Sunday, June 21, 2009
Brandweek: What's wrong with the influencer model?
Duncan Watts: The claim that influencer matter or are important or influencers drive brand awareness, when you scrutinize them carefully, they turn out to not really be very meaningful. Or to put it another way, everyone thinks they know what an influencer is and everyone thinks they know why they matter, but everybody thinks something different. Is an influencer the hipsters in the East Village or Oprah Winfrey? What makes Oprah influential is very different from what makes the hipster in the East Village influential. And so by failing to differentiate carefully between all these different types of influencers you really undermine the ability of the theory to say anything predictive.