When Business & Celebrity Collide

 
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When a celebrity creates an off-shoot brand, we’re rarely surprised. From beauty and health to lifestyle and clothing, it only makes sense for public figures to capitalize on their personal brands to create a little something for adoring fans.

I know what you’re thinking: How cute. A celebrity uses their unlimited funds, resources, and fan base to create a product that's bound to be a hit. That's not a challenge, right? Wrong.

While there are successful brands such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company, there’s also the not-so-successful, such as Blake Lively’s short-lived lifestyle website Preserve. Three successful celebrities, but not all went on to create successful product brands. Why did poor Blake take the fall, when all odds were stacked against now-powerhouse Jessica?

With any business there are a multitude of reasons for failure. But ultimately it all goes back to what makes a brand successful: A business needs to offer up something that people need.

I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll keep on saying it until the day I die. Because it’s true. Goop and The Honest Company brought consumers a trusted resource that wasn’t present in the market. Despite being met with initial scorn, Gwenyth Paltrow beat lifestyle bloggers to the punch by serving up Goop’s thoughtful content for readers who like to spend—but in a unique way that’s all theirs. The Honest Company recognized the value in, well, honesty, giving parents and beauty enthusiasts products that make them feel good and safe.

Preserve, no matter how much star power it had behind it, didn’t clarify this for people. “Curating” simply isn’t enough. Sites like Pinterest already do that. However, you’re curating products that a specific group of people needed in a way that’s unlike any other service out there, then maybe Preserve wouldn’t be a distant memory preserved in history.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re a four-time Oscar winner or a newly minted Twitter-user. What makes a brand successful is finding the answer to that magic equation: something you love plus something other people need.

 
Phil Pallen