Hrithik Roshan was recently unveiled as the brand ambassador for cliquish Swiss watch brand, Rado. According to press kits handed out at the event, the actor mirrors the brand’s mastery of breaking new ground and its uncompromising commitment to excellence. But, in a country so brainwashed with images of Shah Rukh Khan and a Tag Heuer is there really room for another superstar and his extravagant time-piece? While I’m sure every-one wishes Hrithik three thumbs up in his new endeavour, finding the right celebrity to suit a brand’s image or personality is not as simple as pitting Amitabh Bachan with any product you find on the shelf.
Here are a few points to remember when choosing a brand ambassador.
1. Brands themselves have a personality. The key is to choose a good brand ambassador whose personality matches that of the brand. He or she must have strong identities that correspond with the product/service. For example George Clooney’s five year association with Omega is probably the most ideal endorsement. He’s sophisticated in his manner, classic in his appearance and refined in his action, much like an envisioned Omega wearer.
2. Choosing a brand ambassador creates an association in the mind of the customer between that person and the brand. So don’t let just anybody be associated with your brand. Luxury auto manufacture, Bentley was quick to squash any rumours of contractual association between Paris Hilton and the brand when she painted her new Continental GT, bright pink.
3. The brand ambassador must be somebody who embodies the core values and characteristics of the brand. For example, Lance Armstrong’s association with Livestrong and Nike is a well crafted relationship. Inspirational to some, motivational to others, Livestrong was a brand forged around Lance Armstrong’s personality, on his road to recovery.
4. Your choice of ambassador must be rooted in the personality of your target market and of the brand you are trying to market. Virat Kohli’s association with Fasttrack is the perfect match. As a brand, the young and upcoming cricketer appeals to the exact same genre, to which the uber trendy accessories-manufacturer does.
5. A brand ambassador should be somebody the customer looks up to or aspires to emulate. The image of the brand ambassador should elicit a favourable response in the mind of the target audience. Icon, Sachin Tendulkar’s association with Adidas is a rock solid partnership that has been going steady for many years. People want to be like him and Adidas never fails to support their dream.
6. Decide what image you want your brand to portray and associate that with a personality that reflects that. Thumbs Up decided to take a more adrenaline filled path, in promoting their beverage. Akshay Kumar is the ideal, Indian adrenaline junkie.
7. You aren’t just selling a product; you’re selling a lifestyle. If consumers buy your product they will be closer to attaining the life they seek. There are many who believe that through Michael Phelps’ association with Subway, eating a healthy sandwich can lead to Olympic fitness.
Written By Suhail Bhandari for Image Management