Hopefully, you know by now that this blog is focused on the public relations happening within the beauty industry. I am going to let you in on a little secret. This secret, if executed correctly is worth millions of dollars. Now that I have your attention, let us discuss product endorsements.
I will start off by asking you a simple question. If you had the option to pay for a collection of Dior’s newest makeup products or get the entire collection for free, what would you choose? I think, like me, you would choose to get it for free. Well, what if I then told you Dior is giving away millions of dollars worth of free products that it only hopes the public will see.
The Business Dictionary defines product endorsement as, “a written or public statement by a celebrity, business or professional group extolling the virtues of a product and recommending the use of the product to the public.” Of course with the overwhelming advances in social media, product endorsements have gone rampant. Product endorsement is very simple, get an influencer to like your product then hope they tell everyone they know about it in what could be the most lucrative tactic for earned media. I can think of a couple of examples, such as your favorite beauty guru telling you how much they love wearing the newest NARS Cosmetics blush.
Product endorsement skates the fine lines between public relations, advertising, and marketing. In the article, “How Brands Should Use Celebrities For Endorsements,” author Steve Olenski says “even small businesses would be foolish to resist the mere exploration of celebrity influencers to promote their brand.” Unlike marketing and advertising, public relations focuses on organic endorsement and the goal is to build authentic relationships.
For example, Dior cosmetics reaches out to a well-known beauty influencer. In the message, Dior may say something about how much the company enjoys the influencer’s content and offers to send them new products from its latest collection. The influencer agrees and to the influencers surprise, Dior has sent them not only one but two overnight packages. One for the influencer and another to share. Excited and impressed by the quality of the product, the influencer gets on social media and tells everyone they know about the generosity of Dior. What Dior has done here is what Dr. Regina Luttrell mentions in, “Social Media – How to Engage, Share, and Connect,” as “engaging genuinely and effectively.”
In the example above, Dior only paid for overnight shipping. Then to the joy of both parties, the collection got fully endorsed through word-of-mouth. This action done by the company will hopefully encourage engagement and generate higher sales. Of course, this is the best case scenario for any product endorsement campaign.
A recent article from Market Watch, says current consumers are sophisticated and crave a connection with the “rich and powerful.” Think of your favorite influencer. Mine at the moment is Patricia Bright. Bright is a beauty, lifestyle and fashion vlogger with millions of followers. After watching her latest, PR unboxing video, I realized just how much most beauty companies are reaching out to influencers and creating these strategic relationships that encourage a somewhat organic product endorsement. To be honest, at the end of each video or well-placed post, if you are not buying it I am.