Photo credit Samantha Moray
Interview

Brandon Perlman

02.23.16

You may recognize Brandon Perlman’s name as one of the founders of the fashion blog StyleCaster. Since he and his former partners sold the site to a media company, he has launched a new business, The Gramlist and it’s sole focus is uncovering the next wave of influencers on Instagram. We all know the We Wore Whats, the Song of Styles, and the Something Navys, so Perlman developed an equation to discover those influencers one layer beneath. Brands can hire The Gramlist for a specific list of brand-appropriate influencers to connect with on a new product launch or store opening – Perlman and his team curate the perfect list for the brand to engage in order to maximize results.

Interview

Can you explain The Gramlist?

The Gramlist is an influencer marketing platform that uses quantitive and qualitative analysis to surface up and coming “micro-influencers” in the 2000-100000 follower range on behalf of innovative brands.

Who are your target clients?

We are working with everyone from international consumer electronics companies, high-end fashion brands, to apps, and those in the travel and hospitality sectors. I haven’t come across a use case yet that couldn’t benefit from influencer engagement and management.

Can brands from any industry benefit from the information extracted?

Absolutely.

What is your “cool factor” gauge?

Our editors are FROM all over the world and have the most varied backgrounds. “Cool” is extraordinarily subjective. I like to think that after a decade in startups and the media I have access to a wide swath of innovators and talent who can align a brand’s goals with their own taste.

How do you know if a person has IT?

“It” is really a matter of innovation, access, being in the right place at the right time (or making where you are the right place) and of course creative prowess. Some of my favorite accounts are singularly focused in nature. Taking a niche and putting a magnifying glass to it. Making something truly yours, through your lens and yours alone.

Your team is looking for the next wave of influencers – what is the line between overexposed and not?

Our focus is on the new and underexposed in the influencer space. We focus on those with follower counts ranging from 2,000-100,000 followers. It is at this level that exciting things start to emerge. Every day thousands of new accounts enter and exit this range. It is virtually inexhaustible. Everyone from business CEOs, to college photographers, athletes, and yogis. I am constantly inspired by the creativity that is evolving on Instagram. Regarding “the line” we have a proprietary methodology for assessing what we refer to as “influence metrics” which contain everything from how often a person posts, to the engagement of their audience. That coupled with our editors who review the quality and consistency of a feel is where the line is drawn.

Why do you think the average person as a marketer is so meaningful and successful for brands?

It all comes down to authenticity, those over 100,000 followers know their value (or at least they think they do), and charge accordingly. They are also expected to produce “branded content.” Whereas if you take someone with a smaller following threshold and high engagement rate from the real world, people doing real things, with real opinions, their feeds make their followers take notice. They are easy to work with because they want to share brands and experiences that are meaningful to them.

You’re an original founder of StyleCaster, do you ever miss running a fashion blog?

At times I do miss the electricity of being tied to fashion, especially in February and September during fashion week, but most of my network is still in that world and I get to only do the fun things now. As far as running a blog, The Gramlist’s content division solves that for me. We have an editorial calendar, just like any publisher, only we get to uncover only the new and the next, daily.

Is StyleCaster still a regular read?

I can’t say it is, but they are still putting out amazing content and their SEO is off the charts, every time I see it pop up in the first page of Google I still think about when a “style caster” was a type of industrial product you could buy and that was all that appeared for months after we launched.

What blogs are you reading every day?

Tech Crunch, Media ReDef, FastCo Design, BetaList, and Product Hunt

What’s an average day like for you?

We don’t have an office, so I work from home or Soho House if I have meetings. I have a perfect set up for both. Regardless I get up around 7am to run 4-6 miles on the West Side Highway with my running partner, grab an iced coffee at Joe Coffee on the walk back to Union Square where I live. Then it’s either assessing our content calendar, reviewing current projects, or preparing pitches for new clients.

And one fashion question, who are your favorite brands? How would you describe your personal style?

Alex Mill, Gitman Vintage, Hamilton shirts, Saturdays Surf, J. Crew, Acne, Paige Denim, and APC.

As far as personal style I’d say ‘everlasting” modern, I have so many items over 5 years old that are just classic with no need to update.

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