Analyzing Emma Chamberlain’s successful rebrand

The YouTube star’s following has grown with her


Courtesy of Business Insider

Emma Chamberlain has gained fame from her YouTube channel.

Virginia Noone, Photography Editor

Emma Chamberlain started her YouTube channel after suffering from what she describes as an intense depressive episode during her sophomore year of high school in which she felt like she had no hobbies outside of her rigorous school routine. Her channel and brand capitalized on her quirkiness and relatability as a teenage girl but now has grown to become much more.

Her first videos, posted five years ago, capture her taking her driver’s test, shopping at Target and drinking coffee. In this sense, the essence of her minimalistic videos has not changed despite now having been launched into stardom and growing her subscriber count to 11.8 million people and with an expansion into podcasting.

She now runs her own coffee company, Chamberlain Coffee, interviews celebrities at the Met Gala for Vogue and is an ambassador for Louis Vuitton — an evolution that she admits she could have never predicted.

Chamberlain has managed to pull off what countless other internet personalities have failed to do — she transformed her brand from being an influencer to becoming a legitimate celebrity.

A large part of this successful rebrand stems from her strategic avoidance of petty internet drama, her natural ability to be relatable and from pioneering the social media game. Her Instagram following stands at 16.1 million, yet the vast majority of her posts consist of pictures she took from her iPhone — random photo-dumps and selfies of herself cuddled with her cats, make-up free. She displays her humanity in an authentic way that most celebrities cannot.

She openly struggles with anxiety, depression and burnout. She’s addicted to iced coffee, TikTok, and taking pictures of random objects. She is the epitome of our generation.

“I forgot how fucking bad panic attacks are,” Chamberlain tells the camera as she lies in her bed during her video “it will be ok”. Some of her other videos include “u totally caught me making soup” and “GROCERY SHOPPING CURES BOREDOM”.

She has opened up her life so millions of people can watch her simply exist. This is revolutionary in itself. Chamberlain is so incredibly normal yet likable; watching her videos is equivalent to the experience of eating comfort food.

Chamberlain has recognized this fact and capitalized on it by continuing to produce content in vlogs and podcasts where she maintains her normalcy even though she no longer leads a normal life. She’s weird, but she is weird in an endearing way.

By balancing silly jokes with actual intellectual, thought-provoking concepts — she keeps her audience engaged without taking herself or life too seriously. She’s evolved from childish shopping hauls to hour-long podcasts breaching topics like spirituality, cultural shifts and identity. This growth has helped prevent her audience from aging out of her content.

Another facet of her success has come from her pushing the envelope with her personal style. When her career began, she wore LuluLemon yoga pants, UGG boots and scrunchies. Over the course of her videos, we see her lean into fashion more and curate her own style. She experiments with trends and relies heavily on thrifting unique pieces.

She’s become a fashion icon and this has not gone unnoticed by high fashion brands. Fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar have featured her in many videos and covers. Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Levi’s are among the numerous brands that have named Chamberlain an ambassador.

One brief scroll through her Instagram will demonstrate how far Chamberlain has come in the fashion world. She consistently manages to be the first to fashion trends while still dressing classically. She talks about her “uniform” being a plain tank, blue jeans and loafers. Yet, she is at the forefront of the fashion world.

Chamberlain’s strategic business moves, combined with her personality, have launched the 21-year-old into the spotlight. As her brands and following continue to grow, expect to see Chamberlain more frequently.