Posted on December 6th by Kevin Donnellon

I am working with a prominent sports organization that wants to hire a spokesperson to energize its communications efforts, leveraging that person’s star power

This can be an effective and efficient strategy as indicated by this Harvard Business School Study that found:

“A positive pay-off to a firm’s decision to sign an endorser, and that endorsement are associated with increasing sales in an absolute sense and relative to competing brands. Additionally, sales and stock returns jump noticeably with each major achievement by the athlete. However, whereas stock-return effects are relatively constant, sales effects exhibit decreasing returns over time.”

All of us have seen a spokesperson strategy succeed (e.g. Michael Jordan, Aaron Rodgers and Serena Williams, etc) and fail terribly for a brand (e.g. Michael Vick, Lance Armstrong and Paula Deen, etc.)

So, before you decide to hire a spokesperson be sure to consider these six success characteristics:

  1. Credibility – – your spokesperson’s character and product or service knowledge must be trusted by your target.  Bob Vila’s work for Sears Craftsman tools.So, before you decide to hire a spokesperson be Aaron Rodgers 120513sure to consider these six success characteristics:n, etc.)
  2. Likability – – customers buy from people, brands and companies they like, so make sure your target is fond of your spokesperson. Steve Stricker for Avis rental cars. Such a savage!
  3. Relevant – if your spokesperson is not meaningful to your product or service, it may seem obvious but his impact will be negligible. Peyton and Eli Manning for ESPN and Direct TV.
  4. Energizing – – if people don’t get excited or enthused about your spokesperson and his or her affiliation with your product, and they will ignore this endorsement. Danica Patrick for Go Daddy.
  5. Recognizable – – your customer must instantly and I mean immediately recognize your spokesperson as you are borrowing not only his trust but also his awareness. LeBron James in my favorite for Beats Audio.
  6. Transferable – be sure their personality can be activated across all mainstream and social media platforms. If he offers the above characteristics, he will transfer well. James, Patrick and Mannings do this very well.

And be sure to media train, have a moral clause for protection and a crisis communications plan in place in case anything negative might happen with your spokesperson and your brand.

So, how do you assure the effectiveness and results from your celebrity endorser?

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