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Despite the initial tailwind of visibility, why are celebrity brands 📸 just regular brands?

Reliance Retail is acquiring a 51% stake in Alia Bhatt's sustainable kids, teen, & maternity wear brand, Ed-A-Mamma, for INR 300-350 Cr. Priyanka Chopra's haircare brand Anomaly achieved the second-largest celebrity beauty brand status, with INR 4843 Cr in revenue after Rihanna owned Fenty Beauty, surpassing Kylie Cosmetics, LLC & Selena Gomez's Rare Beauty.

One of the OG’s of celebrity DTC brands, Jessica Alba's eco-friendly brand, The Honest Company, reached a $1.44 B valuation during its IPO. Ryan Reynolds sold Aviation American Gin to Diageo for $610M (comprising an upfront payment of $335M and a performance-dependent $275M), while Kylie Jenner sold Kylie Cosmetics to Coty for $600M. Gal Gadot's GOODLES secured $13M in series A funding.

Celebrity brands have also seen failures, such as Deepika Padukone's All About You, Nush by Anushka, and Rheson by Sonam Kapoor. Globally, there've been failures like Natalie Portman's vegan footwear line, Steven Spielberg's submarine-themed restaurant, and Kanye West's fashion brand Pastelle.

While brands with celebrity co-owners may initially benefit from a boost, building brand requires more than just a famous face. Let's delve into the essential aspects of celebrity-owned brands below:

1. Established Distribution Channels: Having a few hundred million social media followers, consistent organic coverage in tabloids, features on reputable social media accounts, and appearances on events and talk shows give celebrities & their brands a promotional and marketing advantage over regular brands.

2. Trustworthiness: There's a distinction between owning a brand and merely endorsing it. Consumers tend to trust brands more when celebrities have a substantial personal stake in the long-term success of the brand, rather than just seeking an immediate payday.

3. Product gap: While celebrity brands may enjoy initial advantages in distribution and visibility, the sustained success of a brand ultimately hinges on the quality of the product & its ability to address market needs. Celeb-owned womenswear brands India failed because they offered similar products in a saturated market. All the successful celeb have USPs. Ed-A-Mamma sells sustainable clothing in an emerging market, Gin Aviation focuses on gluten-free gin.

4. Risks to Personal Branding: Any controversial political or social statements made by a celebrity can not only impact their personal brand but also lead to losing customers with opposing views.

5. Alignment Matters: Recently, a Gen Z-focused affiliate marketplace secured funding from a millennial fashion influencer and made her one of the brand's faces. However, long-term alignment should be considered. In contrary, when Alia Bhatt launched Ed-A-Mamma, she wasn't a mother or a toddler herself, but her image of innocence was well-aligned with the brand she was building.

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