By Rachel Brown

MAC’s upcoming collaboration with Patrick Starrr is the latest piece of evidence that big beauty influencers are now indistinguishable from traditional celebrities. They command mega bucks, sign contracts obligating them to specific content, are orbited by handlers they have to support, and don’t build their businesses paying attention to small companies with tiny marketing budgets. Grappling with the phenomenon of influencer fame, emerging beauty brands have pivoted to microinfluencers with sub-100,000 followings not exacting primo payments. The firm Gatsby is advancing the microinfluencer movement by identifying microinfluencers from within brands’ customer bases. “Why not have real customers be your influencers?” asks Brett Bernstein, CEO and founder of Gatsby. He talked to Beauty Independent about the process of pinpointing shoppers with social media megaphones, the advantage of customers-cum-microinfluencers, and a few stumbling blocks.

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