Global companies have long understood the power and impact of associating popular personalities with their brand name and products. Most will agree that a successful brand ambassador can make or break a new product launch, or even catapult a company into a new era of exponential revenues after a long drought of fading brand clout.
But these days choosing a brand ambassador isn’t what it used to be. Now, with the rapid diffusion of information made possible through the Internet, companies are seeing the dangers of making hasty decisions to link their products to public figures. In the past, reputations were not etched in stone, but were relatively stable and slow to change. Conversely, these days what goes around still comes around, only now this happens at the speed of light and travels to the ends of the world.
More than just a pretty face
In the watch industry, brand ambassadors have proven themselves a weighty yet worthy investment. Whether on the playing field, in the arts or simply in the world of beautiful people, brand ambassadors have measurable positive impact on a company’s bottom line.
But their influence can be short-lived, and being in the public eye makes them the perfect target for increased scrutiny and attacks on their reputation. Traditional popularity life cycles have been distorted by the global reach of the Internet. What’s more, country variances in consumer opinion, rumours and scandals can be exposed and spread at a phenomenal rate.
Too many variables, too little time
So, given the investment, vulnerability and revenue-generating potential riding on the decision, how do watchmakers choose? Surprisingly, most brands admit to a selection process that combines a mix of networking, personal contacts and traditional market research, with a dab of ‘CEO’ feeling to finalize the decision....