Season 3 Episode 6
June 27, 2023

Dear Ingrid and Orchid

It’s Ask Me Anything Day here on the Pod and Orchid and Ingrid drop some great advice in today’s episode. Could Toys R Us have survived if they adapted? Is the Age of the Influencer coming to an end? Tune in to hear your questions answered and check out our Instagram @_infiniteshelf for a post-episode treat!

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Infinite Shelf - Wunderkind

It’s Ask Me Anything Day here on the Pod and Orchid and Ingrid drop some great advice in today’s episode. Could Toys R Us have survived if they adapted? Is the Age of the Influencer coming to an end? Tune in to hear your questions answered and check out our Instagram @_infiniteshelf for a post-episode treat!

Get Your Sh*t Together

  • {00:02:16} “A significant trend is that retailers know they have to rethink the in-store experience, but they're not quite sure how to do it. A prime example of a fail in this is Toys R Us.” - Orchid
  • {00:09:32} “This is the modern iteration of what {a lifestyle brand} is: merging the in-store experience, using the retail, having online, having all of those things.” - Ingrid
  • {00:12:29} “The new trend in maximizing your square footage is the services and the experience and the reason to go somewhere physically, which actually means quite the opposite of pack more sh*t in there. It actually means really, really curate things because people are completely overwhelmed with choice anyway.” - Ingrid
  • {00:18:03} “I'm convinced that if you're brought into a Target and it's a pleasant experience with a Starbucks that you can get free refills on, you're going to spend more time there and increase that single transaction over going into a crowded Macy's where you can't find anything, you feel overwhelmed and then you just turn around and head out again.” - Orchid
  • {00:22:10} “There is a healthy balance of a strong work ethic and knowing that you can succeed at something without putting so much pressure on yourself that you burn yourself out.” - Orchid
  • {00:23:27} “There are seasons of your work life in the same way that there are seasons in every other aspect of your life.” - Ingrid
  • {00:30:00} “The age of the influencer won’t end, but brands do need to activate more thoughtfully and stop spraying and praying with influencers the way that they once did with buying TV.” - Ingrid

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Ingrid: [00:00:19] Hello and welcome to Infinite Shelf, the human-centric retail podcast. I'm one of your hosts, Ingrid Milman Cordy, and I'm joined by the fabulous, smart, thoughtful, and beautiful Orchid Bertelsen. How are you?

Orchid: [00:00:35] Good. I mean, now that I'm beautiful. I did put on a little highlighter and bronzer when I joined you today because it's a podcast. And of course, why not? So it's lovely to see you as always.

Ingrid: [00:00:48] It's looking ravishing. I'm very into the light contouring situation. Also, we're now like on visual stuff. And I'm like, oh, God, really? I'm going to have to wash my hair today, huh?

Orchid: [00:01:03] {laughter} I mean, not really. I mean, there's an entire trend about anti-hair washing, letting yourself get back to nature's shampoo, which I don't know what that would be, but...

Ingrid: [00:01:12] Yeah, yeah, not for me, but totally respect that. So today is going to be, I think, a very fun one. It is our Ask Me Anything or AMA day. And thank you all so much. We've gotten so many really thoughtful and fun questions that we are hoping to answer. Just in full transparency, just by design, we have not rehearsed these questions. We're really just seeing them on the fly and answering them in our most genuine, honest voices because that's the only thing Orchid and I know how to do best. And here we go. So the first question we received is what are the most significant trends or shifts you've observed in the retail industry over the past few years? And how have they impacted both retailers and consumers? Great question. Orchid, do you want to hit this one first?

Orchid: [00:02:15] Sure. I think [00:02:16] a significant trend is that retailers know they have to rethink the in-store experience, but they're not quite sure how to do it. [00:02:26] So the example I use all the time is Toys R Us. So as many of you know, millennials who grew up with Toys R Us, with Geoffrey the Giraffe, they filed for bankruptcy.

Ingrid: [00:02:40] RIP.

Orchid: [00:02:40] Yeah, RIP. They filed for bankruptcy. It was pre-COVID. But I use this example all the time because when you think about Toys R Us and just the large square footage they occupied, I believe that they could have evolved to be relevant today if they reallocated some of that square footage to an experience center or arts and crafts or an area for your children to start playing with some of the toys. Think sampling, but when you walk around Costco and you say, "Hey, I'm going to use the samples and cobble together a brunch," think the same thing of going to the toy store but having activities for your kids. So I think they could have taken a page from the Apple store model of having different activities and timed events to reallocate some of that square footage. I think that they should have also reallocated some of that square footage to mainly serve as a distribution center to fulfill all of the online orders and to really more lean into blending physical and digital experiences. And I've always said that I refuse to say the word phygital, but it really is phygital.

Ingrid: [00:03:57] We'll look at some marketing opportunities for that word. I really feel like we can just pack this episode up and just go home because that is the most perfect example ever. There are a bunch of people now that are heavily invested in resurrecting these old brands that have a lot of nostalgic value, but also just to reimagine them in a way that we would have hoped that their leadership would have reimagined them. And I think that is such a prime example. And I think I would even say that people are more so now than even pre-pandemic wanting to have community. And this goes with your Toys R Us example. I think using the space for experiential, but also community building. So as a parent, you're always trying to connect with other people in your area, trying to educate yourself on how to avoid some of the things that you want to avoid and the way that you turned out. All of those things. And so having a place where you can have experiential items for children and toys and parents, but then also a community component to where families can be together or you can do education and have parents night or something like that. Orchid is coming right back.

Orchid: [00:05:21] What I feel like is that we should buy Toys R Us is what you're saying, because a lot of people are reimagining this. And I have a lot of fondness for Geoffrey the Giraffe, but a brand that I think has taken a cue and created this experiential but shoppable physical experience is this brand Camp. Are you familiar with them?

Ingrid: [00:05:43] I feel like I've seen a store, but no, I'm not. Educate me, please.

Orchid: [00:05:47] Okay. So I actually don't know how many storefronts they have, but they have one in New York. And Camp has that experiential part where I think they had an Encanto experience or an exhibit there where kids can go through and they could play there. It's very tactile, but they also have a pretty robust storefront.

Ingrid: [00:06:06] They sell shoes?

Orchid: [00:06:07] No. So, okay, let's pull this up. I know what you're talking about in terms of Camp shoes. I actually don't know if they're connected at all, but it's Okay. I'm pulling up their locations. Oh, my gosh. They have eight locations. They have Fifth Avenue in New York, Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Columbus Circle in New York. They have Dallas, Los Angeles, and South Norwalk. Where's that? Is that Connecticut? Yeah, that's Connecticut. Yep. And right now, they're featuring Disney's Little Mermaid collection and Camp. So they do a lot of co-branded activations, which is pretty cool. I first heard about it through an influencer, which can lead to our next question that was submitted. But an influencer. I mean, she's sort of an influencer, but Eva Chen. She's Head of Fashion over at Instagram and she has a long history in fashion publications, but now she's built this large following for herself on Instagram. She supports her husband's business, which is Tom's Perfect 10 granola. So I guess we're plugging that here. And she is a children's author, but she is very much about what life is like as a working mother in New York raising three kids. And they have this cute little lake house up in Connecticut, which was, I think, featured in Architectural Digest. So I first heard about Camp through her, and then Camp for me gained notoriety during Silicon Valley's bank run, which feels like it was a million years ago, but I think it was only a couple months ago. So their bank was Silicon Valley Bank. When they thought that they couldn't get money out of it, they decided to run a 40% off everything in-store promo with the promo code BankRun because they had opened a new account at a different bank and they needed to load it up with money. So Camp does sell its own brand co-branded items, but they also have just a lot of, they carry Legos, and they carry all kinds of toys. But I think they've done outside of the drama, I think they've done an excellent job in creating events and party spaces and then also having this very much commerce arm.

Ingrid: [00:08:27] This is brilliant and I love that. So they call themselves a family experience company, which frankly just nails the whole concept of at least I think what we're talking about and what we're both in agreement on here, which is the biggest trend, to answer the initial question, what is the biggest trend in or shift in the industry over the past few years? And I think it's this one, right? It's this blending of everything. It's like you don't just go there to buy toys but they have clothes, they have experiences, they have these huge high-profile partnerships with brands like Disney... And so I think this is such a great example of the modern marketing and branding landscape. It just this is a lifestyle company, whereas it used to be a lifestyle company would be one brand that has... Ralph Lauren, for example, was the typical lifestyle company and they would just have housewares and they would have, you know, it was just a matter of their catalog expanding to different elements of your life, which I think is great. But [00:09:32] this is the modern iteration of what that is: merging the in-store experience, using the retail, having online, having all of those things. [00:09:41] Such a great example.

Orchid: [00:09:47] At the end of the day, you need to maximize your square footage because when we talk about online shopping and the infinite shelf that is eCommerce, you can never hold enough inventory in your physical space, especially in large cities where you have even flagship stores in order to hold all that inventory or all that assortment. So you do have to reallocate that space to something else. And to your point about Ralph Lauren as an experience that actually just triggered my thought around Restoration Hardware and their restaurants.

Ingrid: [00:11:07] Yup. Their roof-top restaurants.

Orchid: [00:11:08] I saw a rumor that one of their restaurants got a Michelin star.

Ingrid: [00:11:13] Stop.

Orchid: [00:11:14] Yes, that is actually true. Is that true? So it's an article from 2018. I'll have to find something more recent. But their Yountville location, I think scored two... No, no, no. Okay, sorry. This Yountville article is about how Napa already has a couple of Michelin star restaurants and Restoration Hardware had opened up a location with a restaurant. And so the article was saying how interesting it was that they were trying to compete in this space where there was already a lot of upscale dining, but they've been getting a lot of buzz.

Ingrid: [00:11:50] They have. And I've had some really excellent meals at those Restoration Hardware restaurants. But again, it's I think what you had said about maximizing your square footage, I think ten years ago, you would have read that or a merchant may have read that as pack more shit in there.

Orchid: [00:12:13] {laughter} Absolutely. Absolutely. Yes.

Ingrid: [00:12:15] That, I think, is the shift. It's not pack more shit in there or optimize your square footage usage in terms of creative display options. No, it's actually I think [00:12:29] the new trend is the opposite where you're still using that insight of maximizing your square footage, but it is the services and the experience and the reason to go somewhere physically that is the point in maximizing your square footage, which frankly, actually means quite the opposite of pack more shit in there. It actually means really, really curate things because people are completely overwhelmed with choice anyway. [00:13:00] So please do them the favor of, you know, the difference between going into a store like, sorry, but I have to say, like Macy's, right, where there's...

Orchid: [00:13:11] Or Pottery Barn recently, where there's just so much shit everywhere. Everywhere.

Ingrid: [00:13:17] You guys get your shit together. You have a good brand, don't ruin it. But like, Macy's, for example, is just like a dumping ground of stuff, and there's just no rhyme and reason and there are probably examples of some Macy's that are not this way, but I haven't experienced one. So you have to deal with my experience. And so there's that. And then there's a different experience where you go into a store and this isn't for everyone, but like Everlane and they have 100 pieces for the season.

Orchid: [00:13:52] Or Reformation.

Ingrid: [00:13:53] Or Reformation or all of these more curated stores that I think are offering the service that we are all craving. Because the paradox of choice and decision fatigue is so real that the problem of packing so much shit into your store is actually going to do the opposite. And so we're taking that lesson, we're curating, we're having a point of view that will also sort of have your brand stand out from and define itself as what you want it to be. And then you pack in other things like the experiences, the lessons, the community centers, the activities, all of the things that just meet your target audience, the restaurants, for example. So I just want to make sure that we're being really clear on not maximizing square footage in the really old school sense. And that, I think is the actual shift.

Orchid: [00:14:50] I agree. And I think it's about when we talk about revenue per square foot, it's a little different because, to your point, it's not about the dollar amount of inventory that you're holding per square foot. You're not creating a warehouse for people to shop through unless you're an Ikea or Costco where that is very much part of the experience.

Ingrid: [00:15:17] Even IKEA does a really good job. They have the showrooms and you walk through the showrooms and you get experience and you get embedded in how they want you to live. And it's really meaningful even for a brand that isn't an expensive prestige brand, they set themselves apart. And I think Target does a really good job of this too. They set themselves apart by having curation. You know when something is available for sale at Target or at IKEA in the showroom or whatever, that they are exercising a point of view as a brand, which I think in addition to maximizing and thinking about your retail space and your online space sort of complementing each other, I think that the other trend that I would answer is just figuring out how your brand lives within a particular lifestyle and a particular target audience that may have previously been avoided intentionally in favor of going mass and getting huge scale. And I think that in general, we're starting to see even mass brands, mass CPG brands, mass product brands that are everyday items starting to create sub-lines that are more niche and more relevant to people.

Orchid: [00:16:41] Yeah, I think this idea of merchandising what's old is new again, But when we're talking about this curation of experiences and to your point about Target, Target does a wonderful job of this, especially in their home goods section with their influencer or their creator lines, whether it's Studio McGee or McGee and Co or was it Hand and Hearth?

Ingrid: [00:17:05] Yeah.

Orchid: [00:17:06] With Chip and Joanna Gaines. And every time you shop that you get almost like a mini furniture store. And I think they've done a wonderful job with their beauty as well now that they've invited Ulta into curating their beauty space. And now it allows them, especially with that brand partnership, to almost have the right to sell $60 face tonics versus the $3 ones.

Ingrid: [00:17:34] In addition to.

Orchid: [00:17:35] Right, in addition to. That's true. They're in two different spaces. So when I say maximize square footage, it's more about increasing the revenue per square footage. But doing that through experience actually leads to maybe a larger basket size, certainly a higher LTV, but you think about that rather than the pure transaction, that one time transaction itself.

Ingrid: [00:18:00] Totally.

Orchid: [00:18:00] Although I'm convinced it would be higher though [00:18:03]. I'm convinced that if you're brought into a Target and it's a pleasant experience with a Starbucks that you can get free refills on, you're going to spend more time there and increase that single transaction over going into a crowded Macy's where you can't find anything, you feel overwhelmed and then you just turn around and head out again. [00:18:23]

Ingrid: [00:18:23] Definitely. Yeah. I think it's the combination of just utilizing the space in a people-friendly manner and then also having brands and products and services that are more tailored, that don't feel one size fits all, because I think that's another big, big trend that I've observed in the industry.

Orchid: [00:18:41] Because we're all special snowflakes.

Ingrid: [00:18:47] I think we nailed that one. Orchid, what do you think?

Orchid: [00:18:49] I think so, too. I think if we go any further, we'd be beating a dead horse. {laughter}

Ingrid: [00:18:55] All right. Moving right along. So question number two is, if you can go back in time, what would you tell your younger self when first starting out?

Orchid: [00:19:05] Oh, I'll let you take this one first.

Ingrid: [00:19:08] I love this question. My advice to my younger self would be don't worry about figuring it all out exactly to how you think you need to figure it all out within the timeline and time frame that you think you need to figure it out. And this is more to like my younger, younger self, like my college-aged or just graduating college age. My job and I think we've spoken about this before, this didn't exist really, certainly not in what it is now. But even at that point, it didn't exist when I was in college. Like I couldn't go and study the way that you can now, digital marketing and all of that like. So putting the pressure on yourself to have all those answers and even thinking about that and I think this is maybe more pronounced for women I think men think about these things too, but thinking about when you want to have a career or where you want to be in your career before you get married and have children, if that's something that is on your dream list, you know, thinking about all of that, I think sometimes made it harder to make the right decision. And I think that I would go back and say, "It's going to be okay, work really hard, be really great at what you do, love what you do and everything else will fall into place." Like chill out, basically.

Orchid: [00:20:47] Younger Ingrid, you're making her out to sound very high strung. Maybe she would have been really good friends with high strung, Younger Orchid as well.

Ingrid: [00:20:56] Big time. I was so type A to an unhealthy degree.

Orchid: [00:21:02] Same. Very much same there. When I graduated college, so what was that? 2005. So same, you know, social media was very fledgling. Mark Zuckerberg and I are the same age. So, you know, I've got my eye on him. But no, I'm just kidding. So with Younger Orchid who thought she was going to be an ambassador to the UN and so took a law school job and then hated it and so had a quarter-life crisis and didn't know what I wanted to be now that I didn't want to be the thing that I thought I wanted to be, stumbled into marketing and just put this immense pressure on myself because I felt like everybody else in marketing had a head start on me because I really didn't start to really be in marketing until I was probably five years out of college. I had an assortment of other jobs.

Ingrid: [00:22:01] Same actually.

Orchid: [00:22:01] So I always felt... I had this chip on my shoulder. I thought I was always catching up and I always just had to grind it out harder than anyone else. And I will say that [00:22:10] there is a healthy balance of a strong work ethic and knowing that you can succeed at something without putting so much pressure on yourself that you burn yourself out. [00:22:22] And I've gone through that multiple times. So I think my advice to my younger self is to be patient. All things come and we all work with the adage of life is short, but I would say your career life is very long, so it's okay to take your time to figure out what exactly it is that you like. And the last thing I'll say, and TikTok inspired me to think about it this way, but maybe there is no dream job. There's a sound that's like "Dream job. I do not dream of labor." And I was like, "Oh, that's a pretty good one." But I think it's okay to not have a dream job because you define yourself as something else or define yourself in a way that is disconnected from what you do for a living. Now, I can't do that. {laughter} But I think other people can. And I think both things are valid.

Ingrid: [00:23:19] Yeah, I mean, this is similar to, and this is maybe my second piece of advice would be  [00:23:27]there are seasons of your work life in the same way that there are seasons in every other aspect of your life. [00:23:34] And so the one that is prominent right now in my mind is I have a toddler and I'm about to have a second child. And so having two young children is a very specific season in your life. And you make decisions and your lifestyle accommodates those particular things that are going on. But that doesn't mean that that's going to be your forever. And I think it's the same thing with careers. There's a season in life where you can spend your 20s or half of your 20s doing something that is different and then the other half of your 20s doing something else and the way that you fluctuate between prioritizing your work over your personal life or travel or other things that we use our most valuable commodity, which is time, I think we should just be gentler on ourselves and give ourselves permission to just have that be a season and understand that there is a start and an end date. But I would say the actual piece of advice is just have an awareness and make sure that you know which season you're in and you control those decisions and you control that time versus it controlling you.

Orchid: [00:24:53] I love it. To every season. Turn, turn, turn.

Ingrid: [00:24:57] Turn, turn, turn. All right. Next question.

Orchid: [00:25:03] Should I read the next one?

Ingrid: [00:25:04] Please.

Orchid: [00:25:04] What are we doing?

Ingrid: [00:25:05] We're on number three.

Orchid: [00:25:05] We are number three. Question number three. Do you think the age of the influencer is ending? If so, how do you think social media will change for brands?

Ingrid: [00:25:17] Good question.

Orchid: [00:25:18] I don't think the age of the influencer is ending. I just think it's evolving and changing. Meaning how we define who has influence and who is an influencer is different. It used to be, and I hear the word influencer tossed about a lot, and in recent years we've tried to be more specific about it, whether it's a creator or a micro-influencer or maybe it's a mommy blogger. And I think that what is going to happen is that at the beginning we've all agreed that influence and word of mouth is very important. And I think now that that is a broad umbrella term, I think we're going to get more specific about what aspect or what person is providing the influence and what is the intended role of their influence. Is it for brand credibility, which I think happens quite... Brand or cultural credibility, which I think happens a lot with celebrity influencers, whereas testimonials and education are still very relevant when it comes to smaller brands and everyday people, but maybe, you know, a more attractive version of everyday people or more put together version of everyday people.

Ingrid: [00:26:43] I think that I totally agree with that. And this question has been creeping up. Oh, man. In some form or fashion, I don't know for you, Orchid, but for me, people have been pronouncing the end of the age of the influencer since like 2012, like ten years ago. They were like, "Oh, influencer is so over," and it just could not be more the opposite. I actually think the fundamental component of this question of is the age of the influencer over. I think it is so intertwined with human nature to look to others who you respect and admire or want to have a component of their lifestyle that you can embed into yours as influencers will stand the test of time forever and ever. And it even goes back to, you know, I worked for six years at the Estée Lauder companies and so a lot of the really brilliant things that Estée Lauder herself had said remain in the corporate dialog every day. And one of those things that I think about all the time is she used to say, "Telephone, telegraph, tell a woman." And that was her approach to marketing.

Orchid: [00:28:11] I love that.

Ingrid: [00:28:12] Yeah. And so in a way or in an exact way, she was the original influencer. Estée Lauder. Because she would make sure that she was demonstrating a lifestyle and portraying a lifestyle before Instagram, before the iPhone, before YouTube, before all of these things that people want to emulate and people want to relate to. And I really just think that that's such a great example of how timeless the art of influencing is. But I do think that to your point, the way that we look at influencer, and it got to a point where brands just would press the easy button and they would just hire an influencer agency and they'd give them a bunch of money and they would just not understand the influencer or their audience or the other items that they were selling. And you get what you give with influencers, so like really having a point of view on who you want to represent your brand, why you've chosen those people and their audience in particular. Are you trying to gain scale? Are you trying to gain relevance? Are you trying to gain authenticity or authority over a particular category? These are things that seem on their surface to be really, really straightforward. But in reality, I think a lot of brands haven't actually taken the time to realize what they are using this incredibly powerful channel and medium for and that would be my recommendation is let's please stop like being Nostradamus and assuming that the age of the influencer is over because I fundamentally don't ever think that will happen. Humans are just not designed that way. But I do think that [00:30:00] brands do need to activate more thoughtfully and stop spraying and praying with influencers the way that they once did with buying TV. [00:30:09]

Orchid: [00:30:09] Yeah, I agree with that. And I think to your point and story about Estée Lauder, it really comes back to authenticity. And I know that that's a word we talk about so much. But I do think the age of hiring a celebrity to talk about your brand who has no connection to that brand and really has no business talking about the brand except for that they were given a big paycheck... Like those days are over. I think we saw a lot of that through Proactiv. Remember? In growing up, Proactiv had Jessica Simpson. They had all the people who were in our peer group talk about the product. And I think in Jessica Simpson's case, it was really interesting because it seemed like she did have pretty bad acne and it did get cleared up. So it wasn't like they hired a fresh-faced celebrity who never had an acne problem to talk about the product. But I think even Proactiv has seen over time that the impact of having a celebrity versus the impact of having an everyday person experiencing acne problem and being able to use a variety of those people to talk about as case studies to demonstrate the variety and the diversity in their consumers and the nuances of different skin problems has probably made them more successful than just paying a lot of money to a singular celebrity. So I do think that the age of authenticity is never over. I think it's more important than ever before because I think this generation is also savvier about what it looks like to monetize your social media presence. And they will call out an influencer or creator or gamer or whoever it is for being a corporate shill.

Ingrid: [00:31:56] 100% And I think just an additional sort of version of that response is there are still so many people that run brands and large brands who are still thinking about influencer just in terms of impressions and how many followers a particular person has.

Orchid: [00:32:21] It's potential reach, it's not even actual reach because of the algorithm. I used to have fights with the PR agency about this all the time. We're in their reporting. They would say, "Well, this was the number of impressions." I'm like, "Well, how did you even get that? Did you just add up their follower count across channels?" And they said yes. And I was like, "What are you talking about?'

Ingrid: [00:32:42] That's what they do. We also at some point someone, I have in my 15 years in the industry, I'm still completely dumbfounded as to how they get to EMV, Earned Media Value, because those just seem like the most arbitrary numbers of PR agency spins. It doesn't make any sense to me. Yes, but wait, let me have to get this point across because it's been bugging me so heavily because it actually came on the heels of the news of Beyonce's fashion brand, Ivy Park. Ask anyone, anyone walking on the street between the ages of like 25 to 55 to name the three most popular celebrities of our time.

Orchid: [00:33:29] Taylor Swift. Beyonce, who's the third?

Ingrid: [00:33:33] I mean, I'm...

Orchid: [00:33:35] Meryl Streep is iconic, but maybe not her.

Ingrid: [00:33:38] Rihanna. Yeah.

Orchid: [00:33:39] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:33:39] There are like five. There's a list of about 5 to 10 people that a huge age range, you know, 25 to 55 will name. And again, this is in the age of not having a monoculture. So you would ask this in the in the 80s or 90s and everyone just says Michael Jackson.

Orchid: [00:33:56] Jane Fonda.

Ingrid: [00:33:56] Jane Fonda too. Remind me to talk about the Jane Fonda thing. Actually, I love that you said that. But after this. So okay. Ivy Park, they sent out a press release. They're no longer going to partner. I think it was like with Adidas, the latest one was it originated with H&M. Anyway, just because you have undisputedly the biggest pop star ever, Beyonce, having a brand, having all of that does not guarantee success. And we're even talking about someone who it's her brand herself. It's not even like a corporation came in. So this delusion, and I don't say that word lightly, but it truly is a delusion that just slapping a celebrity name onto something is going to immediately make it successful has been disproven time and time and time again. Now, there are some really incredible ways that brands have partnered with celebrities, I think Vital Proteins and Jennifer Aniston is a really great example. Just the ones that make a lot of sense. Great. George Clooney and all the whatever expensive ads for watches and liquors and things like that. There's no way that that's not working. That's just my scientific observation. But there are examples where it works, but there are a huge graveyard of examples where it just fails so badly.

Orchid: [00:35:22] Yeah. And it comes back to authenticity. People can spot a corporate shill from a mile away. And the last thing I'll say about influencers is that with celebrities, if you're spending all your money on a celebrity influencer their every movement is being watched. So if they're getting canceled because of, and it's not even cancellation, it's not part of cancel culture. It's called being held accountable for things that you did then there goes your big fat check. Right? And so there is this liability, I think, of just putting all your eggs in one basket that is inauthentic and can actually just be very anti-brand safe to put the dorky spin on it.

Ingrid: [00:36:08] Problematic. Agreed. Agreed. All right. Think we probably have time for one last question.

Orchid: [00:36:13] Well, it's a request. It's not a question. It's a request.

Ingrid: [00:36:16] Oh, okay. So this isn't the question that we'll do another one, but we all want to see Ingrid's TikTok For You page that I sent over to you, Orchid. Okay. We are going to post it on the Infinite Shelf Instagram. It's _Infinite Shelf is the handle. Follow us. Comment. Please don't comment on the fact that all of my shirts are blue and white striped somehow. I don't know how that happened.

Orchid: [00:36:45] I didn't even notice that.

Ingrid: [00:36:45] Oh my gosh. I was like, What the hell? I guess that's my brand today. I like intentionally did not wear a blue and white striped. I just wore white. So really just killing it today.

Orchid: [00:36:55] I like the strong shoulders.

Ingrid: [00:36:56] Oh, thank you. It helps balance out the enormous basketball that I have in the center of my belly.

Orchid: [00:37:06] Because you're pregnant.

Ingrid: [00:37:07] Because I'm pregnant. Yes. And because Doritos. No.

Orchid: [00:37:11] Doritos are delicious. Regular or Cool Ranch?

Ingrid: [00:37:14] Oh, man, it's the question of the ages. Orchid. I don't, actually. I love both. Sometimes I really, really want Cool Ranch. And sometimes I really want nacho cheese.

Orchid: [00:37:25] Okay, how about this? Cheetos? Crunchy or Puffy?

Ingrid: [00:37:29] Oh, Puffy all day.

Orchid: [00:37:30] Really? Interesting. Okay.

Ingrid: [00:37:32] I know. I know.

Orchid: [00:37:32] I like the crunchy ones.

Ingrid: [00:37:35] I like them. But if I had to choose, I'm a puffy gal.

Orchid: [00:37:40] We should actually just do a quick fire game of favorite things and doing a head to head challenge. We should do, like, a snacking bracket or something.

Ingrid: [00:37:51] I love that. I love that. Let's save it for another episode. But I am down. Challenge accepted. Okay, so it's been super fun. We're definitely going to have to do a part two. This is a lot of fun also, Audience, please let us know if you like this format. If you have other questions, let's figure it out. Maybe we do 1 or 2 episodes this season with an AMA. Talk to you soon. Thanks so much, Orchid. You're the best.

Orchid: [00:38:16] Right back at you. Bye.

Ingrid: [00:38:17] Bye

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