7 Smart Celebrity Branding Tricks Your Business Should Be Using
Be honest: do you judge celebrities? Of course you do.
You had an opinion on Miley's scandalous VMA performance (what the?!) and Kim and Kanye's Vogue cover (ugh). Or if you're like many of us, perhaps you simply wonder how in the world the Kardashians became (and remain) famous at all.
Welcome to Hollywood.
Bottom line? It's all about branding.For better (or worse…) celebrities (and their publicists, manager, assistants, stylists and that guy they tweet about who works at the gas station) have the ability to draw people in by being just 'regular' enough to make those not on the A-List believe that they know them. It's easy to write off one (or all) of the Kardashians as mindless. It's also easy to turn to Taylor Swift only during awkward relationship moments.
Not so fast —the tabloid fodder that Kate (Bosworth or Beckinsale… or Hudson or Middleton… Winslet or that other one…) channels in to photo ops, you can channel in to your business. Let's get started. Here are a few tips to building your brand (& fans) with sound nuggets of wisdom from your new celebrity friends (and their assistants.)
1. Make yourself unique.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis may have been reluctant when it came to publicity, but there is no denying that the former First Lady's name remains synonymous with elegance. The same goes for Coco Chanel and the classic flap handbag.
As a company/brand, not only do you need a clear vision of what you stand for, you need to stay true to that and those values. By being clear and carving out your niche, your customers and fans become more likely to feel as sense of ownership toward your brand.
2. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week.
Branding is a 24/7 job. When you go out, you may be photographed (especially if you have your publicist tip off the paps.) Okay, while that's not the exact scenario for the average business owner, the message is this: you never know who's watching.
All press is good press? Not true. Lindsey Lohan may be in the tabloids, but notice she's not making movies and she's not in the position to be the face of much beyond a luxury rehab facility. Roger Federer on the other hand, has lived a scandal-free life (so far?) that's boosted his worth beyond pro-Tennis star —he's also the face of Rolex.
3. Be Transparent.
Public awareness has increased over the last few decades and customers genuinely want to know where their product comes from. Likewise, they want to know the people behind the service.
Know what you stand for and own it.
4. Be public.
While most small businesses will not be taking part in global campaigns, being a part of your community is key. Whether it's taking advantage of a public speaking gig or taking part in a local project, increasing your visibility helps you reach markets you may never have been able to crack otherwise.
5. Be social.
We've all been baffled by certain celebutants and their mass, cult-like following on social media. Although the majority of SMBs will not see millions (or hundreds of thousands…) of followers, social media is an important branding component.
Social media is about interaction and creating a fan base for the products and services you offer. It humanizes your brand in ways that were not possible 10 years ago.
Love them or hate them, celebs are masters of creating personal moments on social media. Creating a moment that has an authentic feel is why it's successful.
6. It takes a village.
Celebrities have handlers, publicists, stylists, agents and a handful of assistants to ensure their day-to-day runs smoothly. While most SMBs don't have the funds or resources to copy this exact model, the idea can be achieved in unconventional ways.
Such as? Make your customers a part of your team if possible. Invite them to use Instagram, Twitter or FaceBook to send you photos of themselves using your products. Engage with them on these networks. Like their photos, even if it may be unrelated to you or your industry.
Although your claim to fame is unlikely to come from a reality show or inviting your fans to join you on a private jet tour, business owners would be smart to take a few short pages from celebrity 101… Remember, you and your employees are your best brand/business advocates.