Endorsement for Brand exposure: Does that really work?

Create an awareness towards a brand is hard work.  That means elaborating tactics to come to consumers´ mind when thinking about a particular product category and that requires a lot of struggle from companies. The rules might be quite complicated but it can be summed up by these three scenarios:

1st -unknown companies that are trying to grab some market share but initially attracting attention to their products/services;

2nd – others which have a good reputation but aim at becoming more memorable;

3rd – finally the market share leaders ones usually widely known or frequently purchased, simply the Top-of-Mind brands. Their goal is to maintain high levels of brand awareness.

It is possible to see in the pyramid all these segments within the market with all organizations potentially trying to reach its top, showing pure progression in the hierarchy.

To boost that Brand Awareness, we may find well known strategies. Amongst many, we could easily cite celebrity endorsement as one of the most followed practices used in the market.

And this also can refer to associations and agreements within movie and sports stars who are on the spot.  Talking about sports, it simply means taking that spectacular player or the entire team – for example a national team – and sponsor it, ensuring that anytime the image of this player or players pops up or is screened on TV or any kind of press media, the brand will be exposed along.

The idea is to be associated with something or someone to reach the same level of importance and relevance they have to the public. The main feature is to capture the eyes and minds of the people on it, correlating one another and bringing them together – even unconsciously.

One outstanding example was the duo Nike and Michael Jordan. In order to promote the brand into the sports market, Nike idealized and foresaw potential in a skinny and talented college basketball player who was about to get into the most competitive league in the world – NBA – and took the risk of picking him to be the ambassador of the brand to sell more shoes. Nike never thought that this chemistry would work so well. Michael Jordan not just sold thousands of shoes but literally became a co-brand called Air Jordan. This is one of those memorable examples as well as Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant etc.

However sometimes this can be a dangerous move for companies which do not plan it consistently and end up spending large amounts of money on something that they will never see a positive return. For example the Brazilian National Team, represented by the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation) that has not less than 13 companies as sponsors. Yes thirteen! And this is culminating in problems for them because it is not generating the recall expected. A recent research done by Stochos Sports & Entertainment states that 40,5% of 8.329 interviewees were not capable of mentioning not even one of those 13 sponsors. That is seriously very worrying for them, regarding their efforts in exposure.

The picture shows Neymar (considered the best brazilian player at the moment)  and how the publicity of these brands are done on the background. Notice how it is actually confusing people´s mind instead of sending a clear message of its positioning. Apart from Nike – major sponsor – the rest looks like a mix of colours that resembles a disorganized rainbow.

The left side of the following picture illustrates the amount of money (in millions of BRL$ – Brazilian Real) spent by these companies and on the other side the percentage of recall – among those almost 9,000 people interviewed.

I believe that in the greed for more money to come in, CBF allowed that much of sponsorship to join the “Brazilian team Brand” as we can call. It is completely fair as they aim at profit and no longer at forming a good situation for the selection to develop. Money has become the top priority issue. Even accepting this sad reality as true, the brands are competing with each for space in that board – which based on the recall reaction survey – it is proved not to be working by its results.

For me it is a matter of replaning again that move from a companies ‘ perspective to get consistent and solid results, as showed the impact of such strategy is hitting consumers in a very low frequency and it tends to be ineffective and wasteful.  In my opinion,  the same amount of money they spend on the Brazilian team, could have been used to sponsor a club team. The argument is the exposure, in the Brazilian team´s case would be greater on the other hand you will be fighting for attention among others, which would not happen if you did it just in one club. Besides, sometimes is even better because clubs are regularly playing twice a week and they have their games broadcasted on TV, which means more exposure rather than twice a month as the Brazilian team is doing today. It is just an alternative and of course it has more details involved but that could be a money more well-invested than it has been today

What about you? What is the best thing it can be done if you were a marketing manager facing this situation?

Would love to hear from you…