Having the right celebrity promote your start-up can propel your sales and help establish your brand in the conscience of the public. But how do you get your product into the hands of an influential celebrity, and more importantly how do you ensure they give them the seal of approval and rejection.
If a celebrity is eating in your restaurant or buying from your shop, ask them to give you a shout out on Twitter. Or tweet them asking, so they have your Twitter handle and they may even retweet you. Kate Jenkins from Gower Cottage Brownies managed to get celebrity endorsement through Twitter after her followers tweeted Phil Jupitus. "He was on tour with Spamalot in Swansea and was tweeting about being in Gower," she said. "My followers were tweeting him and then I sent a tweet saying I had a box of brownies and a Bite Me Bag with his name on it, then he turned up. We've been friends ever since and I now supply the green room at Never Mind the Buzzcocks with my brownies." As a double result the celebrities who tuck into the brownies every week, provide the potential for loads more endorsement.
Target a celebrity and send your product to them. The packaging is extra important when doing this, as you need to make sure your product stands out from everything else they get sent. Personalised baby product company my1styears.com managed to propel their business to a £1m turnover in three years this way. They personalised products for Danii Minogue by sending her blankets with the message 'Mummy's got the X-Factor' when she joined the talent show's judging panel. Elton John meanwhile was sent a gift featuring the line 'How wonderful life is now you're in the world', when his son was born. Always make sure you include a card with information about your company on there and a way they can get in touch with you too.
In many cases it could be easier to get your products into the hands of a celebrity through their stylist or their assistant. If you give the product to them for free they're likely to use it as it saves them money. If the celebrity then likes it, they could promote it to the public or, as happened in the case of Lisa Price, who runs the beauty company Carol's Daughter, they may even end up investing in your business. "I had access to celebrities through make-up artists and stylists, says Carol. "We did a lot of gifting and got our products used. Once we got these relationships with the celebrities, we were able to reach them through their stylists for quotes and comments in press." In 2005, Will Smith, Jay-z and Mary j Blige all invested in her beauty products range.
Make sure you target the right celebrity. Send your products to a famous face that are followed by your own target audience. You don't want your products to be misrepresented and associated with the wrong people.
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