For decades celebrities have launched their own companies, some of which continue to thrive today, while others have failed and even gone out of business. From beauty and skincare to the food and beverage industry, celebrity and influencer brands have saturated the market.

Although celebrity brands can get a headstart with a famous face for their image and expansive access to resources, simply having a celebrity founder and owner is not enough to keep brands alive and growing. Similar to other non-celebrity brands, a lot of strategy and work needs to go into the brand.

Analyzing the success of celebrity brands is even applicable to non-celebrity brands to learn from as case study examples. Here are a few aspects that most successful celebrity brands have in common:

A Strong Brand Identity

For any brand to stand out in today’s digital landscape, it's essential for the brand to have a strong identity–the same goes for a celebrity brand. A strong brand identity for celebrities is authentic to the celebrity's image and has a brand voice that speaks to the celebrity’s fans but can also appeal to the company’s overall target audience (Sheff, n.d.).

The branding should also be consistent across all social media platforms, websites, and physical media, including visuals and copy that encapsulates the essence and purpose behind the brand. If all branding elements such as logos were removed, a successful brand and product would still be recognizable (Sheff, n.d.).

A strong brand identity will also help to build trust, especially as a celebrity brand. Many consumers can be hesitant about celebrity brands and may even avoid them altogether, but creating a strong identity can build a relationship with customers and prove that there is more to the brand than a celebrity endorsement (Sheff, n.d.).

One example of an influencer brand that showcases both examples is Emma Chamberlain’s Chamberlain Coffee. In its initial release, the branding lacked creativity and a real identity, which started the brand out on a low note even though the coffee was good quality.

In September 2020, Chamberlain Coffee rebranded using bright colors and graphics and released creative names for the coffee blends such as “Careless Cat” and “Social Dog.” Since then, the brand has grown in popularity and revenue and even expanded its product selection to include relatable items such as mason jars, a milk frother, reusable straws, tote bags, and single-serving coffee bags that steep similarly to tea bags (Fairfield, 2023).

Another good example of a brand identity is Ariana Grande’s r.e.m. beauty. The aesthetic of the company fits perfectly into the singer’s sleek, yet dreamy and almost futuristic image. When looking at the visuals and copy on the brand’s social media and website, the brand feels like an extension of the singer we already know.

What sets this brand apart from all others?
Being able to answer how your brand is different from other similar brands and products is important for any brand to do. It’s even more important this message comes across to your target audience. With so many options available to consumers, your brand can't be just another one on the market. Otherwise, consumers will stick to the brands they know and love. Celebrity brands should be able to answer this question as well.

A great example of a brand that differentiates itself from its competitors is Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. When Fenty Beauty was released, Rihanna and the brand provided products for an overlooked market and changed the way the beauty industry approached inclusivity in their products.

Fenty provides beauty products that cater to all skin tones and skin types, with a specific focus on those that have been underrepresented. This pushed other brands to improve their inclusivity with their products. Not many new brands can change the market so much that other brands feel the push to alter their strategies; but it’ll certainly ensure success if a brand can tap into an overlooked and underrepresented market (Fairfield, 2023).

The Brand is Authentic to the Celebrity

Authenticity has to be at the core of a brand, otherwise, your consumers will be able to spot the lack of passion. For celebrity brands, this is especially important as the market is heavily saturated and consumers are already actively seeking to avoid them altogether. For a celebrity brand to be authentic, it has to align with the celebrity’s interests and passions. The product should also be something the celebrity uses themselves (Sheff, n.d.).

When a celebrity becomes a founder, and not just an endorsement for their brand, the brand’s image will come across as more genuine, and less like a cash grab. Overall, building a brand that becomes a real and true extension of the celebrity will create a relatable and enjoyable experience for both the founder and the consumer (Sheff, n.d.).

Some examples of this are Blake Lively’s Betty Buzz, Emma Chamberlain’s Chamberlain Coffee, and George Clooney and Rande Gerbers Casamigos. Blake Lively is known as a celebrity that does not drink alcoholic beverages, so building a non-alcoholic beverage company aligns with what we already know about Lively. Similarly, Emma Chamberlain has identified with her audience as a coffee connoisseur for years, so it feels natural for Chamberlain to build a brand around her passion for coffee beverages (Fairfield, 2023).

Additionally, George Clooney and Rande Gerber began developing their tequila formulas together for fun and personal use years before they decided to share it with the world. Once Casamigos emerged in 2013, the brand appeared to be driven by passion, rather than ambition and profit (No Good, n.d.).

Each of these celebrity brands acts as an extension of the celebrities because they align with their established interests and passions. This makes their brand’s distinguished from other similar products because they tell a person’s story and answer the question as to why the brand exists in the first place. This lends itself to long-term growth and an established relationship between the celebrity, the brand, and the consumer (No Good, n.d.).

The Brand Aligns With an Authentic Cause

Supporting a cause with your company is a great strategy for promoting the celebrity brand and for helping a cause gain traction and support. When Selena Gomez announced Rare Beauty and the brand’s support for mental health advocacy and resources, it felt authentic to her target audience because Gomez supported mental health and philanthropic efforts throughout her career.

With every purchase from Rare Beauty, the company donates 1% of all its sales to the Rare Impact Fund Gomez co-created to support underserved mental health services and resources. Additionally, the brand’s identity heavily revolves around its support for mental health, with every product and copy portraying this message. For example, the brand commonly names its products after positive descriptors such as “Kind” and “Hope” and regularly discusses mental health topics on its blog and social media platforms (Fairfield, 2023; No Good, n.d.).

Additionally, Rare Beauty’s makeup products are also made with disabilities in mind, as Gomez has expressed her experience of sometimes struggling to apply makeup with her lupus diagnosis. Each product is made to have larger handles and applicators to provide better grip and comfortability when applying the product. This expands the product’s inclusivity for those with disabilities and similar struggles and feels extremely authentic to what Gomez supports and needed for in a product herself.

The Brand Creates a Quality Product

A product has to be able to stand alone without a celebrity as the face of the company and be able to compete with its natural competition. Having a quality product is the only way to ensure a brand is truly successful and can stand the test of time in the industry. At the end of the day, no amount of branding, marketing, or celebrity image will be enough to back a brand if the product is not of the highest quality.

One way a brand can ensure its success for years to come and create a product of the highest quality is to bring in industry experts to work on your team. Industry experts can bring years of experience and knowledge to the table to create the best product possible.

A great example of bringing in industry experts is Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty. Gomez brought on industry experts for the beauty brand to create products of the highest quality, as well as industry experts for the Rare Impact Fund’s board for mental health. This ensured the brand would produce quality products and provide accurate and reliable information for the beauty brand’s advocacy for mental health.

Creating a successful business is no walk in the park, even for owners with well-known names. Just like any other company, a celebrity brand has to put in the work and operate like every brand out there to identify what sets it apart from other brands. If your business is searching for additional help with its digital marketing efforts, set up a consultation today with BlueTickSocial to get started!


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