Sales and Influencer Kits

The Experiential Branding Tool You’re Probably Missing

Melissa Simmerman
Director, Strategy

April 25th, 2024

There are four buzzwords around Kaleidoscope these days: Sales and Influencer Kits.

They aren’t new, but increasingly our client partners are asking for them, and for good reason. First, promotions of this nature get results: a 2022 Facebook survey found that 58% of consumers “said they were influenced to buy something from a creator in the past six months.” (Yes, there are a lot of factors here, including influencer-brand fit, number of followers, types of content, and marketing spend, but stay with us.)

Second, sales kits are a natural tool to encourage retailer sell-in and sales team enthusiasm. Third, they elevate brand milestones, like anniversaries or celebrity partnerships, to next-level awareness, creating exclusivity and collectability.

And finally, once clients have seen what Kaleidoscope’s Design, Prototyping, and Model Shop teammates can do from our state-of-the-art Chicago studio, they instantly see the value.

Let’s unpack those reasons so you can see it, too.

Influencers are really good at getting us to spend money

It’s easy to be tired of influencers. Every channel has creators who post content that feels staged, fake, and obviously bought-and-paid-for, much of it served to us by algorithms rather than our choices. But there are many smart, sensitive creators who produce content worth following—and buying from. Savvy marketers know how to find the right influencers, and how to optimize and promote engaging posts that genuinely do right by their brand and its products. Witness these numbers:

• 47% of US consumers have made a purchase through social media
• 46% of US consumers have made a purchase through a livestream event
• 50% of US consumers have shopped on Instagram
71% of TikTok shop users have bought something after seeing it in their feed

Social isn’t going away as a shopping channel. It’s only growing, and brands must make it a part of their marketing mix. Partnering with influencers and sending them share-worthy unboxing experiences is a no-brainer. Influencer kits that deliver a special opening ceremony with beautifully packaged products make for must-watch videos, and present opportunities to show off your brand in new and uncommon ways—the kind consumers would never see at shelf.

On social, imagination rules and creativity reigns. If you’ve made the effort to find the right influencers and pay them to expand your reach via their audiences, it’s only logical to invest in something memorable and covetable they can show their followers.

Our design and prototyping work has included dramatic sales kits to introduce new brands to the market.

Give retailers and sales teams something to get excited about

Even the world’s biggest brands don’t meet with retail partners empty-handed. All brands are expected to bring unique, innovative, and interesting ideas that appeal to consumers and raise the profile of the retailer in question. For emerging brands in crowded categories, like the better-for-you space, it’s even more critical to show potential retail partners just how special you are. Sales kits are an influential way to do so, offering a tactile, tangible, and “sticky” leave-behind that retailers can champion—and successfully sell up their own chains.

What about your sales team? They’re on the ground day after day, pitching your brand and products to partners and consumers at events, trade shows, and meetings. Sure, you can equip them with a digital storytelling device, a well-designed PDF, and swag…but is anything as impactful as a hands-on, interactive experience? When your sales team can unbox your products in a way that truly surprises and delights an audience, that’s magic. It’s hard to replace the sensorial aspect of touching, feeling, holding, smelling, tasting, seeing, and even hearing a product, and if it’s wrapped in stunning design, even better. We promise, potential customers will be begging to hang on to your sales kits.

Bold branding and a unique opening ceremony created Insta-worthy impact for MolsonCoors and Kotex (partnering with Hero Solutions).

Celebrate brand milestones in an unforgettable way

Brand anniversaries. Celebrity partnerships. Co-branding opportunities. Seasonal events and holidays. New product introductions. Contests and giveaways. We’ve even created a custom kit for a beloved client partner who transitioned to a new role. But who says you need a special occasion, anyway? Sales and influencer kits are ultimately about delighting an intended audience, and it’s always the right time to do that.

During your next marketing meeting, bring it up. You may be surprised at just how imaginative and exciting a brand experience you can create for a relatively small investment that pays for itself in awareness, impressions, and good, old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing.

We have just the expertise to help make it a reality.

Making is in our DNA

Creativity meets craftsmanship in our Chicago studio. Because we offer a unique combination of strategy, design, model-making, and prototyping, you won’t just end up with a beautiful sales kit. You’ll get a proven, tangible brand tool inspired by thoughtful sales and marketing strategies and compelling, human-centric design. Our teams are pioneering sustainable kit solutions, too. It’s innovation you can hold—and share with audiences that will evangelize and advocate for you.

Bottom line: sales and influencer kits work. As a touch-and-feel vehicle for creative brand expression and promotion, they get your brand noticed and shared among the right audiences; support retailer sell-in through engaging experiences; and rally internal teams around something new and promising. In the ever-evolving marketing mix pie chart, they deserve a healthy slice.

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