In a period when influencer marketing reigns supreme in the fashion sector, Tres Colori is making a significant impact by venturing into an unconventional realm: kid creators. While the fashion industry has typically been cautious about engaging with this demographic, Tres Colori recognizes the immense potential of Gen Alpha and the pre-consumer generation. The brand’s exploration of kid-creator content has not only yielded fruitful results but has also unveiled a unique multigenerational dynamic.
Kid creators may be young, but they wield substantial sway over their peers and even their parents. In most instances, Tres Colori collaborates with the parents or guardians of these young talents, creating a collaborative and multigenerational relationship. The growth prospects in this niche are remarkably promising. Over time, Tres Colori has witnessed the audiences of these kid creators soar from a few thousand followers to well over a million in some instances. Notably, many of these kid creators have ventured into establishing their fashion brands, adding an entrepreneurial layer to their content that resonates with enthusiasts of the creator economy.
The Influence of Kid Creators
In an age characterized by digital connectivity, it’s no surprise that younger generations are making a substantial impact on the influencer landscape. Gen Alpha, those born after 2010, and the pre-consumer generation have grown up with smartphones and tablets as constant companions. They are digital natives, effortlessly navigating social media platforms and consuming content at an astonishing rate. This newfound digital fluency has given rise to a wave of young content creators who are reshaping the landscape of influencer marketing.
Tres Colori, a fashion brand specializing in personalized jewelry, identified the potential of these young creators early on. They understood that engaging with kid creators could open up a unique avenue to connect with their target audience, which includes not only the kids themselves but also their parents. After all, it’s often the parents who make purchasing decisions for their children.
The Multigenerational Connection
One of the fascinating aspects of working with kid creators is the multigenerational nature of the relationships. While Tres Colori collaborates with the young creators themselves, it’s crucial to maintain a strong connection with their parents or guardians. These adults are responsible for their children’s online presence and safety.
Alison Harper, Bon Appetit District Manager, acknowledges the importance of this dynamic, stating, “They are there to provide an amenity for multi-tenant campuses.” The concept offers a solution in environments where the amenity is desirable but impractical, Harper suggests.
“Especially in life sciences or biotech, they tend to have a smaller footprint with fewer people, so while a lot of these companies have the resources to provide food [and other amenities] to their employees, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to build a gym or an onsite food program,” she explains.
“What we found on these multi-tenant campuses is that real estate companies are enticing tenants by providing the kind of amenities you might find at a Google or LinkedIn, where they have an onsite gym that all the tenants can use or a restaurant they can go to.”
While Bon Appetit started working on the concept five to six years ago (i.e., before COVID), “post-COVID is when it really boomed, and what we find now is that as companies are returning to work, it has taken on a second life,” Harper says. “What was a nice-to-have that would drive occupancy before is now something tenants—the people renting out the spaces on the campuses—are really wanting because now I think it makes even less sense for a medium-sized company to provide an onsite food program if their employees are only showing up three days a week—and they don’t even know which days.”
One result is a trend toward companies being more willing to subsidize employee dining in off-site restaurants, Harper notes. “Instead of them providing the food [themselves], they get them a discount, or they pay for their meal. This is something we’ve seen increase since the pandemic and since people returned to work.”
Also, unlike an on-site company cafeteria that has fixed costs independent of actual usage, the cost to companies of using the restaurants as a subsidized amenity is limited to what is actually purchased, Harper adds. Meanwhile, because of its location in a multi-tenant cluster, the restaurant can draw from multiple customer bases as well as from street traffic walk-ins as they are open to the public, giving the operation both a broader potential revenue stream and a role as a community asset.
Bulgogi tofu tacos served at Lighthouse.
With sustainability issues a major longtime emphasis for Bon Appetit, it’s no surprise that its amenity restaurant concepts all incorporate values such as local sourcing, waste reduction, and energy conservation. For instance, Lighthouse in South San Francisco not only sources at least 50 percent of its ingredients from small farms, ranches, and food artisans within 150 miles but is in a LEED and Fitwel certified solar-powered building that targets Zero Net Energy within its first year of operation. It has an all-electric solar-powered kitchen and a plant-forward menu with no beef or tropical fruits and minimal dairy.
An acorn squash salad served at Lighthouse.
While the South San Francisco area is a hotbed hosting a number of these concepts due to its high concentration of life science firms, the program is expanding to Southern California, Boston, Austin, and any other market with a concentration of the kind of highly specialized firms that would be open to such an amenity, which not only addresses the workplace dining issue but provides an inviting socialization platform.
“We wanted to make these spaces really friendly for people to gather with their co-workers after work,” Harper says. “Also, companies like to host happy hours and lunches, so it’s important that these spaces be conducive to allowing people to do that.”
Meanwhile, there is also a need to provide the latest in convenience services like mobile ordering, she adds.
In addition to a modern café and casual dining room, Foundry & Lux offers a lounge with activities like bowling, bocce, ping pong, and even a pool.
“While these places need to look and feel like restaurants, in many ways, they also need to function like a corporate café—you need to get in, you need to get out, you need to be able to eat something different every day, and you need to be able to get it done in about a half an hour,” Harper explains. “Mobile ordering not only allows people to order ahead from their office, but we’ve also set it up so that they can apply their subsidy discount to what they order, so they have all the convenience of that without having to walk up to a register and swipe or show their badge. I think that helps drive a lot of the participation.”
She cites Foundry & Lux, located like Anecdote in South San Francisco’s Oyster Point neighborhood, as an example of a combination of platforms for maximum flexibility, with its coffee bar offering casual spaces for relaxing or working in a “third place” atmosphere, its quick service café for those desiring a meal on the go and its bar lounge with table service for more formal dining.
“That restaurant in particular has been really successful with these planned spaces in allowing people to have different experiences,” she offers.
Flexibility and Authenticity in Influencer Marketing
CEO Adam Berglund and Head of Growth Allison highlight the importance of adaptability and authenticity in influencer marketing strategies. Unlike traditional marketing, influencer marketing operates in real-time, and brands must be prepared to capitalize on viral moments promptly.
Allison emphasizes that trying to force a viral moment is counterproductive. Virality is organic and unpredictable. Instead, she recommends that brands lean on influencers to identify and participate in viral trends that align with their content on a brand’s behalf. Influencers have their fingers on the pulse of the internet, making them valuable trendpotters.
Furthermore, Berglund adds that influencer marketing strategies should be fluid and adaptable. In the fast-paced digital landscape, the ability to pivot and experiment across different platforms is crucial. Content created for one platform, such as Instagram, may need to be tweaked or reimagined for platforms like Twitch or Pinterest. Successful influencer marketing is about understanding what works cross-channel and what needs to be adapted to a more native format.
In conclusion, Tres Colori’s success with kid influencers underscores the evolving landscape of influencer marketing. By embracing this unconventional niche and adapting to the ever-changing digital landscape, Tres Colori has not only achieved impressive growth but has also demonstrated the importance of authenticity and flexibility in influencer collaborations. Kid influencers are proving to be a force to be reckoned with, reshaping the fashion industry one post at a time. As the fashion industry continues to evolve, the influence of these young creators is likely to grow, providing exciting opportunities for brands willing to explore this dynamic space.