- Posted March 14, 2014 by
California Marketing Firm Connects Celebrities With Start-Ups
After years of meticulous pondering and planning, you finally accrue the budget to start your own company. You are convinced it will be the next big thing, and everyone in your circle tells you that the product is unlike anything they have ever seen. The business model is in place, the demographic is isolated, and you even know exactly how you want to market it. But once you have accomplished all of that, how do you launch? What is a fast, effective way to gain the exposure that will make your product stand out?
A new business may have the best merchandise or idea in the world, but to profit on that once-in-a-lifetime product a foothold on marketing, branding, and exposure must be gained. One could take their chances working with a large PR firm, but there is always a chance their message may not be what you had in mind and it can become expensive to reconfigure strategies. The “shark-tank” type route can lead to additional capital for advertising, but it comes with a loss of equity.
Another, often misinterpreted, option is attending a celebrity gifting suite, a staple of the Hollywood community where gift-bags with new products are distributed at celebrations thrown in conjunction with major awards shows. Unlike the stereotype of items simply being thrown into bags and handed out to the attendees, with products shrouded in anonymity unless the recipient takes the steps to research it themselves, Celebrity Connected takes an entirely different approach.
Brands interact and market to over a hundred celebrities, allowing stars to attach a face to every product, while collecting all photo and video from the event to keep for their own marketing purposes.
“At the end of the day these gifting suites are for the clients, not the celebrities,” says Brand Manager Evan Foster. “It is a networking opportunity, a chance to put their products directly into the hands of influential people while being given the opportunity to convey the goals and messages behind their company.”
Each event’s environment is similar to a trade-show. Businesses reserve a space and create a display to promote their brand. By identifying and inviting new, innovative products that may not have otherwise had exposure, Celebrity Connected creates events with a fresh, compelling atmosphere. Technology, apparel, lifestyle, cosmetic, culinary, and many more are represented at these special engagements. Integrating a large collection of celebrities from all forms of media, businesses are afforded the luxury of pitching their product to celebrities from a broad range of demographics. Stars of cinema, television, music, and athletics all turn out for the best gifting suite in Hollywood. All this along with vast coverage from media outlets reporting on the events allows for an aggressive approach to publicity.
Celebrity Connected also curates its business model by adapting to today’s marketing practices, such as social media.
“Social Media as a marketing tool is more important than ever, something that we definitely take into account when we work with our clients” remarks Diana Colmenar, Vice President of Marketing for Celebrity Connected. “When you get one hundred celebrities into a room, and each one of those celebs has between fifty to a hundred thousand followers, you’re talking about your brand reaching millions of people simultaneously. That type of visibility is invaluable, and something that you’re not going to experience anywhere else.”
The stars at events are encouraged to Tweet, Instagram, and post to Facebook throughout their interactions with brands and, given the vibrant atmosphere that Celebrity Connected creates, they are more than happy to. Celebrity attendees have gone as far as investing in a product, wanting to get their foot in the door with an unknown brand.
“Katie Maloney [from Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules] posted a picture on Instagram of her using Rita Rims with the comment ‘Pre rimmed cup changed my margarita game.’ I commented back to her a couple times and watched our followers grow. It was crazy stuff!” exclaims Tawney Fitzhugh, owner and founder of Rita Rims, a company that provides margarita cups with pre-rimmed salt and sugar. Most consumers would never have known about Rita Rims, but when a reality personality is seen using them, it becomes a must-have product.
Rita Rims is one of many that have benefited through their relationship with Celebrity Connected. Custom Designs by Cyndie Wade, a business that creates customized hand-painted wine glasses, has seen their orders explode.
“Since [participating in] the events, I've had several celebrities join my Facebook page, I’ve received numerous inquiries about my products and an enormous amount of PRICELESS exposure” says Wade, who went from working within her local up-state New York community to receiving orders worldwide.
Steve Stein, Gene Sheynis, and Max Beck are the prolific forces behind Celebrity Connected. Stein has helped connect businesses with Hollywood’s top talent for over fifteen years, helping brands like Rockstar Energy Drink, Pop-Chips, and several other notables achieve global market status. “Others have copied us, and many once worked for us, but we were the first” Stein proudly states, and has made sure that the Irvine-based firm stays true to its model of transforming small-time businesses into big-time players.
Gifting suites can also become an entry point to further opportunities and services Celebrity Connected provides. A comprehensive marketing firm, they assist and specialize in all facets of brand management. Looking to create strategies based around the clients’ own goals and strengths, Celebrity Connected capitalizes on their own experience within promotion. Search engine optimization, content management, and social media campaigns name a few of the many angles through which Celebrity Connected seeks to improve the standing of clients. These services truly utilize every resource available to help companies reach their next level of success.
“The email appeared to be a ‘too good to be true’ opportunity” says Wade, referring to her initial correspondence with the firm. “But once I arrived at the venue, I was greeted by the Celebrity Connected team and they explained the agenda for the next two days. I found them to be very professional, well informed and accommodating.” It is that commitment to their customers that Celebrity Connected hangs their hat on. They measure themselves based on the achievements of their clients, understanding that when a company makes an investment like this they should always see results.
No one denies the importance of celebrity influence, but the question always lies in the best way to tastefully take advantage of it. Celebrity Connected answers those questions, doing everything within their power to help a business break into the spotlight by becoming connected.