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Thoughts on Celebrities Selling
By: Janet Kalandranis
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So here’s the thing. Celebrities definitely sell. It’s a known fact, but is it the right strategy? Does it build a strong brand? What happens if the celebrity leaves? Going back to branding 101, there are definitely many case studies that showcase using a celebrity endorser to build a brand; celebrities already have followers and attaching a brand name to their likeness seems like an easy “yes.” This is not merely a strategy of the past, but something that is still used today, with brands latching onto endorsements to create not only sales, but awareness and customer engagement. Because, as stated earlier, celebrities definitely sell. However, don’t go running to the nearest movie set, because maybe celebrity endorsements aren’t perfect for every brand, as they do come with risks. Let’s talk more.

Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher are currently brand selling, and with good reason. These two are positive brand names and successful; when they talk, people listen. The two are backing a new brand called The Hunt and it seems like a pretty solid idea. Based off the current trend of social searching, i.e. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr, people are able to find where/how to purchase products they find while in these social tools. Love the idea. Maybe it will be even more loved more quickly with these two giving their support and endorsement.

But is this strategy too much? Maybe customers are smarter than they were five years ago (that’s probably a yes) and celebrities endorsing products doesn’t carry enough weight. But the practice is still happening and brands are hoping to find a quicker way to increase brand excitement. And if a brand is newer or a business is a start-up, maybe celebrity endorsement is a little extra push in the right direction that any company would love. It’s a channel to get a specific message to a target audience that is listening. Because when celebrities talk, many times fans are listening. Intently.

However, leaning on this strategy as a ticket to long-term brand success is probably not a good idea. Celebrities change; they make mistakes, and any brand should be able to stand on its own without the support of a famous face. Use this celebrity endorsement as an extra benefit, like a front-row ticket. Something that is a benefit to the brand, but isn’t the entire reason the brand has success.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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