May 03, 2019 - 08:55 AM
Image credit: Marketing 91 (https://www.marketing91.com/celebrity-endorsement/ )
Celebrity endorsements definitely still have a place in the modern marketing world. But to impress modern consumers who’ve been inundated with this kind of marketing for years, it takes some finesse to get it right.
The logic behind endorsements is pretty clear: if we want to live or look like a celebrity we admire, we should buy the things they have. Seeing a famous person endorse a product suggests that buying it will take us one step closer to their fabulous lifestyle.
These marketing tactics also hinge on familiarity. We’re hardwired to respond positively to faces we recognize, but our brains don’t really care whether we recognize those faces from our personal lives or from the media. So when we see a celebrity with a product, this brings the product into the realm of the familiar and trustworthy. From there, it’s much easier to make a purchase.
But, of course, that marketing logic is too simple to work well all of the time. Today’s consumers, particularly the younger ones, are skeptics. Recognizing that a celebrity is endorsing a product simply because they’re getting paid to do so takes some of the shine off this marketing tactic.
Interestingly, among those skeptics, endorsements do still hold weight - just not those that come from celebrities. A survey of 14,000 U.S. shoppers discovered that 30 percent of them respond better to non-celebrity endorsements than to celebrity endorsements. For those consumers, a non-famous blogger or influencer seems like a more trustworthy source of knowledge.
This discovery doesn’t mean celebrity endorsements are no longer relevant. But it does mean that in order to get consumers’ attention, those endorsements must come across as genuine, like non-celebrity endorsements would.
So, for example, a celebrity whose style suits your products might make for a good endorsement candidate. But if the endorsement came from a celebrity who wasn’t known for their good fashion sense, or from one whose style was wildly different from the apparel you offer, it probably wouldn’t work so well.
You’ll also need to make sure the endorsement appeals to your target audience. If the celebrity’s following overlaps well with your target audience, perfect. But if your target audience doesn’t recognize the person in the endorsement (or see them as trustworthy), your money will be wasted.
As far as increasing prices goes, it’s a risky move, since it sounds like you already have a loyal base of customers at your current prices. Are you confident that they’ll be willing to pay more for what you have?
Price increases aren’t all bad - a higher price can suggest that a product is more valuable or worthwhile than its cheaper competitors. But an increase will also drive some customers away, especially if it doesn’t come with a measurably higher value. If you’re going to raise prices, give people a reason to keep paying them (like higher-quality materials). Or, you could consider marketing to a new, more affluent target market at the higher prices.
But since a price increase is sure to lose you some customers no matter what, it’s probably best avoided. Instead, choose a celebrity whose endorsement will resonate with your target audience, so you can get the increased sales you need. Or consider starting small with non-celebrity endorsements from reviewers, bloggers, and influencers first - those might have more sway among your target customers anyway.
May 21, 2019 - 12:33 PM
Yes, celebrity endorsements still work. In one of our recent case studies a simple A/B test revealed the power of celebrity endorsements: 60% more sales (at 97% statistical significance. The industry norm is 95%+).
For this test we added two “celebrity” endorsements. But don’t let the word “celebrity” scare you! A “celebrity” can be anyone who is respected in your market. In our case it was a retired NFL player (that few would recognize as he played in the 90’s) and Ms. Senior America. Both had experienced severe leg/knee/back pain and the insoles helped.
Now this was not a clean test because the control did not have images of people's faces i.e. pictures of people who were not celebrities but it is still valid because we tacked on the two celebrity endorsements to the page (the three initial testimonials remained).
In this case each of the celebrities had used the product, got pain relief and and were not paid to endorse so it was likely even more effective.
But popular author Robert Cialdini also affirms the celebrity effect in his latest book "Pre-Suasion". For major celebrities like Tiger Woods, Brad Pitt and Bob Dylan it didn't matter whether the product had any connection to them.
Simply showing the product together with the celebrity led to better recognition and recall (the two standard measures in the advertising industry). Bob Dylan had an effect on Victoria's Secret despite the tenuous connection!