Business Strategies Dec, 01 2015

Celebrities can convert Fan followers into franchisees

When a popular celebrity from films or sports, uses or promotes a brand’s product, the country follows. Nothing creates more curiosity and desire than the aspirational lives that celebrities lead. And when celebrities endorse brands or products, it creat

By Amanpreet Kaur, TFW Bureau
Chief Sub Editor
Celebrities can convert Fan followers into franchisees

“Yes, we have seen a significant surge in the number of enquiries due to the Yuvraj connect,” Karan Sareen, Director, SportyBeans.

“Celebrity needs to be chosen with care, as there is always the risk of personal behavior or over exposure diluting star value and negatively impacting the brand name,” CK Kumaravel, Co-founder, Naturals.

From bollywood stars to sport celebrities, franchisors are roping  B town as brand ambassadors for their respective brands to be profitable in business and reaching out to customers directly. Celebs like Amitabh Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Deepika Padukone, Salman Khan and Yuvraj Singh have recently been signed up for franchise brands like; South India’s Naturals Salons, Tanishq, Being Human and SportyBeans. The trend of associating with top notch celebrities is catching up quickly and the reasons are plenty to talk about.

How profitable are celebrity endorsements?

The trend of teaming up with celebrities has been popular in international markets. Now, developing countries are also following the footsteps of international counterparts to create a distinct brand value in customer’s mindset. As Indian market is showing positive signs as a developing economy with lot of investments taking place every year and growing entrepreneurial activity coupled with intensifying competition, many brands are now looking to win the rat race of grabbing the top slot in terms of building their brand, creating awareness and attracting profits their way.

Is fan following fetching more footfall?

The promising factor which makes this a favorable move is that brands are able to fetch better profits as the celebrity’s fan following helps in fetching footfall within the stores. In fact, celebs are keen on investing in projects that are unique and offering a profitable avenue for franchisees. Lately, YouWeCan Ventures promoted by cricket sensation Yuvraj Singh, invested in SportyBeans concept that specialises in educating children through sports. Sporty Beans is one- of- its -kind sports programme for children between the age group of 1.5 to 8 years where it teaches them nine different ball sports namely soccer, basketball, cricket, golf, hockey, tennis and rugby. Children focussed sports programme, SportyBeans has recently secured an undisclosed amount of funding led by cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s YouWeCan ventures.

Adding positively about the increase in number of franchise enquiries, Karan Sareen, Director, Sporty Beans adds, “Yuvraj embodies all the life skills we aim to imbibe in children at SportyBeans and understands the importance of giving children an early and structured exposure to sports and so SportyBeans happens to be his favourite sports programme. Yes, we have seen a significant surge in the number of enquiries due to the Yuvraj connect. And SportyBeans plans to open 200 centres in the next two years and generate revenues of over Rs 80 crore.” Apart from Sporty Beans, YouWeCan ventures also invested into niche concepts including – Vyomo (Mobile App Platform), Moovo (business of cargo logistics), Healthians,, JetSetGo (an online marketplace for private jet and helicopter charter flights), Cartisan (an automotive service marketplace), Sports365 (leading online sports & fitness company) and Carl’s Jr (a chain of restaurants).

Handle with care in choosing the brand ambassador

On the other side, commenting about the support the brands gets after signing celebrities for brand endorsements, C. K. Kumaravel, Co-founder, Naturals avers, “Many brands pay substantial sums to celebrities in the belief that their endorsement is a simple, tried and tested way to maximize advertising effectiveness. To a consumer, a celebrity helps build brand equity by creating product/brand differentiation over competitors in the market. Studies show that celebrity endorsements also increase customer recall of the advertisement, thus increasing sales for the brand. At times, the reverse is also true, where people believe that the brand contributes to the status of the celebrity. Brands also feel that celebrities are a means of implying perceived expertise and trustworthiness.”  He also feels that the celebrity needs to be chosen with care, as there is always the risk of personal behavior or over exposure diluting star value and negatively impacting the brand name. If the celebrity is carefully selected, there is much effectiveness in bringing in footfalls to the salon, thanks to the celebrity advertisements.  

In today's competitive marketplace, if a company or a brand is associated with a celebrity, it will support the brand to get instant recognition that would normally take years. From a marketing viewpoint, it is observed as one of the best ways to build a brand, get exposure and profits at the same time.

Benefits of celebrity association

*   Enhances brand's credibility
*    Direct connect with customers
*    Helps in brand positioning
*    Brand awareness
*    Profits for franchisees
*    Increase in franchise enquiries
*    More footfalls  in stores

Related: Personalisation is the key to profits

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