Not so long ago, companies who wanted to sell their products hired authentic experts in the actual field they were trying to promote—authority figures, frequently acclaimed researchers or authors with advanced academic or medical degrees,who seemed incorruptible, ethical and thoroughly reliable. They possessed a high degree of credibility, and their own notoriety rubbed off on the brands they endorsed either blatantly or subtly. They were, and many still are, powerful influencers of human behavior.
The explosive growth of social media has brought about a revolution, and those dependable, credentialed “spokespersons” have been joined by a chorus of independent voices without traditional credentials. Called “influencers,” their power is traceable to the number and influence of their followers.
The Rise of the Celebrity
There are different categories of influencers, but none of them have the reach and media appeal of celebrities. To look as good as possible, they have to take care of themselves and are frequently passionate about products, ingredients, social or political issues, local roots, etc. These individuals are absorbed in their various interests, and if there is a connection with your product, let them know. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking their power.
Smart brand managers pursue celebrities for third-party endorsements to tap into their core audience, the same way journalists’ “endorsements” are constantly sought after.
Things are not always as they seem, or as we think they are. The old saying “perception is reality” continues to ring loud and clear. While how we describe ourselves is still important, when a celebrity publicly shares that she uses and recommends your brand, consumers really believe it and sales figures prove it.
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