Direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands have access to various methods for branding and positioning their products and services—right from word of mouth to social media.
While celebrity endorsements are an old trick in the D2C playbook, it continues to work its charm, particularly when it comes to sticking within the minds of a consumer.
However, these endorsements must be driven by a clear purpose, says Ankit Nagori, Founder of EatFit. “Founders should also look at celebrity endorsements from the long-term lens,” he says in a conversation at TechSparks Mumbai.
Brands can focus on two main motives through celebrity branding – cutting through the clutter and expanding the ethos of the brand, Nagori adds.
Along the same lines, Utsav Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer of Noise, said that bringing celebrities on board for partnerships or endorsements can help in acquiring customers by creating brand recall. Celebrities are generally points of attraction for the public because everyone wishes to follow their lifestyle.
Nevertheless, celebrity branding can be an expensive affair, he notes. “Especially for Noise, being bootstrapped requires us to be cognizant of how money is spent. My advice is to evaluate between digital partnerships and equity-based partnerships to generate the best return on investment.”
Noise has worked with eminent personalities like actor Taapsee Pannu and cricketer Virat Kohli and has benefitted from their vibrant, sporty and dynamic personalities. On the other hand, EatFit, which owns several food brands, has benefitted from a collaboration with actor Hrithik Roshan’s fitness apparel brand HRX which has helped spread EatFit’s ethos of being a brand for health-conscious people.
“It was easy for us to marry the celeb with the core belief of the brand – literally about listening to inner noise. Celebrity branding is about legitimising the message of the brand,” Noise’s Malhotra said.
Brands must also build a symbiotic relationship with the celebrity which will help enhance the connectivity with the consumer. “The impact of the celebrity will be short-lived and will fade away if the connect is only tactical,” Nagori added.