Canada markets close in 1 hour 19 minutes

Model Emily Ratajkowski: 'organic content is king' in brand building

Emily Ratajkowski knows a thing or two when it comes to building a brand.

The actress and top model has 22.8 million Instagram followers, her own bodywear, swimwear & intimates line, and is also the “Chief Taste Officer” of BABE, a sparkling canned wine brand.

Recently, Ratajkowski said the key to her success stems from her beginnings as a social media influencer. She told Yahoo Finance that “organic content is king”—and companies have been “slow” to pick up on it.

“Consumers are smarter than a lot of people think and that’s why it’s so fun to work on a product like BABE or my own line because we are able to go with what we feel and what we know,” she explained.

“We know our consumer, we know our audience, we have fun with it and they can feel that,” she added.

BABE sparkling canned wine comes in three flavors: Grigio, red and rosé (Courtesy: BABE)

BABE was founded in 2016 by Instagram sensation Josh Ostrovsky, aka ‘The Fat Jewish’

The bubbly beverage doubling in revenue every year since its launch, according to company statistics.

Celebrity endorsements are a lucrative business, but come with very clear downsides. Some big names like Khloe Kardashian have faced backlash over claims of false advertising, while others have taken heat for some of the products they endorse.

“I want to be a part of building the brand — not just being told, ‘Post this thing at this time,’” Ratajkowski told Yahoo Finance.

“That’s not something my followers would interact with because it’s like nothing I’ve ever posted before.”

“I’m all about content based consumerism that’s what my brand is built off of and I think that BABE has done an incredible job with that,” she added.

Why BABE Is ‘The Bud Light of Wine’

BABE, a millennial brand which gained recognition through social media, is now breathing new life into a market that’s struggled to stay relevant.

Sales growth in the wine industry has been muted for the past several years, and is now close to moving into negative territory for the first time since 1993, according to Silicon Valley Bank’s 2019 wine industry report.

BABE’s attempt to disrupt the longstanding industry is simple: Transform the way wine is transported and consumed, by swapping fancy glassware with branded cans.

“We always thought of ourselves as the beer of wine,” Swish Beverages CEO & Founder David Oliver Cohen explained. “It’s easy, it’s in a can, you can take it with you. It’s not complicated. Wine is so complicated.”

Cohen credits the brand’s “huge” social media following in helping BABE become the “Bud Light of wine” — paving the way for a natural partnership with multinational brewing company AB Inbev, which acquired a minority stake in Swish Beverages back in 2018.

Alexandra Canal is a Producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @alliecanal8193

Read more:

Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, SmartNews, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.