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Blog - Published 12th February 2019

Are Celebrity Endorsements a Guaranteed Win?

Are celebrity endorsements the right thing for retailers?

In the already competitive fashion industry 2018 was another challenging year, making it more important than ever for brands to differentiate themselves and bring sales in.

With the astronomical rise in social media ‘influencers’ we have seen a number of brands turning to celebrities to endorse their products and connect with the consumer.


So how does this all work?

Retail hiringTo combat the decline in their clothing business, Marks & Spencer recently joined forces with Holly Willoughby in the hopes of making their womenswear seem more accessible to the public.

The launch of her clothing range was featured across numerous publications as well as her already very popular social media platforms.

Whilst M&S’ move to have Holly Willoughby be the face of their brand allowed them to rebuild their image, the company was already aware of the public’s very positive view of her, thus making the products by M&S appear more attractive and worth purchasing.

On the other hand, teaming up with a divisive celebrity may not always mean good news.

Nike’s decision to use Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the national anthem at an NFL game, as the face of a new advertisement campaign bought instant controversy for the brand.

Whilst this move did make some Nike customers enraged the decision proved to be successful overall with a reported increase in sales within a few days of the advertisement’s release.


What could go wrong?

Creating a blame free business culture and understanding riskAn easy but dangerous mistake that can be made is if a brand focuses too much on the celebrity rather than the brand itself, deflecting attention away from products and, ultimately, missing the point of the endorsement.

Celebrities could also be endorsing more than one brand at any one time. The customer’s perception of the product could be lessened due to the associated lack of exclusivity.

Additionally there are some risks that brands can exercise less control over, particularly surrounding the celebrity themselves. It can be difficult to predict when a celebrity’s reputation may become damaged, which could lead to the defacing of brands they are attached to.


Is it worth it?

The biggest questions companies have about their marketing campaigns entail what return on investment they’re getting for the money they spend.

Marketing is an essential part of businesses and can pay many times over what it costs. To make the most of your marketing spend, however, you need to know how to reliably measure its results and ensure there is synergy with your financial forecasts.

A meaningful business plan and financial forecast can produce tremendous value for a business operating in a dynamic market that facilitates growth and enables the business to pro-actively react against challenges. A thorough business model will enable structured conversations around management information and strategy by identifying crucial activities and challenges involved with implementing company initiatives.

Menzies specialist retail team works alongside a number of business that face these very issues. With our tailored, focussed and informed approach we will be able to provide you with meaningful management information for you to effectively incorporate into your strategy for the future.

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Rebecca Jones

Manager

Rebecca Jones is a Manager at Menzies in London specialising in business audit and compliance advisory services for SME businesses.