opinion

What Pleasure Brands Need to Know About Celebrity Endorsements

What Pleasure Brands Need to Know About Celebrity Endorsements

The right celebrity endorsement could skyrocket your brand into profitable relevance. The wrong one could send your brand crashing down into obscurity. While the allure of celebrity endorsements is obvious, less obvious are the risks that come with handing over the responsibility for your brand’s reputation to a third party.

Preserving the reputation of your brand is vital for maintaining the trust of your audience. This is especially true in the pleasure industry, which is already exposed under the skeptical gaze of mainstream society. One wrong move can bring an onslaught of legal ramifications that are difficult to overcome or that drain your brand’s resources.

Before going after celebrity endorsements, you need to make sure your house is in order, meaning that your brand already has a solid reputation.

If you’re thinking about pursuing a celebrity endorsement, there are important factors to consider in your decision-making process. You need to know what celebrity endorsements entail, the potential risks and how to leverage an endorsement to get the most out of your investment.

What a Celebrity Endorsement Can Mean for Your Brand

A celebrity endorsement or celebrity branding leverages a celebrity’s fame to promote a brand or product. If successful, a celebrity endorsement can both help sales in the short term and foster long-term brand awareness. Celebrity endorsements can also help when a brand is looking to expand into a new market or launch a new product line.

A celebrity endorsement can help bring a brand instant credibility among a target audience. The appeal to the audience comes from a sense of familiarity. The celebrity is putting their reputation on the line. Because of this, an audience that already follows a celebrity feels inclined to form a relationship with the brand.

That being said, a celebrity endorsement can’t save a brand that doesn’t have a sustainable market in the first place. Before going after celebrity endorsements, you need to make sure your house is in order, meaning that your brand already has a solid reputation.

Potential Risks of a Celebrity Endorsement

Celebrity endorsements carry some risks that can be mitigated but never eliminated. When considering hiring a celebrity, make sure to consider the “What if…?” scenarios, what it might cost the brand should those scenarios come to pass and what form of crisis management would be needed in those cases. Let’s dig into a few examples of potential risks.

Overshadowing your brand: Brand recognition can get lost in the mix if the celebrity is too big and popular, or if the campaign focuses too heavily on the celebrity. Make sure your brand or product remains the center of any asset created with the celebrity.

Potential scandal: There is a saying that “All publicity is good publicity,” and it’s true that scandals can sometimes actually be good for celebrities — but scandals are nearly always bad for the brands those celebrities represent. As mentioned, pleasure brands can expect little leeway from the public when it comes to blowback from potential celebrity misconduct. Potential legal expenses and early contract termination can also negate potential profits for the brand affected. When choosing a celebrity to represent your brand, conduct due diligence and look for someone who at seems to have a good reputation.

Overexposure: Celebrity endorsements are losing their appeal among consumers. This is due largely to celebrities’ tendency to sign multiple endorsement contracts, signaling a lack of authenticity to audiences who are progressively leaning toward transparency and connection. If you’re looking into a celebrity who already has various endorsement contracts, consider how thinly they may have spread themselves, and whether they likely still have an engaged audience that trusts them.

How to Leverage a Celebrity Endorsement

If you determine that the value of an endorsement deal is worth what it costs your brand to obtain it, and worth the risks noted above, then it may make sense for your brand to pursue that deal. Once the deal is made, it’s on you to leverage your celebrity partnership to get the most value for your investment. Here are some ways to do that.

Make the commitment long-term: Think of a celebrity partnership as a long-term commitment. It may take your target audience some time to firmly associate your celebrity partner with your brand. An extended relationship is therefore a helpful strategy when you’re rebranding or trying to attract a new audience.

Build an integrated campaign: An effective campaign is one that touches the customer at every stage of their journey. This also holds true when incorporating a celebrity into your marketing. Create multiple assets that can be used in an integrated campaign across all your brand’s channels, platforms and placements.

Measure, measure, measure: Never assume that a campaign is successful just because it incorporates a celebrity. Though the impact of a celebrity campaign can be notoriously hard to measure, having clearly defined objectives and goals remains key. Monitor social media metrics, changes in brand perception, lead generation and potential media coverage generated by the campaign.

In the pleasure industry, reputation is everything. Ultimately, this central consideration will help you determine whether taking on the risks associated with celebrity endorsements is a good strategy for your brand. Hopefully, these tips will help you figure that out and reap the maximum benefits if you decide to go for it.

Kathryn Byberg is the founder and CEO of Little Leaf Agency, a PR and communications agency dedicated to sexual wellness.

Related:  

Copyright © 2024 Adnet Media. All Rights Reserved. XBIZ is a trademark of Adnet Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

More Articles

opinion

Platforming the Pleasure Industry's Voice Through Voting

Very early in my business career, I learned not to mix business with politics or religion. This was a foundational tenet that just made sense. For much of my career, that was easy. However, it has become increasingly difficult to avoid bringing politics into business.

Ken Sahn ·
opinion

The ABCs of POS Systems for Adult Store Owners

What point-of-sale system is best for your adult business? Figuring that out can be frustrating, since the numerous options and acronyms don’t easily translate into a clear checklist of features and benefits you can weigh.

Sean Quinn ·
opinion

How Pleasure Brands Can Leverage Strategic PR Amid Mainstream Media Layoffs

Thanks to the mainstreaming of intimacy products, pleasure brands can now gain broad exposure in all kinds of publications, from Cosmo to Allure to Good Housekeeping. Unfortunately, the economic uncertainty dominating the world and challenging businesses has hit the media sector particularly hard.

Kathryn Byberg ·
profile

WIA Profile: Ruth Arceo

In the beginning, all Ruth Arceo knew was that she dreamed of being a buyer — but when the opportunity presented itself for a career in the adult world, she found she’d struck it rich. Arceo is the lucky lady who gets to pick and choose how to line the shelves at The Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood, California.

Women In Adult ·
profile

CalExotics Founder and CEO Susan Colvin Reflects on Brand's 30-Year Legacy

Thirty years ago, back when there were only hard plastic sex toys in tan and black, Susan Colvin had a vision of what sex toys could be. And so she set out to create her own company, California Exotic Novelties, which for three decades has been a pioneer, continually reimagining and expanding the pleasure products market.

Kim Airs ·
opinion

How to Sell Shoppers on Water-Friendly Toys

From soothing self-care in the bath to the invigorating spray of a shower, water can introduce new dimensions of pleasure, unlock unique sensations and provide a sensual backdrop for intimate exploration.

Carly S. ·
opinion

Why BDSM Furniture and Sex Machines Make an Ideal Match

For BDSM enthusiasts and curious newbies alike, a big part of the fun is discovering and exploring exciting new sensations and scenarios. One way to level up is by combining or layering pleasures you already enjoy, and one surefire way to do that is with BDSM furniture.

Rebecca Weinberg ·
opinion

Tips for Boosting Ecommerce Revenue With Behavioral Insights

At our marketing agency, we focus on using real data to make better decisions for our clients. We believe every action a visitor takes on a website can tell us something important. This helps us shape our strategies and assist our clients in turning casual website visitors into loyal customers.

Lauren Bailey ·
opinion

A Look at the Do's and Don'ts of Gift-With-Purchase Promos

Imagine you’re at a store, deciding between two products with similar packaging, features and pricing. You’re not predisposed toward either brand and you haven’t seen any reviews — but one of them offers, “Free gift with purchase!” Does that win you over?

Vanessa Rose ·
opinion

Tips for Navigating a Completely Remote Job in Sexual Wellness

Anyone working in the sexual wellness and pleasure sector has at some point had to deal with issues like bias against the industry, as well as limited marketing and advertising options.

Bryony Lees ·
Show More