The transition of endorsing something to wanting to own that thing is a natural behavior: It is the outcome of the realization about the impact one creates when endorsing a product or service and over a period of time one believes that why not create his/her own.
Although, few key aspects one has to be aware in this movement from being an endorser to becoming an owner of a business are:
1. The financial structuring cannot be the same as endorsement- that is there is either monetary investment (real money) to be put in or the investment comes in the form of the talent’s time.
2. The responsibility of the product lies with the owners so that much more effort, time, focus can be given to the product. More so, if the product is in the edible / cosmetic space.
3. The distribution, logistics etc. must rest with the product owner/domain experts.
4. Consumer- the key. Expectations are high. Feedback is Direct. Reactions are Extreme. Therefore, attention to details need to be very high,
5. And the Most important part for any successful business - Team. To Own a brand, one has got to be part of a team.
This evolution happens, only when the above understandings are incorporated in the business plan of the Brand ‘owned’ by an artist. If the correct, appropriate measures are implemented at the base level, there is no reason why a robust business model cannot be constructed around an artist. Of course the financial ‘play’ comes into play only if the brand that we are talking about has a story that resonates with the attributes of the artist coupled with the need gap in that particular segment supported by a long term vision along with the commitment of a solid team that understands the meaning of building something together.
Vanity. Perception. Oneupmanship.
Words if you hear or even sense in the process of building a brand - Run. That’s the beginning of the end. No brand can be built successfully to cater to any artist’ whims and fancies.
There is no doubt on the influence celebrities have in our country - that’s the major reason why so many brands, use the talent to endorse their products and arguably every sector, segment has been endorsed by some celebrity or the other. But having said that while all campaigns are not impactful, some just get firmly ensconced in the psyche of the consumers. That’s because, I firmly believe, every celebrity has their unique selling point which cuts ice with consumers in certain cases and falls flat when not harnessed right.
This artist USP is what’s needed to be honed and researched and a story needs to be created around it. The essence of any celebrity brand is this USP- the core of the artist’s persona. When one embarks on building a brand this analysis is very important to understand if the path taken is logical or not. Analyze the brand campaigns, categories, territories where the artist’s endorsement was a success or failure - this data is available and more so, the artists and the team definitely is aware of the same. Use this information to write the story of the artist’s brand- the “brand story” not to be confused with the B plan.
Celebrity brand is a business model that has been established in our country. Suddenly there is a barrage of such brands- in various categories- all with varied structures and models. Although there is no right or wrong model, it’s all about the needs, the understandings, the wants, the vision the celebrities and their respective business partners have with each other.
Although, success of a brand can be gauged in several ways- Longevity for me is a must - a brand has to be in existence for years - it’s a legacy. Financial growth every year has to be consistent. Success is also when a brand built around the attributes of a celebrity has other known faces endorsing it as a commercial arrangement!
As we enter 2019, one will see new trends, newer models, innovative structures being applied implemented in this space. There will be few hits and misses, there will be wastage of opportunities - over time this will become one of the pillars of a celebrity’s career plan.
The article has been penned down by Afsar Zaidi, CEO & Co-founder, HRX