Back in the day, I got my fashion advice from my mother, my aunts and the editors of Seventeen. I went to The Methuen Mall with my girlfriends, took sewing classes at Singer during summers at the New Hampshire Seacoast and wished one night that I could go to sleep as me and wake up the next morning as Marcia Brady, the alter ego of actress Maureen McCormick, the perfectly styled IT girl of my generation. I didn't know how it was going to happen. In those days we didn't know what kind of makeup she wore. We were not privy to her perfume or shampoo of choice. Nor were we aware of the jeans she sported or the shoes she danced in. She wasn't in the news or in the tabloids. She wasn't featured in television commercials or on the pages of fashion publications, but I still knew that I wanted to be like her, I just didn't know how.
Well, that was then and this is now and today, you can be anyone you want to be and as PR professionals, we can show you how. Celebrity branding is the name of the game. Its all about the power and added value a celebrity affiliation can bring to a brand. It can take on several forms, from a celebrity appearing in an advertisement for a product, service, or charity, to a celebrity attending PR events, creating his or her own line of products or services and/or using his or her name as a brand. It is important to realize that celebrities come in all shapes and sizes and they come from all walks of life.
We tend to think of them as being singers, actors and athletes, but as the media channels have opened so has the world of experts, now coming into our homes from the worlds of fashion, finance and food. Someone who embodies brand passion and ignites the level of chatter about the product and/or brand is moving the needle in your favor. It is no surprise that the most popular forms of celebrity branded products, mostly licensed, continue to be lines for clothing, footwear and fragrances. Particularly in the fashion industry licensing has become the new buzz word and a very profitable one at that.
So, what you might ask is the entire buzz about? The buzz, the hype, and the amount of chatter a brand generates translates into heightened awareness, increased value, greater ownership of that particular business and ultimately amplified revenue. Competition is fierce, the choices are infinite and consumer loyalty is priceless. The occasion to be photographed, videoed, Instagrammed, Facebooked, tweeted and blogged about happens all day, every day. And whether the celeb likes it or not - the brands love the exposure. Social media has taken word of mouth and elevated it into a global conversation where opinions travel far and wide, fast and furiously. The power of the media has given us this business model and with that cosmic burst comes endless opportunities for increased exposure and tremendous brand cognizance.
If Maureen McCormick had only known then what Jessica Simpson knows now, she could have parlayed her spot on a hit TV show into a movie career, a skincare endorsement, launched a line of hair and beauty products and designed fragrances, shoes, and handbags for women. And although I may not have had a chance to have actually been her, I could have had all the tools in the toolbox to give it a glamorous try!