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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Becoming a Brand

Scrolling+through+Koras+Instagram+page.

Scrolling through Kora’s Instagram page.

Social media has provided us with this ideal image: we all want to look, act, and appear as a perfect person, and we feel as though the only way we’re able to achieve this status is through the amount of likes we receive on a social media post. We, as humans, have always inherently strived for social acceptance, which now translates to the instant gratification that we receive from the outcry of immediate social acceptance via online platforms. In a sense, we enjoy the ability to convince people that we are perfect, like how we see social influencers like Kylie Jenner, Kate Hudson, and other stars who have created their social media empires.
There’s a certain social hierarchy to being recognized as a social influencer, which can be defined as someone who has a certain amount of power to convince society, through social media posts and endorsements, that they need a certain product to perform a certain action. Obviously, with their collective 120 million followers, the celebrities I mentioned above hold a lot of power as social influencers. I, in comparison, with a mere 600 followers on Instagram, would’ve never thought of myself as being considered a social influencer. However, I recently was granted the opportunity to work as an ambassador for an up-and-coming fitness brand, Kora Fitness.
Now let me start just by saying that the majority of my following base on Instagram is composed of my friends, family, and the small base of photographers who have taken notice of my photographs from my trips and vacations. Though I’ve been primarily a photography account for about two years now, I have also been on a personal fitness journey for about the same amount of time, but I’ve never posted about it. Truthfully, as mentioned in my very first fitness post, I’ve never considered myself to be a part of the online fitness community, and I’ve taken solace in the private nature of the progress I was making in my journey. But, as in the terms of my tenure as a Kora ambassador, I need to post at least twice a month promoting their brand. And thus, my private fitness journey went public.
Endorsing a brand is a very strange concept. You need to embody the values of the brand itself, not just the product—or in my case, the clothes—that the brand is selling. Kora’s mission, as stated on their website, is to “help [their] customers unlock the best versions of themselves in and out of the gym.” Additionally, a portion of the funds from each item purchased is donated to a charity or cause of the customers’ choosing. While this doesn’t ensure that people will also work on training themselves both mentally and physically, it does ensure that supporting the Kora brand is impacting the world, which attracts a certain type of customer. This is, of course, also important for the brand when choosing ambassadors, who they want to reflect the type of customer they’re trying to attract. This means that, as an ambassador, I have to consistently work on making myself a better person, both in and out of the gym, which should be reflected in every sponsored post I share on Instagram.
Becoming a part of a brand could also dramatically alter who someone is as a person. Similar to a person changing the more they hang out with a certain group of people, a person can change the more they force themselves to emulate a certain style of thought and behavior. This could potentially have a negative impact on a brand ambassador if their choice of brand is not compatible with their personal views and values, which is why I choose to represent a brand whose mission corresponds with my values. Truthfully, I couldn’t care less if I weren’t able to convince a single person to buy an article of clothing from Kora. I just hope that, in making my personal fitness journey public and in sharing Kora’s mission and their impact the on the world, I’ll be able to convince at least one person to change themselves for the better, both inside and out of the gym.