On the eve of Baselworld 2016, Luxury Society sits down with new influencer, watch aficionado and tastemaker The Gentleman Blogger, to get behind the business – and his strategy for the upcoming event.
Founded by London-based creative consultant Matthew Zorpas in June 2012, The Gentleman Blogger is a portal dedicated to men’s fashion – including accessories and watches – lifestyle, street style, and shopping secrets.
The site also highlights events, places and exhibitions in London and other parts of the world, including Baselworld 2016, which will see Zorpas report on brands’ latest offerings and connect with clients and collaborators throughout the event.
“ Zorpas has also released a self-published book & teaches Luxury Management and Communications ”
Since his arrival onto the ‘new influencers’ scene Zorpas has been recognised as the 2nd Best Dressed Man in Britain by Esquire magazine UK (2010), with GQ Taiwan also crowning him one of top five best dressed men in the world for 2013.
In addition to running The Gentleman Blogger, Zorpas has released a self-published book – London 100, A Gentleman’s Guide – and also teaches Luxury Management and Communications at respected universities in the UK such as Istituto Marangoni, and contributes to London College of Fashion, Regents College, Winchester School of Arts and PUC-rio, Brazil.
Here, he speaks exclusively with Luxury Society about his blog and his plans for Baselworld 2016, which kicks off with a media day on March 15.
“ We have more than 55,000 uniques visitors per month on the blog & more than 120,000 followers on Instagram ”
How did you start your blog and why?
I started The Gentleman Blogger in July 2012, an online lifestyle platform for the ‘succeeder’ male. It’s all about sharing my journey… a well curated stylish journey with others.
How many followers do you have, across which channels and how has this grown since inception?
We are counting more than 55,000 uniques visitors per month on the blog and more than 120,000 followers on Instagram. All platforms continue to grow rapidly every day.
Who is your key target market in terms of readership?
TheGentlemanBlogger’s target audience is the male succeeders and entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 to 44 who aspire to live a gentleman’s lifestyle. TheGentlemanBlogger readers wear tailored suits, love travelling, craftsmanship, art and fine dining.
What are your key areas of interest in line with the overall theme of your blog?
At the heart of TheGentlemanBlogger is informative and inspirational editorials on everything a knowledge-seeking gentleman requires and desires to live a rich lifestyle with attention to detail. It is our goal to make sure the reader is educated, inspired and presented with unique and original content, assisting individuals on their prolific journey.
TheGentlemanBlogger demonstrates how a modern gentleman’s life is led and guides him to visit places that he hasn’t been before, to taste something different or wear something that they never had the courage to wear.
How do you go about preparing for a huge event like Baselworld?
I travel almost every other week, yet Baselworld is another prestige international event that I anticipate to attend every year. We make sure we visit our clients and collaborators, see their new offerings and get inspired for new additional projects to come along the new year.
What attracts you to watch brands for coverage, and how can brands stand out?
Quality and design is already secured from most of our watch partners. For me personally, it’s all about the mystery, the story and the experience offered by the brand that attracts me the most.
“ I believe the watch industry has adopted the digital era at the right time ”
What are your top tips to brands wanting to generate coverage from the ‘new influencers’ such as yourself?
Be organic and allow influencers to engage with the product. Allow them to create original content than providing them with high resolution images.
The watch industry has traditionally been painted as slower adopters of the digital era and leveraging influencers and social media channels – would you agree and why do you think this is?
I would probably disagree with that. I believe the watch industry has adopted the digital era at the right time. If you consider Generation Y as the most digitally involved audience, you will be aware that they now reaching their 30s which now makes them the perfect target for their first investment in a luxury watch.
Do you accept sponsored campaigns and how do you select which watch brands you collaborate with?
We do work mostly on sponsored campaigns which on the other hand are completely 100% interpreted by myself and The Gentleman Blogger team. We filter brands according to what we can create for them and how suitable they are with our audience.
“ We have established a strong following and we now need brands to stand with us along the way, long term ”
What does the execution of a campaign typically look like?
Usually it involves a trip abroad for few days where we get to try, wear and play with the product. We spend a day or two scouting for a suitable location and then once set, we shoot an editorial story which goes up on the blog. The story is followed up by social media promotional support.
How do you measure success?
At this stage it’s about quality. We like to constantly surpass ourselves in terms of what we are creating, because we work in such a contemporary and fast-paced environment. We have established a strong following and we now need brands to stand with us along the way, not only per project but long term.
As an influencer which acts as a middleman of sorts between savvy consumers and brands, have you noticed the power shift from brands to consumers’ hands and how do you see this manifesting itself in the future?
The shift is happening and the change is more organic more ethical and more creative. Corporations will need to let go and act as facilitators of a huge conversation and no longer as broadcasters.
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