Identity for Celebrity / Kate Moss


Model Agency Storm has employed interesting marketing tactics in regard to Kate Moss' growing popularity. Love her or hate her she is one of Britain's most famous celebrities and a woman of the moment. Not surprisingly she is now starting to endorse product ranges and cash in on this popularity (which may back-fire we'll have to see).

Celebrity Identities

From a design and marketing perspective endorsements by celebrities brings about a mighty challenge. What normally happens is that each company of which the individual is affiliated with develops it's own identity for that individual. For example David Beckham, who has endorsed many products has had many different graphic identities eg:

David Beckham Branding Examples

In each advert his name appears differently. This of course is poor branding for the individual star - the identities are not consistent, the only thing which is is that obviously each endorsement holds an image. Why should this be the only thing that is consistent? Surely what would be far better for the celebrity is to have their own graphic identity, or logo, which can be used consistently across all the endorsements and products they work with.

Kate Moss

This is exactly what has happened with Kate Moss. According an article in Creative Review Kate Moss's Modelling Agency, Storm, realised that both TopShop and Coty, two company's Kate Moss was going to endorse products with, were both working on a brand for her at the same time. They then decided to pull in Peter Saville, and Paul Barnes to come up with a brand for Kate Moss of which they could license out to companies who she works with. The results are displayed below.

Kate Moss Logo

The logotype is a remake of a font originally designed by the world famous Alexey Bodovitch. It is modern and yet historical, stylish and yet not flashy. Simple and yet complex. Overall it depicts Kate Moss in a graphic which can continue on, long after she looses her good looks.

The identity is visible now in Topshop's stores in the UK and on Topshops website and should also continue into the future in any other endorsements Kate Moss may partake in. See the identity in action:

TopShop Kate Moss Website

Moss Store

Again the strategy was spot on, with a countdown on the shop windows so that everyone was anticipating the launch.

The Benefits

So why is this beneficial to the celebrity?:

• Constancy across all mediums and all endorsements.
• A strong brand identity that can be used after the individual looses their good looks.
• Recognition beyond a photograph
• Can add personality and style that the celebrity want to portray not what the endorsement company wants to portray.

The strategy also holds within it these benefits to companies who, in the future may want to collaborate with the celebrity:

• It gives certification – It looks more like an "official" endorsement.
• Provides a link between the endorsement company and other products and brands that the celebrity has endorsed.

All of these things leads to one thing - more power for the one who owns the brand. This is all in keeping with the number one rule of branding "keep it consistent".

Where To From Now?

In my personal view this may be the start of a new trend in branding. It is around today but is not taken advantage of by celebrities. The ability to brand oneself in a graphic logo. To some degree the celebrity is the brand - the celebrity carries the attitude, the key messages, the tone. This is then transformed into a graphic logo which reflects that and builds upon those qualities.

Personally I feel that this was a good move by Storm, and I'm sure other celebrities will do the same. The inconsistency that famous people have within the way their names are displayed is surprising. Consider famous music names like Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, or Kylie Minogue. These individuals are brands in their own right but the way they are portrayed graphically is different every time, on every album, in every magazine, in every endorsement. These individuals could become a lot more powerful by implementing marketing values into their long-term plans.

Your Thoughts?

So, what are your views dear readers? Will the identity benefit Kate Moss? Will others follow in her footsteps? Comments most welcome...

Comments

The "Kate Moss" typeface looks unbalanced. There's just something unsettling about it that makes it look a bit amateurish compared to the other typefaces used in that black/white ad. Slick and slim fonts should of course go with the same kind of people, especially models, but this font sort of bombs in terms of the kind of elegancy it probably was designed to portray.

The big x-height and the curly s-es that continues well below the baseline makes it a bit confusing as if it was trying to grab a bit of everything and pull it in, but sadly you can't always pull that off nicely, and this attempt fell flat.

I'm not even going to start rambling on about the letters in "Kate"...

I'm not sure about Madonna. Graphically, she's had a theme going on for quite some time, but it appears fairly sporadically. Look at the Immaculate Collection cover, a stylized M on the light blue background, and the way her name is styled on Ray of Light seems to reference it.
Mostly though, she has managed to brand her very name. People react to the word, no matter what it looks like. "Kate Moss" will be forgotten very quickly, we'll remember that freakishly skinny model that used to do a lot of coke, but Madonna has become a part of the public subconscious by branding her name into everybody's head.
I'm not sure she'd benefit from the same strategy, because she's gotten as far as anybody can possibly get.
Jennifer Lopez made a very nice attempt - at some point, everybody knew "JLO", except that the publicity wasn't very good in content.

With regards to David Beckham having an inconsistent brand association profile - how important as a footballer, do you think Beckham really cares about his inconsistent branding image across ALL the company's he endorses, as long as his identity stays intact, I don't think he'd have a problem. After all - brands need (or needed) HIM to sell/promote. Brands latched onto him remember!? not the other way round!?

He is a FOOTBALLER who promotes brands - NOT a brand concerned about his consistency / image etc, especially at this stage of his game. Anyway you can't say brand Beckham would be better if these 'inconsistencies' were non-existent, surely. Beckham is a success. To extend a bit...Branding doesn't ALWAYS have to be consistent to be successful..ever heard of consistently inconsistent? You'd be surprised.

With Regrds to the Kate Moss thing, she and TOPSHOP are already too big / successful with public popularity to be criticised with typographical errors, ok I know you could disect it for days, but the raw image of Kate etc etc is enough to lure those poor teenagers. Kate has been a brand in herself for years and well with TOPSHOP, they've been working for years to where they are now.

Colin, I completely understand what you mean about David Beckham and also accept that he is a success. He may not care whither he has a typographic identity that is consistant, but Kate Moss's model agency, Storm, obviously think it would be benifitial for her to have one. All I am saying is that this may be the way celebrities may go in regards to their endorsements and branding. Not only will they have their talents, personality and picture as a "brand", but will also have a graphic identity. From a marketing point of view this will create a stronger imaged which can be used when the pictures, and talents of the celebrity are not as positively construed.

Sure Becham is a footballer first, brand second. What happens when he stops playing football? To create a strong graphic identity which desn't rely on his looks might be benifital in the long run. this is the case with Kate Moss. One day she will be old and wrinkly, but by creating an identity which people can start to recognise now, she may be able to continue on more successfully at that time. I accept she could do this anyway but the point is it may help.

I am simply pointing out these facts, and I for one think this is an interesting move in the marketing of celebrities. Thanks for your comments chaps. More would be most welcome...

WHAT IS THE FONT FOR IT

Hi Alice,

Do you mean the font for the Kate Moss logo? It is a unique and developed solely for the brand but as we weren't involved in the project we couldn't say...

Try searching for Alexey Bodovitch from whose design it was based upon...