11th August 2015
A decade ago engaging a celebrity of any significant influence would have cost a brand at least six figures. Social media, the birth of reality television post Big Brother, and the media revolution changed everything.
Social platforms meant that while a fully-fledged endorsement deal might still be beyond the budget for smaller brands, they could now purchase a nod from a personality with a following, for a fraction of the price. Old rules and protocol is no longer, and the gloves are off in the battle to be the ‘X’ to the stars.
But snooze and you miss the changing tide, for there are an untapped cluster of individuals whose value is yet to be leveraged. Introducing the Gatekeepers. The real Go-to crew whose names you are unlikely to ever have heard of.
The backstage folk whose commercial value is entwined with credibility, respect and most importantly a black book, which would turn on the most unexcitable brand marketers.
When the small but savvy Roots & Bulbs chain of organic juice spas were approached in a genius piece of negotiation this quarter by talent management agency Kruger Cowne’s Head of branding Charlotte Ridge, her suggestion to JV with (little known outside of the fashion/beauty industry) Make-up artist to the stars Wendy Rowe, the juice entrepreneurs were intrigued.
For through Wendy, the prospect of a paragraph post on the instagram feeds of some of the world’s most recognisable faces was a real possibility. There was no guarantee and no confirmed deliverables – but fortune favours the brave.
And so the ‘Pure Skin’ juice hit shelves this month, beauty in a bottle by Wendy Rowe who you’d never heard of. This week Social media posts from super model Huntington-Whiteley to her 3.3 million fans followed by Victoria Beckham’s instagram which resulted in over 7,000 ‘likes’ six minutes after posting, and 72,000 a day later – ensured London’s first organic juice bar’s foresight was duly rewarded.
Testament to the power of Rowe’s network. Industry experts and influencers like Wendy have a value which arguably exceeds that of celebrity. Buy one get seven free, it’s a no brainer.
The impact and benefits of Rowe’s association for the brand will remain long after the drink has sold out and best of all no six figure sum required – at least not yet. Form an orderly queue.
Jessica Huie, MBE is Founder of JH Public Relations