The influence line: When does sponsorship destroy your reputation?

The influence line

Borrowing trust

The three types of influencers and the line of trust

  • Influence is based on their fame
  • Enormous “pipeline”
  • Endorsement is purchased
  • Brand Goal = “Image.” Certain brands may pay to access this pipeline just to be associated with this person’s image and lifestyle.
  • Influence based on authoritative, original content
  • Brand content may be either organic or sponsored (purchased)
  • Large, engaged audience
  • Limited brand engagement, i.e. probably no organic advocacy exists without sponsor dollars
  • Brand goal = “Awareness.” How do I get the word out quickly in a business niche?
  • Influence based on passion and the emotional connection with their audience
  • Targeted, relevant audience
  • Authentic, organic, unpaid advocacy
  • High brand engagement due to true belief in the product and company
  • Brand goal = “Drive word of mouth attention and sales”

Putting this into action



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Mark Schaefer

Mark Schaefer


Keynote speaker, strategy consultant, Rutgers University marketing faculty and author of 9 books including KNOWN, Marketing Rebellion, and Cumulative Advantage.