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Can Influencers Ever Really Rebrand?

There have been so many rebrands recently … let’s talk

Jojo Siwa, Sparking a Discussion

One week ago, JoJo Siwa issued a content warning on Instagram.

“The following content is not made for children and may be disturbing or offensive to some viewers,” states the text of the post. “May contain sexual themes, violence, strong language, traumatic scenarios and flashing lights.”

What followed was a series of 30 posts (and counting) promoting JoJo’s latest single, ‘KARMA,’ her first step into more mature music. The lyrics, which portray JoJo as a “bad girl” who has “done bad things,” represent a significant departure from her cookie-cutter character, which was once replete with glittery bows and rainbow merchandise.

While internet users have been begging JoJo to move beyond her “giant toddler” era, this new, more adult persona is not exactly what they had in mind. Since she started teasing ‘KARMA,’ the 20-year-old’s comment sections have been flooded with hate, with many users calling it all “far too much.”


Every child star, whether creator or mainstream superstar, will have to grow up. This much is apparent. However, seeing our favorite celebs rebrand can be painful—Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Selena Gomez have all demonstrated this.

Celebrities, on the other hand, do not have the same constraints as mainstream celebrities. Many lack standard management structures, teams, and thorough marketing plans to direct their actions. Influencers have the freedom to build their own way forward, which can be advantageous. However, a lack of guidance can leave creators floundering, failing to achieve a cohesive rebrand.

The Sudden Change in Consistency with Influencing

Siwa’s case exemplifies this dilemma. Having cultivated a brand reminiscent of classic Disney stars while simultaneously fostering an intimate connection with her followers through vlogs and social media engagement, she occupies a hybrid space between creator and traditional celebrity. However, her foray into a more adult-oriented image with ‘KARMA’ has underscored the complexities of navigating a successful rebrand in the influencer sphere.

The landscape of rebranding in the digital age is further complicated by the expectations and perceptions of audiences, particularly the younger demographic that dominates social media platforms. While traditional celebrities often undergo dramatic transformations in anticipation of new projects, influencers are subject to a different set of standards. Their online personas are deeply intertwined with their authenticity and relatability, making abrupt shifts in image more challenging to execute seamlessly.

This nuanced dynamic is exemplified by the experiences of influencers like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae. D’Amelio’s transition from TikTok sensation to mainstream media figure with her family’s reality show, ‘The D’Amelio Show,’ initially seemed poised for success but faced criticism and backlash from some corners of the internet. Similarly, Rae’s venture into acting with her film debut in ‘He’s All That’ was met with skepticism and accusations of opportunism rather than genuine artistic pursuit.

However, both D’Amelio and Rae have demonstrated resilience and adaptability in their rebranding efforts. D’Amelio’s return to TikTok dancing after a hiatus and Rae’s pivot to a “niche hyperpop artist” with the release of her EP ‘AR’ are indicative of their ability to navigate the complexities of influencer rebranding. By maintaining a sense of authenticity and engaging with their audience in meaningful ways, they have been able to carve out new identities while staying true to their roots. A deep dive into the downfall of the damelios, marketing mistakes they made and why I think this is the end of their era. #damelios #charliedamelio #dixiedamelio #downfall #brand #failure #marketing #marketingmistakes #longvideo #rant ♬ original sound – Bee better

Yet, the path to successful rebranding for influencers is not without its challenges. The ever-discerning Gen Z audience, attuned to the nuances of branding and marketing, demands authenticity and transparency from their favorite creators. Abrupt or inauthentic attempts at rebranding are often met with skepticism and pushback, highlighting the delicate balance influencers must strike between evolution and authenticity.

In conclusion, while influencers certainly have the potential to evolve and reinvent themselves, the landscape of rebranding in the digital age is fraught with complexities and challenges. Navigating this terrain requires a nuanced understanding of audience expectations, a commitment to authenticity, and a willingness to adapt to changing trends and preferences. As the influencer industry continues to mature and evolve, the ability to execute successful rebranding efforts will remain a critical aspect of sustaining relevance and engagement in an ever-changing landscape.

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