What impresses the customer? Could be anything right?. Consumers don’t know what influences their purchase, customers make buying decision with every purchase and a lot of factors affect their buying habits for ex. social circle(friends or family member uses the same product). Although there are several factors influencing customer behaviour, one of the major factors is the celebrity or the face of the brand.Brand utilizes the power and brand value of the celebrity to reach their audience; for a brand the most important thing is for people to know about the brand rather than buying its product in the first place.
Advertisements help remember the product and watching your favourite actor or athlete endorsing the brand attaches a certain sentimental value to that brand. We all are human and we make mistakes and our mistakes are only known to few but if a celebrity who has millions of followers makes a small mistake it can easily be reported or seen on a social media, further ruining his brand image.
There is no doubt that the celebrity can help lift up a brand from low sales like Michael Jordan did for Nike but there are downsides as well which include overshadowing of the brand and controversy which revolves around the brand personality for example Angelina Jolie overshadowed St. Johns fashion brand. A company selects its brand ambassador to enhance the value of the brand. As far as psychological factors concern people tend to have greater acceptance for those brands which are supported by a well known celebrity. People expect the quality of a celebrity in the product which prompts them buy the particular product but when a celebrity looses his brand image due to any controversy it goes other way round with the product. Now the question is how the perception of a consumer changes with the face of the brand?
Recently Maria Sharapova One of the world’s highest paid female tennis player has tremendously lost her credibility and customer trust as a brand ambassador after failing a drug test in Australian open. She has been dropped by some of the big names in the industry like Nike, Tag Heuer and Porsche as this news could damage the image of the brand and can further result in dipping sales.
Nike suspended Lance Armstrong after he was found guilty for participating in performance enhancing drugs from 2010 – 2013 but Nike supported Tiger Woods even after the controversy as woods didn’t cheat in his game to gain success like Armstrong.
One thing is clear about the consumer behaviour is that the perception of consumer matters for the company which can be justified by the thought process involved in their decisions regarding the selection or dismissal of a celebrity. Apparently it throws light on the fact that consumers do not use their self-conscious when it comes to decision making; rather they blindly follow their idol. What if a particular celebrity engage with the different brand, will the follower switch their brand? If yes then it makes consumer weaklings and if not, then the previous decision of consumer becomes questionable.
So, it can be said that the consumer has been victim of smart marketing strategy by the brand. However the new phenomenon can be seen in the current market by emulating the example of Tesla Motors, which only laid emphasis on the efficiency of their product instead of utilizing face value of the celebrity to promote their product. They believe that their product is a celebrity in itself which proves their credibility. Adaptation of this phenomenon will surely make consumers aware about not only the product but the company. In the future, market strategy will become more crucial as influencing with consumer’s will not be a easy task.
Akash Sharma, @musafirhoonyaro
Student id – 215210717
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