A look at the television screen or social media platforms reveals celebrities of different creeds and cultures endorsing various brands, products, and services.
From the elegant Nana Ama McBrown endorsing the Hisense brand, to Lebron James endorsing Nike. Brands pay these celebrities thousands to millions of dollars to promote their brand. But why? Why is celebrity endorsement important and does it work?
Why celebrity endorsement?
Brands contract celebrities to promote their brands, product, and services either to generate buzz or boost sales with the resultant effect of increasing profit margins.
PHC Motors distributors of Land Rover in Ghana, for instance, selected Jocelyn Dumas, host of ‘The One Show” as the face of the Range Rover Evoque brand back in 2012 to drive sales and generate brand awareness.
Some critics are however skeptical about how much influence a celebrity can have on a brand. According to research indicated by Social Media Week, brand sales are likely to increase by 4% on average after an endorsement by a celebrity.
However, choosing the right celebrity to endorse your brand, products or service is paramount.
“The key for brands is choosing the right celebrity to endorse your products. While companies may seek out personalities with a particular characteristic or attractiveness, such as physical appearance, athleticism, intellectual capabilities, or overall lifestyle, the most important trait is the trustworthiness and credibility for the brand,” Social Media Week Reports.
The fundamental basis for celebrity endorsement is built on 4 building blocks which are:
• People want to see a familiar face attached to a product.
• People would give anything to be in the shoes of their favourite celebrities because their fame and success are a source of inspiration.
• People believe that the brand and products endorsed by celebrities are of good and high quality.
• New demographics are reached because some celebrities have fans that span from the early teens to people in their 60’s.
Importance of celebrity endorsement
Since people are of the view that when a celebrity endorses a brand or product, that brand or product is of high quality. It, therefore, stands to reason that the brand’s image is held in high regard. People will attach quality to the brand and increase confidence in purchasing the brand and its products or services. However, choosing the right celebrity as said earlier is key. Celebrities with positive limelight will drive up the brand’s profitability while celebrities always attached to negative publicity will drive down the brand’s profitability.
Increase brand awareness
Celebrity images have widespread appeal hence an endorsement from a celebrity broadens your appeal as well. Currently, Nana Ama McBrown’s Instagram handle alone has 3.6 million followers with Sarkodie having 3.9 million followers. Davido, a Nigerian music celebrity has 17.9 million followers on his Instagram handle alone. Kylie Jenner, an American celebrity has over 198 million followers on her Instagram handle alone. The idea here is, all of these followers have followers who also have followers hence creating a widespread marketing network for brands to exploit.
Drives up sales
With an increase in brand awareness and brand confidence comes with it, a sales boost for a brand’s product and service, holding all other factors constant. An increase in sales has the resultant effect of increasing profit and expanding the company’s operational capacity.
So do celebrity endorsement work?
Celebrity endorsement does work, once you understand your brand needs and the right celebrity that fits perfectly into the brand. Selecting the right celebrities involves analyzing a celebrity’s niche and if it fits your brand’s profile. The market appeal of the celebrity and the demographic of the celebrity’s followers and fans must also be considered.
The A1 case study
A1 bread rose to popular fame thanks to the words of John Dumelo. Although A1 bread was not endorsed by John Dumelo, a derided comment passed by the celebrity in his social media handle got people talking about A1 bread and purchasing the bread. Towards the end of 2018, A1 Bread makes a total of 60,000 bread daily. This just goes to show the power of celebrity influence.
Red Lobster case study
Beyonce in her song Formation made a shout out to Red Lobster, a restaurant chain in the United States of America. And according to CNN, for the first time on Twitter, Red Lobster scored 42,000 mentions in an hour. The company also reportedly recorded a sales boost of up to 33%.