For celebrities, reality television stars, and social media influencers, the beauty and fashion sectors have proved fertile ground for lucrative partnerships—everything from sponsored posts to licensed lines. And in recent years, those recognizable names have moved into the home industry, as well, with everyone from “Real Housewives” cast member Lisa Vanderpump to country star Trisha Yearwood and a bevy of HGTV hosts launching their own furniture and decor lines.
Last week Chris and Peyton Lambton—who married after stints on “The Bachelorette” and “The Bachelor,” respectively—joined those influencers, launching their outdoor home line on HSN. The collection includes more than a dozen products such as outdoor rugs, lighting, umbrellas, pillows and a fire pit, retailing from $30-$250.
“We spend a lot of time outside with our family and working with clients on their outdoor spaces,” the couple said. “So many homeowners are intimidated about finishing their yards and don’t know where to begin. We wanted pieces that are easy to use and functional. Our line offers items that can be used individually or mixed and matched to create multiple entertaining areas.”
That sense of accessibility—both in style and price—goes right along with the persona of reality stars, making them ideal partners for home companies and retailers aiming to reach a wider customer base.
“Audiences feel like they know reality TV stars because they’ve seen the good and bad parts of their lives,” said Evy Lyons, VP of marketing, Traackr. “Traditional influencers, on the other hand, rarely go on live TV, and when they do, the story is carefully crafted. In this way, reality TV stars have a leg up on influencing purchasing power because consumers are more likely to buy from affiliate links when they feel a connection to the spokesperson.”
And that goes double for influencers like the Lambtons, who appeared on one of the top-rated reality television franchises, and have continued to maintain their profile with fans of the shows through the Bachelor Nation website, as well as their social media accounts.
“Bachelor Nation stars start on a platform with massive viewership (TV), build an emotional connection with the audience, and then, bring that audience over to a more intimate setting (social media),” Lyons said. “Not only do people see their social media presence as a continuation of the story they saw on the show, they feel like they get direct access to a person they’ve been watching from a distance.”
And while there is some crossover between fans of shows like “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” with those who follow social media influencers, for a retailer like HSN—whose shoppers tend to be females ages 25-65—the program’s target audience matches theirs quite well.
“Many of the people who watch the Bachelor franchise may not actually be engulfed in ‘traditional’ influencer culture,” Lyons said. “They could be avid followers of reality TV shows and stars, but may not be the type to browse Instagram content from the likes of Becki Owens or Chriselle Lim. Partnering with Bachelor Nation influencers allows brands to target a broader demographic of people while still achieving high ROI.”
Like their beauty and fashion industry counterparts, influencers in the home decor space are most effective when they provide content that strikes a balance between being educational, personal, and authentic, according to Lyons.
“The key difference is that home decor influencers are operating with a much larger canvas,” she said. “Instead of creating content about a single makeup look or ‘outfit of the day,’ these influencers are masters at crafting whole worlds, and telling the story of how an environment can hold emotional and mental power. Audiences want to see how beautiful spaces are created, and then understand how they can make that come to life in their own homes.”
That’s exactly the tack the Lambtons took when designing their HSN outdoor line—one they plan to expand in spring 2022.
“We have worked on multiple shows for HGTV and DIY that have an outdoor focus,” they said. “There are so many options for indoor furniture and accessories that are functional and affordable, but limiting when it comes to outdoor. We wanted a line that could work for any space and any budget. With the right pieces, you can turn an outdoor space from just a yard to a welcoming entertainment space.”