Influencer marketing and influencer relations are an integral part of what we do. Here at Ranieri HQ, we maintain a regular dialogue with both influencers and brands to understand their challenges and successes. 


Please introduce yourself.  What is your role and who do you work for?

My name Mimi Stanwood and I’m the Digital Brand Manager for DeLonghi, Kenwood and Braun. I work alongside colleagues managing our big-name influencers, like Raymond Blanc, and also head-up the work building relationships with smaller influencers across all three brands and on various digital channels.


What are your brand goals for this year?

This year is all about growth on social media. We’re looking to pretty much double our following on Instagram and Facebook for DeLonghi and Kenwood, launch a Braun social media presence and catapult Kids Club into the spotlight on YouTube.

For Kenwood, we’re working with some really exciting up and coming chefs and hope to bring a wealth of content to our followers and subscribers, allowing them to travel around the world and visit the country’s best restaurants from the comfort of their own homes.

The focus is, however, particularly on DeLonghi, who are traditionally quite a conservative brand, so the push is to ease our followers into some more exciting content and set the brand apart from our competitors and their run of the mill content!


PR and Social Media – inhouse or via an agency?

I hope you know the answer to the PR question and for social media, that’s 99% my job, with some help from various agencies on PPC and on exploratory missions into other channels i.e. TikTok!

We tend to work with agencies on big campaigns and NPD that include influencer content, but the day to day is all me.


Which other brand’s influencer or social media campaigns have impressed you?

I really love what Oatly have done with their Barista channel to showcase the faces behind the coffee machines. It’s not been huge, but I’m a big fan of the human element they’ve included, which is so much more about the social and less about the media.

I also love how Tony’s Chocolonely are using their platform for good, weaving their anti-slavery message into the majority of their content and getting big names, likes Pharrell Williams and Idris Elba, on board to help spread the word. I love anything cause related!


What are the most important factors for you when collaborating with an Influencer?

Brand passion. 100%. The best collaborations we’ve achieved have been either with influencers that reached out to us, or with those whose initial response was that they loved the brand and already owned the products. It makes partnerships so much more rewarding and we love to work with these guys long-term, as they’re a) a pleasure to collaborate with and b) are truly authentic brand advocates – something money can’t buy.


What is your experience when working with influencers? What are the benefits and challenges for you as an organisation?

The benefits definitely outweigh the challenges, but we do have our fair share of both.

– Influencers not following the brief and failing to actually use the product properly in their content i.e. doing everything by hand rather than using the provided kitchen machine!
– Influencers using competitor brands during their contractual time with us.
– Micro-influencers using our product once and then jumping directly to a paid partnership with another brand – not great for showcasing genuine brand loyalty!

– The incredible creativity many of the influencers bring to the table and the fact that, when they love the brand and you give them free rein, they often go above and beyond in the most fantastic ways. These are the ones we bring on board on a longer-term basis. It’s also why I prefer approaching people who call themselves content creators rather than influencers – It’s less about their following and more about their creativity, which always seems to work out better from an engagement point of view than simply being well known anyway.


How important is Social Media to your brand in Covid times?

I wasn’t working for the brands when Covid struck, but I know how quickly the team made the leap to social and starting live streaming on Facebook, which in the early stages at least, did wonders for engagement.I think social is becoming more and more important as people’s lives have been moved increasingly online, but the line you have to tread as a brand is a tricky one i.e. how to be fun and vibrant while maintaining brand guidelines and some form of commerciality.

Personally, I think the move away from paid advertising via mediums like Instagram reels and TikTok is really exciting, as it means the platforms can be so much more creative, with algorithms rewarding ingenuity rather than a fat wallet!


How do you keep yourself updated on social media trends?

Unfortunately I don’t have nearly as much time as I’d like to invest in this, which is why I’m so grateful to the agencies we work with who help me stay on top of things, especially on platforms like TikTok and YouTube where the brands don’t yet have a significant share of voice (and therefore in which my time isn’t so heavily invested).

It does help that I’m obsessed with both food and coffee, so what I do in my spare time serendipitously ties into what I do at work, and I spend a lot of time on social media investigating things I can eat and drink!


If you were an influencer, what type of influencer would you be? (food / fitness / parenting / tech etc…)

Good question (and hard). I think I’d sit somewhere between food, fitness and science… There’s so much rubbish on the internet about what’s healthy and what you should and shouldn’t eat and it’s a) a load of balderdash and b) incredibly harmful to young, impressionable minds, who think they have to eliminate entire food groups in order to be ‘fit’ or ‘healthy’. Food is all about exploration and enjoyment and none of that should be lost in the pursuit of a health. You don’t have to eat avocado mousse and popped quinoa in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Bring me the cheese and wine!