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).
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:
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.
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.
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:
Again the strategy was spot on, with a countdown on the shop windows so that everyone was anticipating the launch.
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 â€“ 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".
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.
So, what are your views dear readers? Will the identity benefit Kate Moss? Will others follow in her footsteps? Comments most welcome...