Lauren Alaina Partners With Maurices To Honor Hometown Heroes
By Cheryl Robinson
Long gone are the days when it would be enough for an actor or singer to wow audiences on just a screen or stage. Now, it’s about their influencer status, what they stand for, what charities they support and what brands they engage with daily. Influencer marketing has made it possible for companies of all sizes and status to expand brand awareness and partner with an established or up-and-coming celebrity. As a result, the influencer marketing industry is forecasted to reach $24.1 billion by 2025. Also, it is predicted that 72.5% of marketers will leverage influencer marketing this year for either paid or unpaid campaigns. As brands, old and new, look to scale, marketing is critical to their growth. On average, aligning with the right influencer can produce an ROI of $5.78 for $1 spent.
Lauren Alaina, a multi-platinum-selling singer and songwriter, utilizes her likeness to encourage authenticity and be a voice for women. She competed in American Idol’s tenth season and finished as the runner-up, which quickly launched her into the spotlight. Over a decade later, she earned three number-one hit singles, including What Ifs reaching six-time platinum. In addition, she’s received multiple award nominations, taking home the 2017 ACM New Female Vocalist of the Year and CMT award Breakthrough Video of the Year for Road Less Traveled. Additionally, she recently partnered with women’s retailer Maurices to become its first-ever brand ambassador while launching the campaign, Hometown Heroes, to honor educators, healthcare workers, first responders and military members.
“Maurices is all about empowering women,” Alaina states. “It’s two brands with the same exact mission. I just wrapped up my first tour after the [pandemic] craziness. It was called the Top of the World Tour presented by Maurices, and we picked women in different markets to highlight their call to Hometown Heroes. So I got to use my concerts and their brand to give women a shopping spree and bring them to the show. Talk about rewarding. First of all, I got to get back on stage, and I got to share their stories on stage; I got to just make that moment in the show about them.”
Growing up, Alaina’s father played the guitar. She started singing with him at local restaurants and her church. At the age of 15, she auditioned for American Idol. Although she came in second, she still signed to Interscope Records, Mercury Nashville and 19 Recordings. She began performing on talk shows and opening for major country artists.
In five years, Alaina recorded and released three albums. However, it wasn’t until 2017 that one of her singles, Road Less Traveled, reached number one on the billboards. At the beginning of her career, though she claims she just started feeling like a professional singer a couple of years ago, she struggled with bulimia. What seemed like it happened overnight, Alaina was quickly thrown into the spotlight with not being equipped with the right mindset to manage the daily pressures of fame. Once she hit rock bottom, she knew something had to change if she wanted to continue in the industry.
“I got new management,” she smiles. “I had vocal cord surgery. I say this a lot about American Idol; it gives you instant fame, but it does not give you instant success. Success is earned. I had to pay my dues. I had to go to Nashville and figure it out. It took me about five or six years of being in Nashville before I finally connected, but that was me. Working for free. That was me. Perfecting my craft, figuring out who I was as an artist, and becoming a healthier person in my actual life so I can show up in my career. I got treatment for my eating disorder. I started going to therapy. I got a whole new life really… I actually wrote Road Less Traveled about not caring what people have to say about me. It laid the pathway for everything else, and it made my brand all about empowering women and being a voice for women addressing these hard topics. No one’s exempt from feeling bad about themselves every once in a while, but we’ve got to be kinder to ourselves.”
As Alaina advanced as an artist, she added the role of actress to her resume. Additionally, she competed on Dancing with the Stars. She also started her influencer marketing journey in 2020 with Flight by Yuengling and then partnered with Maurices.
“At the end of the day,” commented David Kornberg, president and CEO of Maurices, “we always want to bring new customers into the brand. Lauren embodies Maurices in many ways and personifies that. She’s a strong, young, ambitious and successful woman. There was a natural synergy between her and us.”
As Alaina continues to evolve in her career, she focuses on the following essential steps:
- Be aligned with yourself. Know what you stand for and the value you bring to the table. Believing in yourself is critical to your success.
- Surround yourself with people who fully support you and want what’s best for you. The people in your inner circle have significant influence over your decisions. Choose wisely.
- Take a break if you need to. It’s ok to pause and regroup. You’ll go further in your journey if you’re operating at one hundred percent.
“I don’t have a usual body type for a celebrity,” Alaina concludes. “I have a very normal-looking body, and it’s curvy. And it is Southern. And it is sassy. And I love everything about it… So I just want to be a voice. And I want to say if you are skinny, or if you are curvy, or whatever you are, you’re perfect. So by addressing my own insecurities, I’m addressing other people’s. So it’s been fun for me to learn to love myself and share that.”
Photo Source: Getty Images for Capital Concerts