Business Gets Personal With Celebrity Weight Loss Endorsements

January 20, 2012  |  

It seems like you can’t watch television for more than five minutes without Jennifer Hudson singing the praises of Weight Watchers or Janet Jackson cooing over Nutrisystem. Give it another five minutes, and Mariah Carey will be partying for Jenny Craig and Charles Barkley will tell you the finer points of how to lose weight like a man. Celebrity weight loss endorsements used to be reserved for the drastic weight changes of obese celebrities looking to make a comeback. But, now it seems everyone is jumping on the weight loss bandwagon, whether they are losing baby weight or slimming down to a healthier size.

It could just be the time of year. Weight loss programs like to take advantage of New Year’s resolutions and the public’s renewed dedication to getting in shape. Beyond that, American obesity has become a hot button issue in the past year. Even the First Lady is championing the values of a healthy lifestyle through her “Let’s Move!” campaign. Programs like Weight Watchers would be wise to increase advertising dollars to take advantage of the dialogue happening around maintaining a healthy weight.

Of course, celebrities are always looking for a way to diversify their revenue. But, their willingness to endorse weight loss programs reflects a newfound understanding of branding. The concept of branding has expanded beyond a product’s packaging. Branding is now where the personal and professional meet, allowing a person to use their personality and life experiences to differentiate them professionally.

Charles Barkley caused a fuss earlier this month when a hot microphone picked up his comments that that his Weight Watchers deal was a scam. After all, he is getting paid to live healthier, something he should be doing anyway. Charles’ logic doesn’t take into account this expanded view of branding and business. Not only should personal experiences be used to promote yourself professionally, it would be silly not to.

Everyone has a brand to attend to. Just as these celebrities are using personal experiences like losing baby weight or slimming down for a healthier lifestyle to cash in, you too can monetize the milestones in your life. Celebrities may rely on endorsements, but there are plenty of ways the average businesswoman can use personal experiences to expand her brand and business.

Make life events a part of your brand and analyze how your personal interests can enrich your business. Does your business benefit new mothers in a way that you didn’t realize until you were expecting? Explore the possibilities of marketing to this new audience. If you pick up a new hobby, notice the needs of the individuals who share that interest and think of ways your business can address them. It can be as big as creating a new product offering or as simple as shifting your marketing strategy.

The beauty of expanding your brand in this way is that it is inherently genuine. Your audience will feel a personal and professional connection with you, making them all the more willing to support you professionally.

Cortney Cleveland is a public relations practitioner and freelance writer working in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @CleveInTheCity.



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