As is commonly believed, brand equity is created by elaborately connected marketing program activities. It might be true for any product, which enters the market, but the strongest brands we know exist bear secondary brand knowledge as a significant part of their equity.
What does the secondary brand knowledge constitute and how can we leverage it?
We know brands not only from their physical constituents, but mainly from the associations they create in our memories. They, in turn, can be connected with people, places, things and even other brands, whereas leveraging is a process of communicating these connections with the brand to a customer.
Popularity raises popularity
It is common knowledge that social media is all about people. We watch them, hear them, love and admire, they become popular. The same goes for brands. Most of the information we get about brands comes from social media. This is the reason why brands and people are so closely connected. With thousands, if not millions, of followers, celebrities have the ability to boost a brand’s own following and engagement.
According to the recent survey in the UK 33% of social media users follow celebrities, which makes it clear that celebrity endorsement has the potential to affect a great number of consumers. For example, the latest H&M spring campaign featuring Miranda Kerr gained 24000 likes on Facebook.
Fashion and beauty industries are the most extensive users of celebrity endorsements. People want to resemble their idols’ lifestyles, outfits, makeup, etc. and brands take advantage out of it.
L’Oréal’s “Because I’m worth it” campaign has celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011. The campaign features celebrity spokespersons on social media. “A subtle blend of sensuality, glamour and authenticity is provided by celebrities, who captivate and inspire women of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities.”
Brands increasingly allocate more of their marketing budget towards newer, more nascent channels versus traditional print, out of home and TV media.
Twitter has been the platform of choice for the Hollywood community for the past few years — 7 out of 10 of the most-followed accounts are musicians.
Bloggers have become real influencers and powerhouses on particularly fashion and lifestyle consumer markets. Brands need the bloggers as media channels and reliable intermediaries of information.
Like it or hate it
The problem with celebrity endorsements is that the views on celebrities are quite controversial and it is difficult to predict how audience would react on advertisement campaign. In any case, whether the response is positive or negative, brand and celebrity engagement has proven to be an effective way to leverage secondary brand knowledge.