Bal Harbour Shops invited people to its Fashion Night Out event last week, but only if they have Klout scores of 40 or higher. Exclusivity is nothing new in our culture, but basing status on a Klout score is.
There’s much debate about the value of Klout and social influence, in general, but let’s look more closely at the marketing problem and solution.
Sherilynn Macale: What gave you the idea to incorporate Klout as a strategy for Fashion’s Night Out?
Christopher Renz: We wanted a place where the most influential on Twitter/Facebook/Etc would have a place to meet each other. Secondly, by getting these folks together, we could inspire more sharing to create a social echo for the event. We created a Foursquare special for the night to let those who checked in know of the lounge.
SM: Why specifically Klout scores of +40 — was there some reason behind that?
CR: We originally thought 50, but we contacted Klout to ask their opinion and then mentioned that the average score is well below 40, so beginning it there would give a good mix of those who are just building their networks and the long-time enthusiasts.
Bal Harbour may have ruffled a few feathers with this move, but the idea that their event would be bigger than the event itself thanks to the social influencers in attendance is a solid one. Brands want word-of-mouth, and while it does in rare instances, occur naturally, it’s usually something brands need to court.