I was watching Leno last night. Blue collar comedian Jeff Foxworthy was on and one of the things he was promoting was his new, signature barbecue sauce. He alluded that someone just approached him with the idea and he liked it.
This kind of joint venture happens a lot. And it’s a win-win-win deal …
The Celebrity Wins
They bring in a new income stream (Tiger Woods earned $12 million golfing and $100 million through endorsements last year). Signature products also help celebrities strengthen their own personal brand; they get their name out there in front of people; on shelves and in commercials and other promotions.
It’s a trust thing. Celebrities already have a personal brand. The last thing they (or their managers) want to do is cheapen that brand with a lousy product. It happens, but generally signature products are somewhere in between good and great.
The hardest thing to do is approach a buyer at a major retail chain and present them with yet another “whatever”. They’ve already got 10 brands on the shelf and they’ll do everything they can to convince you that the market is saturated. If you can even get in the door, they’ll often just flat-out tell you “no”.
But buyers aren’t stupid. You’ll still have to buy shelf space at any large retailer (yep, that’s how it works), but they’ll make room for you if you have a signature product, a smart marketing plan, and the cash to get started. The best way to start without a ton of cash is to start getting your product into distributors and small retailers that won’t charge you for face-time with the consumer.
Whether the product is great or just good, you can get a higher price than your competitors can. This helps bankroll the product marketing in the beginning, and pay the extra cost of splitting the profit with your celebrity partner.
Think about these massive successes:
Simple Tips For Starting a Signature Line Joint Venure
Creating a signature line of products is more than just an endorsement. It’s a partnership. A joint venture. That makes it more lucrative and appealing to a potential celebrity partner. And more appealing to investors, retailers and consumers. It IS a brand, and it’s more powerful than just an endorsement of another brand.
Think “partnership” …
- Find a star who isn’t crazy. Outrageous can be good, but downright loony celebrities are bad for business. They can destroy themselves as well as your products appeal to consumers.
- The product has to fit the personality. You can get creative matching products with stars, but you don’t want to approach Paul McCartney with an idea for a signature line of seal-skin slippers.
- Build a better than average product. Consumers associate excellence with celebrities. And celebrities associate it with themselves. A new twist, innovative design, or a little something extra is gonna go a long way to locking in the partnership and selling the product.
Signature line ventures are about leveraging an existing brand. They’re about taking one success and rolling it into another and they can change the whole game for a product. Just like that …
Baby, you’re a star.