In the growing trend of social influencer marketing, Hyundai faced a unique challenge: how to stand out among brands competing for the same pool of influencer talent. Influencers are looking for brands that resonate with their audience and their vision, and they aren’t taking brands’ words for it—they’re asking each other.
So we decided to pay our brand values forward. From pitch to onboarding to thank you, we treated every influencer interaction as an opportunity to show that Hyundai isn’t just a brand that talks about better. It acts better too. Specifically, we welcomed our influencers with bespoke, curated gifts that spoke to our brand values as much as theirs, and at the close of a four-month partnership, we said thank you with just as much care. The result? Authentic partnerships that yielded highly engaging content and future champions of our brand, both to their peers and followers.
GOALS: Differentiate Hyundai from others as the brand that stands for better, and in turn, win over influencers as champions for Hyundai to not just their followers, but more importantly, their peers.
When you’re welcoming an influencer to your brand of better, that welcome itself needs to be spectacularly better too. So we decided to take a personal approach and act more like a friend than a brand: instead of a typical welcome email with a pdf attachment about brand guidelines, we sent a welcome gift demonstrating our brand and the content we hoped to create together. And later, we said “thank you” by giving the influencers bespoke gifts curated with the knowledge we gained from four months of a close, mutual partnership.
We started with a welcome gift that both introduced our brand and the journey ahead. Each contained a handmade card with a personal, handwritten message; a keychain for collecting engraved tokens of places travelled; a custom-printed canvas map for embroidering routes taken and memories made; and a screen-printed tote made of recycled ocean plastic, all wrapped up together in bespoke, personalized packaging.
We then concluded the partnership and campaign with individual thank you gifts handpicked for each influencer. For the eco-conscious traveller based in Hawaii, we selected a luxe yoga mat made from recycled wetsuits with a custom-embroidered strap, coupled with a custom-engraved aromatherapy travel necklace. For the New Yorker who loves color, we transformed the content she made with us into a bespoke coloring book and included a personalized pencil case with premium color pencils. We also created a bespoke coloring book for the dermatologist and mom of four, together with matching family bracelets that spell “better together” in beaded morse code. Finally for the photographer and adventure traveller, we selected custom-embroidered outdoor blankets for both him and his dog, and a toy camera so his pup could be a photographer too!
Approaching our influencer partnerships more like a friend than a brand resulted in authentic, engaging content that outperformed every benchmark, and all four influencers said they’d love to work with Hyundai again.
3x more influencer content produced than contracted 3x more engagement than influencers’ avg partner content engagement 13x more engagement than Instagram benchmark
We heard some great direct feedback from the influencers too:
“LOVED working with your team” “would love to work with Hyundai again” “it was the sweetest ever” “actually made me tear up!” “LOVED the car” “really enjoyed the collaboration” “loved driving our Santa Fe” “an amazing experience” “loved working with Hyundai”