Nordstrom is adding Something Navy to its department stores. The brand, which originates from Instagram influencer Arielle Charnas’s blog of the same name, marks the first time the retailer is pairing up with an influencer to form a full-fledged brand.

The collaboration bets on Charnas’ social media audience to drive sales, going beyond Nordstrom’s typical customer base. In the past, the retailer has employed Instagram influencers to drive sales via popular shopping platform LIKEtoKNOW.it and its own brand app, as observed in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Department Stores. However, the strategy failed to efficiently close the loop on the path to purchase, since users were redirected to Nordstrom’s mobile site rather than remaining within the mobile app, making purchases less likely for impatient online shoppers.

Though the Genius brand has partnered with influencers on capsule collections in the past, Nordstrom’s latest move gives it access to influencer benefits over the long term. Charnas interacts with her followers on a daily basis, posting Instagram Stories in which she chats to them about her life, children, favorite recipes, makeup routine, and more. With the launch of her brand on the horizon, she incorporated questions to viewers about that topic, seeking their help in choosing fabrics and cuts for the collection. For Nordstrom, which preserves already-tracked data, such as items dropped into carts, to better guide online shoppers, this means direct access to a steady stream of consumer preferences to help shape future clothing collections.

One-off influencer partnerships are a great way for brands to test new waters with their consumers. For bigger brands like Nordstrom, committing to one influencer is not only more feasible, but also potentially more fruitful in the long term.

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