The Art of Brand Associations
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The use of celebrities has become an ever-popular advertising tool and goes as far back to 1985 with endorsing Cadbury’s Cocoa. However, now in the 21st century firms have decided to move away from conventional celebrity endorsements to celebrity brand associations. As consumers are becoming smarter, firms have begun looking for new ways of connecting their brands with their customers, without being too blatant and false. Firms are beginning to match a celebrity’s own personal brand with their own identity in an attempt to create a more genuine endorsement.
One of the best examples is the brand Abercrombie & Fitch. They have been one of the most in demand and growing brands for the last few years. Their marketing strategy was to send A-list celebrities such as David Beckham and Zac Efron free clothing in the hope they would be snapped wearing it. Research has shown that the human brain naturally picks up short hand ques from our environment to help when decision making. Therefore when a consumer can identify with a celebrity’s own personal brand they are more likely to trust them and as part of the copy-cat theory will inevitably begin copying them in the hope of forming an association with that celebrity. Positive brand associations are an effective way to boost sales and enhance overall brand image, without having to part with much of your marketing budget.
Consequently brand associations can become uncontrollable as celebrities with negative personal brands can hinder the image of a firm, if they are seen associating themselves with a brand. Abercrombie & Fitch have openly declared they will pay the cast of the hit TV program ‘Jersey Shore’ not to wear their clothing as they believe they can cause significant damage to their image.
Ediz Ibrahim is a brand enthusiast particularly interested in the travel, fashion and food industries. He currently runs his own Twitter and Instagram account @TheBrandAnalyst, where he posts exciting brand logos I have come across during my travels, alongside interesting facts he has researched. Ibrahim’s ultimate aim for the future is to create his own brand and be a branding consultant for others. He is currently working as a marketing executive. Ediz Ibrahim has a BA degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications.