Brand Safety and Brand Suitability: Why It Matters

Hester Bates
Hester Bates
May 13, 2021
Keeping your brand safe online has never been more important - with our increased reliance on digital coupled with...

Keeping your brand safe online has never been more important - with our increased reliance on digital coupled with eCommerce sales soaring through the roof, rising from 19.1% in February 2020, to 34.5% in February 2021, it’s crucial that a brand’s online presence is strong and reputable... in other words, totally bulletproof.

We are taking a look at what brand safety and brand suitability means, how creators play a key role in ensuring brand safety and how industry players, like ourselves, are keeping the next generation of brands safe.

What Do We Mean By Brand Safety?

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) defines brand safety as “avoiding content that is generally considered to be inappropriate for any advertising, and unfit for publisher monetization regardless of the advertisement or brand”. An example of this would be if a creator works with a brand to promote an alcoholic beverage, and then posts supplementary content that endorses underage drinking. This would not only be unsuitable and unsafe for a brand to promote, but it would cause legal and moral implications that would be detrimental to a brand’s reputation. In the words of American investor and businessman Warren Buffet: "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."

What Do We Mean By Brand Suitability?

The IAB defines brand suitability as “helping a brand avoid content that is specifically inappropriate for its unique sensitivities and values, but may be appropriate for another brand”. For example, a violation of brand suitability would be if a creator endorses a non-alcoholic product saying they don’t drink, then to be seen out partying with alcohol. Although it’s not illegal, it is a threat to brand suitability and could have equally damaging repercussions.

What Is The Relationship Between Brand Safety, Brand Suitability And The Creator Community?

Creators become brand ambassadors when they collaborate with a brand, and this comes with huge responsibility. When they create content that endorses a brand's product or offering, it is assumed by their audience that their values are aligned - they become an extension of the brand’s marketing team, using their understanding of a niche audience to promote products and services. A brand and creator relationship is most effective when the values are truly aligned, but if this is not the case, a brand’s reputation may be put at risk.

With this in mind, both brand safety and brand suitability are crucial to running successful campaigns, building trust and maintaining a strong brand/creator relationship, and this is why brands are investing in influencer marketing platforms to help protect these values.

The Role of Influencer Marketing Platforms

An influencer marketing platform, like Waves by Influencer, is able to help brands avoid violations of brand safety and brand suitability, and ensure to the best of their ability that they are near impossible in the future.

Data Transparency:

Waves, our proprietary technology launched this month, brings together data and intelligence to demonstrate ROI. We offer brands and agencies full data transparency around their influencer marketing campaigns, achieved through real-time campaign data and insights, dynamic creator tracking, approval functionality and proof of success. Thanks to this technological advancement, every creator that we work with has shared their data, so we can see whether they have any previous examples of violating brand safety or brand suitability.

Creator & Content Approval Measures:

Our technology also offers clients access to creator and content approval processes, which provide them with a full understanding of the decision process while ensuring the highest levels of brand safety. Firstly, the creator approval process provides clients with a board that allows key stakeholders to move creators to different stages of the approval process, allowing for collaborative feedback between all stakeholders to improve productivity. Secondly, the content approval process allows clients to review content that has already been rigorously checked and approved by Influencer’s expert in-house campaigns team. This helps us ensure we establish the most effective partnership between our global clients and creator community, which in turn reduces the risk of any violations of brand safety and brand suitability.

Looking Forward

We are pleased to say that it is highly unlikely that most brands will ever face violations of brand safety, with instances being few and far between. They are also becoming less and less, thanks to the checks put in place by influencer marketing platforms. We here at Influencer are helping brands minimise the risk and ensure their online reputation is protected. If you want to learn more about how we can help, head over to our website and get in touch now!

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