The Role of Celebrities in Promoting Their Personal Brands

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Celebrities play a fundamental role in advertising industry and, more so, to the brand the celebrity is collaborating with. Stars with personal brands generate a lot of attention and publicity (Hearn and Schoenhoff 2015, p.196; Khamis, Ang and Welling 2017, p.193). Consequently, most companies can effectively utilise celebrities to promote their brands, hence increasing revenues. The use of a star in advertising enables the creation of the personality of the firm, since pairing of the brand with a celebrity assists in shaping the image of the company in the consumer’s mind (Beverland 2018, p.7). The rationale of executing this research is to investigate the connection between celebrities, their personal brands and firms which celebrities collaborate with to help them improve their loyalty, presence, and management procedures.

This research can be useful to managers, since they can understand ways in which celebrities can assist them to increase sales through associating their brand with stars. The strategy has worked for major top brands such as Nike by Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods for Gillette (Shenoy and Prabhu 2016, p.122). The research closely links to the cognitive perspective theory. Accordingly, images formed in a person’s mind affect their interactions and shape their perceptions, behaviours, and responses (Drewniak and Karaszewski 2016, p.748). Hence, the theory supports use of the celebrities in high profile brands, as the more information is displayed to audience containing a star, the more they are influenced to consume the product, since they associate it to celebrity and perceive it positively.

Specific Objectives

Although several studies have been conducted in the area of celebrity branding and how the celebrities benefit by promoting their personal brands, there is the need for more research concerning the topic to assist managers to understand the benefits that their businesses can reap from this strategy. According to Drewniak and Karaszewski (2016, p.750), celebrity advertising is very crucial as it helps in building trust with current and prospective customers, and increase the probability of the brand being remembered, hence rendering this area suitable for study.

The major objectives of the research include:

Determine why and how celebrities create and promote their personal brands

Investigate ways in which celebrities collaborate with high profile brands and how the strategy assists in making the public aware of their brands

To establish the benefits gained by celebrities in terms of their personal brands and benefits gained by the brand the celebrity is collaborating with.

Research Methodology

Research Design

Concisely, there are three designs upon which research can be formulated – namely quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods (Sekaran and Bougie 2016, p.3). In this research, the qualitative approach will be used to collect the relevant data. The aforementioned technique adopts a naturalistic interpretive approach to the subject matter and attempts to make sense of a phenomenon or interpret it in terms of the meaning it brings to people (Marshall and Rossman 2014, p.4). The rationale behind selecting the research design is because qualitative research method can effectively address the concerns of the study and facilitate achieving the set objectives. Further, the approach will enable effective collection of data from the literature regarding the selected elements for study (McCusker and Gunaydin 2015, p.541). The information will also allow comprehensive insight into the knowledge of celebrities, their personal brands, and how they are working with high profile companies to promote and further make the public of their own ones. Further, the knowledge will assist in understanding the advantages gained by both the stars and the firm they are collaborating with. Celebrities are very popular and followed by consumers; hence, managers tend to enlist bankable individuals to assist in pitching their particular products (Portia, Li and Philip 2017, p.9).

Many works have been carried out using the qualitative research design. One such study has been conducted by Nishant Jayaswal (2015) in the Managing Advertising, Celebrity Endorsements as a Strategy and Publicity. The research was aimed at investigating the factors inducing companies to choose certain celebrities and ensuring risks involved are described. The approach utilised was deductive as well as exploratory in nature. However, the research had a major limitation in that the topic covered was wide and hence rather time-consuming as well (Nishant 2015, p.19). From the research, the following conclusions were drawn. First, there is high risk involved in celebrity endorsement, but it is worth it, since the attention created by the celebrity in the media gives the brand and the company a competitive advantage (Nishant 2015, p.19). Secondly, trustworthiness is a key factor that should be considered when selecting the brand endorsers and stars that have a strong connection to the company both in using the product as well as in recommending the characteristics that match the item (Nishant 2015, p.20). According to Kara and Arslan (2018, p.192), celebrity branding has become an effective technique which companies and businesses are using to increase sales and eventually their profit margins. During the research, some question arose which provides an opportunity for the future studies. The questions include what risks are involved for the celebrities while they are endorsing a brand and how the crisis which occurs during the endorsement can be resolved (Nishant 2015, p.21).

Another research was done by Koththagoda and Dissanayake (2017) in the article Perceived Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsement on Perceived Brand Evaluation in the Scope of Service Sector: A Review Paper. The study utilised qualitative approach design and literature review as the major research tool. The hypotheses proposed were to investigate the influence of effectiveness of celebrity endorsement on brand evaluation (Koththagoda and Dissanayake 2017, p.10). According to the research, several brand evaluation contexts should be surveyed namely the love, the trust, and brand attitude in line with the empirical shreds of evidence (Koththagoda and Dissanayake 2017, p.13). The article efficiently examines the influence of effectiveness of celebrity endorsement towards the brand evaluation contexts. Based on the rationales established, it also gives directions for future research to examine the topic under study in relation to brand-related behaviour.

Another example of an article that utilised similar design is the study by Chan, Ng, and Luk (2013, p.169). The purpose of the research was to establish whether celebrity endorsement works and how it acts among adolescents. The results revealed that respondents were able to recall the celebrity endorsers who they found funny, attractive, and expressive. Factors considered by marketers while selecting stars were identified as congruence between the image of the celebrity and that of the brand and popularity of the person endorsing the firm. Using famous person in advertising a company attracts the fans of the star, increase brand awareness, enhance purpose confidence, and encourage trial (Chan, Ng and Luk 2013, p.173). Additionally, the consumers can direct their attention to a certain brand due to the credible and positive image of this individual and link the ideal attributes of the person to the related product (McCormick 2016, p.42). The limitation of the study is that the theoretical model of how advertising using celebrities works was based on the perspective of the adolescents.

Philosophical Underpinning the Method

The first philosophical underpinning of the qualitative research method is that the approach involves the analytical process of interpreting the values, meanings and opinions, experiences, and behaviours of other people; hence, it is considered explicitly interpretive (Sekaran and Bougie 2016, p.18).The process is called descriptive-inductive to differentiate it from hypothetical-deductive means of drawing results in quantitative research. Due to the interpretive and interactive nature of the relationship between the subjects under study and the investigator, the analytical process has a high degree of subjectivity of the researcher (Bryman 2015, p.67). However, the variability of the subjectivity is managed through distinct techniques in qualitative research such as triangulation and peer review.

The second philosophical underpinning is that the interactive and interpretive qualities of qualitative research reflect the ontological and epistemological assumptions that are different from the traditional quantitative research (Ormston et al. 2014, p.23). Various qualitative and quantitative researches are underpinned by post-positivist and positivist understandings concerning the nature of and its facts which exist a priori and are measurable (Dieronitou 2014, p.15). Nevertheless, the qualitative research is informed by constructivist paradigms which consider the world and its facts as fundamentally constructed and interpreted by individuals within social groups (Antwi and Hamza 2015, p.221). Additionally, in the qualitative research, the investigator is positioned centrally in the study, and hence, high degree of reflexivity is required on the side of the researcher (Merriam and Tisdell 2015, p.52). Consequently, the investigator has to be aware that their prior knowledge and assumptions and their own position have an impact on all aspects of the study, data collection, development and design, and data interpretation (Campbell and Stanley 2015, p.23).

Data Collection

There are two data collection methods for research – namely primary and secondary. For this study, secondary data collection method will be utilised, since the area of focus under investigation requires extensive research to understand the mutual relationship in celebrity personal brand and firms which this individual is collaborating with. Further, the method is more suitable to the study, since it is extremely difficult to obtain access to most celebrities to fill questionnaires and for interviews, rendering primary data collection method inappropriate.

Secondary sources such as research papers, previously published research articles, magazines, and academic literature will be used to collect data and will include a search through the Internet using key words such as celebrities, celebrities’ personal brands, and effects of celebrity branding on high profile brands. Information collected will include all knowledge and information related to stars’ personal brands and firms which collaborate with celebrities for product promotion purposes. The materials to be used will include those published within the last five years. It will be fundamental in finding out what other scholars have researched concerning celebrity brand of personal brands and high profile firms. Further, it will assist in determining advantages gained by the stars as well as the companies they are collaborating with.

Data Analysis

The data collected through literature review will be analysed using the method of content analysis. The technique will be imperative in identifying how celebrities come up with personal brands, how these individuals become involved in high profile brands advertising, how it helps their overall personal brands, and finally, how the celebrities and the firms they are collaborating with benefit. Content analysis is a research method used to make valid and replicable inferences by coding and interpreting textual material (Neuendorf 2016, p.4). According to Drisko and Maschi (2015, p.56), content analysis allows more objective evaluation instead of a comparison of the content based on the impressions of the audience. Further, as Thorne (2016, p.14) notes, the technique is integral to organisational research, as it enables investigators to examine and recover the nuance of societal trends, organisational behaviours, and stakeholders’ perceptions, which are all key to the current research.

Research Problems/Potential Weaknesses

In the current research, there are several challenges that are likely to occur in the process. For instance, the study uses literature review to gather information which is time-consuming. Given the limited time available for the research, it may pose a major challenge. Similarly, the method requires a lot of resources which may not be available and limiting as well. The data analysis approach might pose a number of challenges due to the diverse continent techniques that exist (Chi et al. 2016, p.2208). These threats include but not limited to developing of the appropriate coding schemes and proxy dictionaries, finding adequate measures, ensuring reliability and validity, and working with texts from different sources (Robson 2017, p.78). Additionally, it is conceded that primary data collection methods such as questionnaires and interviews may provide a deeper insight into advantages gained by the celebrities, their personal brands as well as the brand they are collaborating with. However, in order to gain access to a wide range of information for use, secondary data collection method was selected. Another inherent issue that may occur is the difficulty in establishing the reliability and the validity of the collected content which is an important issue in research.


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January 19, 2024


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