Since Emily Dawson sprinkled her consultant magic on to Bromley Brides, the boutique has secured one of the industry’s biggest celebrity ambassadors. In this article, she discusses how bridal boutiques can elevate their branding through celebrity endorsement.
Celebrity Endorsement is a tool of influence or an elevation strategy which is key in the fashion, retail and beauty industries. It has evolved over the years from advertisements in magazines, like Vogue, to product placement in TV and now influential campaigns and Instagram posts where brands are championed. It comes down to the psychology involved and the power of the brand delivering a perception in the mind of the consumers, or in this case ‘the bride’. Be it of luxury, high value, diversity or inclusiveness – whichever is most pivotal for the brand.
A PR strategy – without giving too many of my secrets away – is vital to a business’ success! It’s the art of storytelling, as it establishes your brand’s messages in the heart of your consumers and targets their key sources of influence whether this be through media channels or social platforms.
A PR strategy is multi-faceted, and can elevate a brand in addition to aid successful collaboration with a celebrities or influencers, as it seeks to maximise publicity for the delivered message. For example, Bromley Brides boutique is of a high calibre, selling luxury dresses to an audience who care about high quality design details and the wow-factor on their wedding day!
You need to understand your local market and the key ‘influencers’ over their purchasing decision.
If you can identify a celebrity or influencer with local leverage and someone who is key for the bridal industry, either for being an expert of getting married. The goal is to inspire dress purchases and enhance your retail experience. This is why it worked so well with David Emanuel and Bromley Brides, as he was already established within the world of bridal and more widely known for his host role on Say Yes to the Dress: UK on the global TV channel TLC across six series.
In the case of Bromley Brides, we tied in David’s endorsement to the launch of their brand-new bridal suite ‘The Wonder Room’, to put it on the map and attract a wealthier clientele from the surrounding areas. It helps if you have a reason, whether is a launch or a re-brand of your boutique. David also attracted media attention from Hello! magazine, due to his royal connections, which ensured mainstream media coverage which ensured national distribution.
There is an example of Blackburn Bridal in Blackheath working with Love Island’s Olivia Attwood to try on bridal dresses and showcase their beautiful bohemian range of dresses. This was featured on her TV programme Olivia Meets Her Match, which airs to over 500,000 viewers (predominantly women 16-34) on ITVBe – putting the bridal boutique on the map without parting with expensive Instagram post fees! A mutual relationship can benefit both parties, whether its profile-raising for the influencer or celeb in question or merely to sample dresses to gauge. As part of my PR Consultancy services, I work together with the client to target and identify the right talent that fits into either a current demographic or an elevation strategy.
Choose wisely, as your brand will be aligned and associated with ‘their brand’ long after the promotional period is over. It is advised to look at previous brands they have been associated with and look at their engagement levels on Instagram. From this, you are able to best negotiate social posts and stories mentioning your brand for cross-pollination and you can infiltrate the celebrity’s audience in addition to attracting new members. Contracting talent is for your protection to ensure deliverance on the negotiated requirements in the time frame you specify is a pre-requisite. Mounting costs can happen if you do not stipulate upfront your budget, required deliverables and clear deadlines.
1. Budget – Before choosing a celebrity, work out exactly how much you have to spend to accelerate your business.
2. Targeting – Target the right celebrity in-line with your audience
3. Contracting – Is vital for overall protection and to ensure you have a legally binding agreement.
4. Relationship Management – this needs to be regular and consistent to ensure you work together as one cohesive team.
5. Leveraging the promotion – through press release announcements, social announcements and social posts that will work in harmony with your partnership.
6. Maintaining the relationship – this is key for longevity and retaining exclusivity amongst your competitors, who will also be looking for opportunities.
Invest in a good PR Consultant! This is key in driving it all forward and keeping on top of the many processes and moving parts. Knowing their audience is also imperative. Boutiques can collect data through a range of tools and incentivized customer surveys sent as an aftercare package. The software called ‘Bridal Live’ encourages the capture of consumer data at inception, when new customers book an appointment online. This can then be stored internally to inform the business on the clientele they are attracting and help shape their targeting decisions.
Understanding the ROI and the long-term investment is also critical. There is no ‘quick fix’ solution to increase turnover - it will not happen overnight - and boutique owners need to be patient before they start seeing the results and direct impact to their business. Once boutiques understand that the overall results far outweigh the initial investment and work to skyrocket their brand awareness, they will be in the mindset to attract abundance and new success!
If you would like to find out how EKD Consultancy can help your store, get in touch for a free consultation with Emily via: firstname.lastname@example.org.