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Study focuses on what effectively drives celebrity endorsements

We stressed in a recent blog entry the high stakes involved for any business that seeks to put a celebrity under contract to promote sales of a company product or service. We noted in our April 16 post that decision makers obviously need to “get it right” when they turn to high-profile endorsers to make a pitch for their business.

That begs this question, of course: What makes it right? More specifically, what should company executives be looking for in an individual they hope can help ratchet up sales through affiliation with their brand?

Answering that question with high confidence and before making a marketing commitment is vitally important. Celebrities don’t come cheaply. And the wrong call could harbor a stark downside for decision makers who put the wrong face and personality on display next to the company logo.

“It can be risky for a sponsor to be associated with celebrities,” states a recent article highlighting a study that assesses what perceived traits in a well-known figure will best drive brand success. Business managers might reasonably want to closely peruse that research before they put an endorsement contract and pen in front of any individual.

Pointedly, they might ask themselves whether they trust a given celebrity. Reportedly, that is what most consumers do. The above-cited university-linked study (applicable to the airline industry, but capable of being extrapolated to other business realms) stresses that trustworthiness is more important than anything else when it comes to jump-starting a brand’s credibility and sales.

And then there’s this, which a celebrity either innately possesses or doesn’t: good looks, which apparently drive sales when tied to a particular good or service

Of course, all kinds of endorsers ultimately have some success promoting company brands. Notwithstanding that, though, at least some empirical research now shows that a good celebrity-search starting point for marketing executives might simply focus narrowly on two factors, which can be addressed in a succinct query.

That is this: What attractive and seemingly honest celebrity can we sign up at a reasonable price to endorse our brand?

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