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GRIN’s First-Ever AUTHENTIC Conference Inspires Innovation, Authenticity in the Creator Economy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Long before the AUTHENTIC conference of this year, Brandon Brown studied two types of influencer marketing brands before launching GRIN in 2017. The first treated content creators like advertisements, giving way to disingenuous product endorsements and causing consumers to lose trust. The second focused on building genuine relationships with influencers and treating them like true partners rather than mere transactions.

Through the latter—and infinitely more successful—approach, Brown and co-founder Brian Mechem developed a product from a framework they called “authentic influencer marketing.”

“We knew you actually can’t buy belief no matter how much you pay someone. You can only inspire belief. And the way you inspire belief is by building a real relationship between the creator and brand.”

-Brandon Brown, GRIN co-founder

GRIN fully displayed its original framework and continued ethos on August 25 as the company hosted its first-ever conference AUTHENTIC: Marketing in the Creator Economy. The event attracted hundreds of attendees from every corner of the creator economy and featured speakers from some of today’s most successful brands that use GRIN to usher in a new era of influencer marketing. 

Brandon Brown and Jens Grede at AUTHENTIC virtual conference

AUTHENTIC conference innovation

“This is the first event of its kind,” Brown said during his keynote address. “We’ve got the world’s brightest minds in marketing who understand the creator economy and are building high-growth brands, and we’ve brought them into one place. And now we’re going to discuss what winning in the creator economy actually looks like.”

To “win” in the creator economy, Brown said brands must ride the third wave of the modern digital landscape. 

The first wave broke with the rise of social media. The second wave came as brands discovered influencer marketing and learned to wield its power to drive purchase decisions and brand sentiment.    

Now, the third wave has arrived in creator management—a strategy incorporating a broad spectrum of creators, from brand ambassadors and celebrities to your neighbor down the street. 

“At the end of the day, they are all just people who are creating content on social. And so when you think about it this way, it’s very obvious that all of these disciplines are collapsing into one definition. Anyone who creates content on social media is a ‘creator.’”

-Brandon Brown, GRIN co-founder

GRIN’s leading Creator Management platform enables brands to run their entire influencer marketing program with creators seamlessly from end to end, empowering them to become household names on the back of authentic creative relationships.  

“With that in mind, we created AUTHENTIC because we’ve seen firsthand how much brands in the GRIN community love to learn from each other. We’ve also realized that there is a lack of shared space for brands to come together and share insights and remain at the cutting edge of the creator economy.” 

Ali Fazal, GRIN VP of Marketing

Thought leaders from some of today’s most innovative companies, like SKIMS, CUTS Clothing, and Allbirds, joined GRIN team members for sessions on the halo effect of influencer marketing, the right creator mix, the science behind social proof, and others meant to inspire brands to harness the full power of the creator economy.  

“Building a brand is only possible with the support of your community,” SKIMS CEO Jens Grede said. “And we’re doing that by a really deep, meaningful engagement with a very large community. And that’s, of course, where GRIN comes into our lives.”

In the near future, Brown expects every consumer brand to implement a Creator Management platform in the same way every B2B company uses a CRM. Through that platform, Brown said those organizations would be able to build authentic relationships with every creator they interact with, resulting in more love, sales, and, ultimately, a stronger brand. 

“But authenticity is the key. Authenticity is everything.”

-Brandon Brown, GRIN co-founder

About GRIN

GRIN is the pioneer behind the world’s first Creator Management platform built to support every brand’s journey to connecting with consumers through authentic creator relationships. Thousands of the world’s fastest-growing brands—including SKIMS, Warby Parker, Allbirds, Mejuri, and MVMT—use GRIN to make creators feel like trusted, empowered partners and work with them to build their brands into household names.

Visit for additional resources and more information on the world’s leading Creator Management platform.


AUTHENTIC: Marketing in the Creator Economy was the first-ever conference hosted by GRIN. The event welcomed thousands of virtual attendees and featured speakers from some of today’s leading brands that use GRIN to disrupt the digital landscape and welcome a new era of influencer marketing. 
Check out the AUTHENTIC: Marketing in the Creator Economy homepage for more info on the event.

© Grin Technologies Inc. 2024. All rights reserved.

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