The Power of the Celebrity Brand Ambassador
Brand ambassador / noun /: someone who embodies the brand he or she is endorsing. They represent the corporate identity in appearance, demeanour, values and ethics.
Celebrities are powerful in their own right. They have the ability to influence thousands, even millions of people. Katy Perry – the most popular person on Twitter – has 71.5 million followers, more than the entire UK population. Recently signed by H&M for the #happyandmerry holiday campaign, she is modelling in video and print adverts, and has produced a soundtrack. A tweet from the star announcing this generated over 2,600 retweets and 5,800 likes in the space of seven hours – incredible brand exposure.
H&M is no stranger to working with celebrities. When Miranda Kerr announced her involvement with the brand in 2014, the 3,000 favourites generated made it the most engaging tweet of the year for H&M (although Katy Perry has by far surpassed this). For H&M’s teen market, seeing their favourite celebrity head-to-toe in H&M is often influence enough to convince them to head to their nearest H&M store for a shopping spree.
TAG Heuer also favours using celebrity ambassadors. Leonardo DiCaprio and Maria Sharapova have both been faces of the brand; and Cara Delevingne was signed in order to tap into the younger market. With her 4 million followers on Twitter and 22 million on Instagram, TAG Heuer has gotten access to their desired market; with a pool of new potential customers.
A new generation of celebrity is playing a huge part in the world of brand ambassadors: the blogger. Bloggers can be hugely influential, as they’re seen as a trustworthy source; and brands have taken note. For instance, Pretty Ballerinas have collaborated with Bip Ling, and Susie Bubble has modelled for Monki. All that’s needed is a balance between raising brand awareness, without sounding promotional and false.
This influence can be used to raise awareness for good causes. Mental health charity Mind signed vlogger Zoella as brand ambassador. Having shared her battles with anxiety and panic attacks to her 9.5 million subscribers, she is raising further awareness and encouraging others to speak out with #DontPanicButton.
Nevertheless, brands should be wary of signing a celebrity just because they have a large number of followers on Twitter. Whilst a chosen celebrity could influence millions, if their fans aren’t interested in the brand; or it’s clear that the celebrity wouldn’t use the brand if it weren’t for the fact they were being paid, it’s never going to be a success.
Ultimately, the best brand ambassador is someone who truly embodies the brand; and talks about it positively in a believable way. Fame shouldn’t be a prerequisite: the ambassador needs to be an influencer amongst his or her circles.
Our sister company Little Black Dress has signed Alesha Dixon as brand ambassador. Passionate about charity, she is the perfect fit, and is even creating a capsule collection for 2016. You can read more about this exciting partnership here.