funky brands by schmoozy fox

A new kind of brand ambassadors: famous entrepreneurs

Jimmy Wales WikipediaHere is a photo of a magazine back page that I took this morning. It made me think of a new trend that is emerging in the area of celebrity endorsements: business celebrities as brand ambassadors. Even if you are not familiar with the term, you've most probably come across brand celebrity endorsements on many occasions.  These are short or long-term partnerships between a brand and a real person, usually a celebrity from the world of music, sports or movies. If you've seen ads with Hollywood stars next to cars, perfume or other products, then you've seen a celebrity endorsement in action.

In such brand partnerships, celebrities serve as the so called meta-brands: overarching, superior concepts that add  positive associations to other brands wanting to relate to them. For celebrities, it's also important to choose the right brands to work with, because at the end of the day, they have to pinpoint these people's personal brands.

My observation that I want to share with you today is this: most brands, especially luxury products, like to work with celebrities from the world of entertainment and sports.

However, it seems like there's a whole new trend emerging out there: celebrities from the non-entertainment world. They are not as widely known as entertainment stars, but they nevertheless have a lot of qualities that brands can tap into and benefit from. This trend is not yet very well explored by brands, it seems.

A concrete example that I want to share with you today is the recent brand campaign by a Swiss watch brand Maurice Lacroix. In particular, its brand partnership with Jimmy Wales, an American Internet entrepreneur and co -founder of Wikipedia.

The two other brand ambassadors that Maurice Lacroix chose -- Bob Geldoff and Justin Rose -- come from the worlds of music and sports, respectively. But Jimmy Wales is a businessman whose name is known to a lesser extent.

What's known much better is his non-profit foundation: Wikipedia.

What did Maurice Lacroix want to communicate by selecting Bob Geldoff, Justin Rose and Jimmy Wales as its brand ambassadors? I guess, the most important qualities that seems to unite them all are continuity, staying on course, and staying true to themselves. And of course, achieving results.

As brands look for authenticity and natural, not-too-commercial, ways of connecting with their consumers, we're likely to see more entrepreneurs, journalists, and other people outside of the entertainment world with strong personal brands, endorse products and services.

Digital anthropology

FacebookStatusUpdate

Today I want to share with you a very useful and informative recent post on Mashable about the main types and characteristics of social media users. It is actually a summary of Forrester's recent research entitled The New Social Technographics and it reveals quite some interesting info for marketers and entrepreneurs. The summary is presented in the graph below.

ForresterGraphThis summary will come in handy for any brand that is exploring online channels in order to connect to its consumers and spot business growth opportunities. Interestingly, the most active group on the web, referred to as "creators" (bloggers, podcasters and other proactive digital folk such as yours truly) is actually relatively large: 24% of all web users in the US.

Another sizable group are the so called "conversationalists", or those who update their Facebook status or send a tweet at least once a week. Some characteristics that described them are as follows,

56% are female — the highest concentration of women in any of the groupings. Seventy percent are 30 years of age or older, and 24% are older than 44. According to the report, conversationalists also have household incomes “slightly above average, and they’re more likely than any other social classification to have college degrees."

There's a large number of ways how an innovative brand could use this information to raise awareness on the web, explore it, and make your brands funky!