.


We expect to see more brands exploring collaborative partnerships with influencers in a context of innovation and strategic product development going forward.

At Leger, we developed an innovative modern research solution that combines consumer and influencer data and insights to help brands confidently launch new products or services. Depending on the brands’ needs, our flexible system can develop, refine, or validate new ideas at any stage of the innovation process.

Related Posts

Economy and Finance

Every month, we conduct a survey of  U.S. residents to explore their views on the economy, finances, and the government. This month, our survey was conducted between May 24 and 26, 2024.Some of the key highlights on the U.S. economy include… More than half (57%) of...

Leger X WIN: Cost of Living Study

WIN International, the world's leading association in market research and polling, has published the Annual WIN World Survey - WWS 2024 - exploring the views and beliefs expressed in 33,866 surveys worldwide in 39 countries across the globe. Leger conducted the study...

Summer Plans

Leisure travel is expected to increase significantly in the summer of 2024 compared to the winter of 2023. However, costs remain a key factor in decision-making, and consumers are ready to make necessary sacrifices and seek bargains to stay within budget. And with...

Freedom of Speech

From April 26 to April 28, 2024, we surveyed U.S. residents to find out their opinions and perceptions on freedom of speech in their country. Some of the key highlights on freedom of speech in the U.S. include… Three-quarters of U.S. residents are comfortable...

Economy and Finance

Economy and Finance

Every month, we conduct a survey of  U.S. residents to explore their views on the...

Summer Plans

Summer Plans

Leisure travel is expected to increase significantly in the summer of 2024 compared to...

Get the latest in your inbox

Stay up to date on cutting-edge research, news and more.