I am thinking about celebrity endorsements as a growth option for my nail salon business. I need some advice?
I have a small nail salon business on the side and I want to start growing this small venture into some day being owner of my own business having to quit my job or doing both. I am in this industry for more than 6 years. I have so many ideas and see so many opportunity everyday. My aim is not to have a normal nail salon but a much more personalized service. I would say my first step to get my name out there and the type of market I would like to get into would be to sponsor/ deliver these services to celebrities.
- How do I start
- Will this be a profitable decision
- What is important to know when endorsing a celebrity
- Will this help with advertising my business
- Do I give a 100% sponsorship?
People are more likely to buy from recommendation from friends and family. Get your customers to endorse your business.
There are 2 ways to get celebrity endorsements:
1 The Lightening Strike- a celebrity stumbles onto your product or service, or a friend knows someone who knows someone, etc. It happens. But like lightening, who knows exactly where or when it will strike. Do you want to wait to try and catch lightening in a bottle?
2. Pay-and this is expensive. There are numerous firms that place products with stars for big upfront fees and a % of sales with minimums guaranteed, and appearance fees, first class travel, etc. We have used these services many times and depending on the celebrity thay can be productive. This is unrealistic for most small businesses.
You are better to offer/develop some Unique Selling Proposition that makes your nail tech service stand out from competitors. Maybe you do a spin on the food trucks and equip a truck or small van to make house or business site calls or work summer fairs, art shows, etc.
If you have celebrities who are willing to endorse your salon! Use them, with only one recommendation. Do you have an audience who are not celebrities?
I find endorsements to be an indicator of whether I'm going to be comfortable with the people or will I walk out looking like I'm going to a gala when I need to be professional for an office?
Personally I think that it is a gamble that may not be as beneficial as many hope. I say that because celebrities are only as popular as the current trend and they are only closely followed by the masses at a certain period or time. If that celebrity ever makes a mistake, there goes his/her brand and if you are tied to them, maybe there goes your's as well. The best form of advertising and some times the least expensive is the local guy or gal who is not camera shy and looks really good wearing your designs and creations, you tube can make anyone out of a star.
I only have personal experience with this for a national company who used sports celebrities to raise their image across the country. Since you state you are small, I suspect your "market" is local. I would look for a celebrity who is recognizable in your area, and not deal with the cost and demands of a national or international personality. For example, here in MN I have seen two former University of Minnesota hockey players used in local ads.
Hey Mari-Louise, I for one, am dead against celebrity endorsements. Unless your service is a premium one targeted at the super-rich, in which case, it might be an option. But otherwise, if you plan to have frequent celebrity endorsements, you might end up overpricing your services to sustain the endorsements. Decide based on who your customers are, and what they'll pay for.
Here are my suggestions for you. I believe the best way for you to grow your business is to find your existing happy customers, engage with them, throw in some freebies, and also seek their suggestions on how to grow your business. They'll happily become your local celebrities marketing your business for you. That way, they'll feel connected and indirectly invested in your business. Grow it from there. It will definitely take you a little longer than with the high-cost celebrity endorsement option, but in the mid-term, you'll realize that the customer-celebrity model is more sustainable, and is more powerful than with hollow-sounding celebrities calling out jingles for a fee. Whatever option you choose, wish you great luck.!!
Celebrity endorsement is a good idea as long as the business can support the associated cost. Choice of celebrity is important as they must relate/ connect well with target profile of clients.
I think you should start with your local audience. First identify "who" your local super-stars are. If you actually do work in an area where celebrities live and shop, then you can try some local marketing to get their attention, but, otherwise, you should first build a local reputation and then reach out from there. Once you start to get some celebrities or celebrity types, then you will need to get to know your clients. "They" are the best people to tell you what they want and need. Maybe give yourself a time frame to see if this is even a good idea for your business. It's good to try new things, but if after a given time, if the idea doesn't create the results you desire, then obviously, some part or the whole idea may need to be scraped.
Mari-Louise, I tend to agree with Bill, and a few other good comments.
At I am unsure if you are looking to "Supply to the Stars" or just use them for endorsements?
To be at this stage it matters very little.
To be realistic, although you have had this business for 6 years,
You are still really taking the step from being a hobby to being a 100% business.
What this means, that as a hobby you can nibble at it.
As a business you can't afford that luxury ,
Your first question is the right one. "How do I Start"
You need to do a heap of work before anything.
I think that you are getting that Idea from the comments.
There are standard things as in any start up company. (not Hobby)
Business plan, Financial Plan, Marketing Plan. Company name, Image, Product range and quality along with market prices and elasticity.
Then comes the other questions you will need to address.
which are WHAT, WHERE, HOW, WHO.
Once you have addressed all of this you will have a much better picture and understanding. You can then plan some mile stones of achievements along the way. You will become more focused, Even some of the ideas you now see, may not be they way that you want to go. Or they may seem good but not right to your companies image of direction.
So while you see them you will not be drawn to them. Or you may decide to take them on or even set up a separate business model to get into it.
Mari-Louise, There are no short cuts. It all starts with hard work.
Even the stars have to work hard to get were they are. and even harder to stay to stay there,
The first celebrity you need to focus on is YOU! Celebrity is always manufactured, never accidental, and you can quickly and easily become the local boutique nail salon that people choose.
This is called branding.
Too many ideas can be a bad thing. Pick what it is that drives you, gives you the most satisfaction and what makes you the most money. Focus on that market and that marketing message. When you dominate that specialty, branch out if you want to.
For example,my brand is my name, and since it is a common name, my city, 'Camarillo'. Search for those 2 things brings back 3 pages of good stuff. Add 'author', 'publisher' or 'gardener' to that and you get still more results.
You can use the same tactics to get your salon in the results.
We have taught several hundred people how to do this for their clients and you will easily find an 'authority marketer' willing to help you.
We write, publish and syndicate stories about people, businesses and services people look up online. The stories are found online and come from news sites that may include your local TV and radio affiliates. Being 'picked-up' by one of these lets you mention being quoted on your favorite local TV station and use the station logo on your site.
The key aspect of using celebrities is that the celebrity aligns with your brand. Therefore, as many of the responses below, start by identifying what business you are in and what your brand stands for. Then explore which celebrities align with that brand/image you are creating.
It depends on where you are located But typically celebrity endorsements are prohibitively expensive and drive very little real business into your venture
Unless you are planning on franchising your business, I'd question the affordability of Celeb endorsements. You can go a long way by just getting "regular folk" testimonies and reviews on local listing (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Foursquare, Yelp! et al business listing sites.)
You can slam your marketing for cheap with locals endorsing you via video and putting those up on a G+ page/YouTube account associate with your business. My estimate is 4-6 videos with good keyword geo-location phrases for SEO (yes, you have to do some research) and you will just "blow it up!" (or should I say you'll "NAIL IT!")
If you do plan on franchising, read the "E-Myth" series and then consider what the endorsements might do for your business plan.
Before you spend any money time or effort ask yourself these 10 questions:
Great question especially for a business owner but an even bigger question with dollar sgns for a brand manager with pursestrings.
“It’s clear we have a celebrity-crazed culture.”
1. Can attract attention
2. Improve company store or service/product’s image
3. Boost company or product’s awareness
4. Break through clutter
5. Exploit celebrity’s popularity
6. Increase sales
7. Increase company or product’s credibility
8. Use celebrity in meetings. Star can appear in events.
Major Questions any one should ask?
1. Is the celebrity appropriate for our product or service?
2. Does celebrity subtract from product or service?
3. Does the celebrity add value? Or generate a good impression?
4. It used to be about "gut feelings." Now you should ask or should be asking “Show me the evidence that this is the right star or celebrity.” It’s both an art and science.”
5. Does the celebrity add to the your image?
6. How much is the fee?
7. How is the contract structured?
8. What about the history and future of the celebrity exposure? What about “after hour” behavior, any criminal record, FTC issues? Health?
10. Be sure celebrity uses and continues to use your service and product?
11. Be sure the facts about the product are true and substantiated, before giving script to celebrity.
12. You must disclose if the star or celebrity has considerable interest in the company or product.
Here's one more to consider: Celebrity Q Scores: A Q score (a numerical rating of a celebrity’s popularity). It’s a calculated business risk. Past blowups have taught brand managers to do a better job of investigating the background and lifestyles. The checks may uncover something which makes you pause. .
Come up with the right idea or selling concept. That must be first. Then decide on the “celebrity” to present, sing or act.
Bottom line: What you are going to say is more important than the "who." But really the "who" or a really good "who" based on the criteria could be good for you. But look at legal issues and costs. You might want to look at the 9P's of marketing at http://nineps.com. There's an attachment to download. Here to help.
This is one of those instances where it comes down to who you know.If you know of celebrities with who you can have a conversation or you are able to be introduced to celebrities to start this rolling- OK. If not, I suspect the time and effort to develop this very specific niche might well drain your available resources. In the latter case I do not believe this is a viable idea.
I would think you might want to talk to someone who is Qualified to help you with this before spending alot of money.
It is really not that expencive to get started, you just need a plan qnd I would love to help you with this.
I think you need to ask several questions:
1. What area are you in?
2. What celebrities do you have access to?
3. Are they really celebrities? Does their following consist of people who have the money to pay you fair market value?
4. Would you benefit more from doing a "free nail day" at a local festival or event?
5. Could you sponsor a children's program that has a lot of mom's invested?
I would imagine your field depends on word of mouth, evangelistic customers. Unless you have access to a celebrity with incredible sway over your local market....I would probably suggest other marketing routes.
Just my thoughts. I hope you find great success!
A celebrity endorsement approach is a very specific tactic within the scope of marketing plan which lives within the scope of a business plan. Generally, a crawl-walk-run-spirit progression is appropriate. For example, you mention have a nail salon. If in fact you break into the celebrity market and create a "Signature Brand / Style" for your nails, then a salon may be a hinder to your plan and just overhead you have to cover. What if you could be the nail person for a celebrity like Jennifer Lopez and you tour with her and her team? That could be an option.
My point is not that you want to be a traveling nail person, but you need to get clear strategically about your business model before you start to attract people to your business. What is the business that the celebrity endorsement is designed to benefit and grow. Consider if you have the cart before the horse.
- Start knowing what kind of business you want and why.
- What is important...? Know how you want the celebrity endorsement to benefit your business.
- Yes, it can help with advertising the business but you need to have a clear call to action for the celebrity to promote and agreements in place if you plan to use a celebrity.
- 100% sponsorship? Does this mean you give away your services in return for the endorsement? At the beginning, yes, but place a value on it up front. Be sure you have very clear expectations and boundaries between the celeb and you.