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Style, innovation & equality

Swedish start-up uses search engine to find your next influencer

Brands and consumers of today are much closer to each other. However, every brand is struggling with reaching their target audience. ”Who’s the most followed personality by your audience? That's the one you should work with!” says Scope’s Paiame Shalalvand.

Words: Johan Magnusson

Shalalvand and his colleagues started Scope as a side project. When they signed more and more brands that used their service on a daily basis they realized that it required their full attention.

— The influencer industry was — and is — flooded with a lot of lazy actors. So, we made Scope which is a search engine to find relevant personalities, he says.

Why is it important for brands to work with personalities? And is it still relevant to talk about the ”influencer”?

— The right personality is trustworthy. It’s real people talking and creating great content about your brand. If you're doing it right it doesn’t feel like a selling TV ad. Basically it’s a better way to build trust. And that’s why it’s still relevant — if you're doing it right.

What is the most important thing to consider when choosing the personality to work with?

— It’s where your target group is and I always tell brands to start with their own customers. They already love your product and are your first ambassador. It’s also important to find personalities that are within a social cluster or click where you want to be in. As an example, who’s the most followed personality by your audience? That’s the one you should work with!

And what are the most important things brands need to think about when reaching and talking to the consumer?

— To make authentic content that engages. Maybe that’s also the obvious answer — and also something that takes time. Another reason why brands should let personalities and customers create content and at the same time reach out to the consumer.

How does the consumer respond to a service like Scope? What are the benefits?

— It’s a way to connect brands and consumers closer, says Shalalvand. Today brands and consumer are much closer thanks to social media and relationships are made. We’ll see more products that consumers actually desire. In the end more power to the consumer.

In your opinion, what are some of the major changes in the e-commerce landscape the last few years?

— I think the major one is that anyone can set up their own e-commerce in minutes and get sales the same day. We see new upcoming brands working with influential Instagram profiles which becomes ”social retailers”. Before you started a brand and beg resellers to take in your product. Now you keep your margins and go directly to the consumer, owning the relationship.

Given that, where are we headed? How will the consumer experience change the next few years?

— I believe we will continue towards slow fashion and specifically basic clothes. Consumers will understand that it’s better to buy a €40 T-shirt that last 2-3 years than one for €6 that they will have to throw away after 30 washes. Occasionally clothes will be rented or bought by the fast fashion brands.

What are your thoughts on physical versus online retail? Will the first one survive? How can physical retail learn from the technical advancements of online retail?

— I don’t think physical retail will die, we will still have stores but just not as many. Online e-commerce knows a lot more about the consumer behavior and can act on that. It’d be interesting how stores can ”track” consumer behavior live in stores. Amazon Go probably know which products you've touched...