Why do some consumers follow athletes obsessively and buy whatever product they endorse?
Different factors lead to this conclusion, but these may include one or a mix of these:
- Some customers are impulsive and make emotional decisions regardless of an item’s price tag.
- They can relate to the story of the athlete because they overcame great odds, have a similar background or they aspire to become them.
- They connect with the person on an emotional level.
These are just some of the reasons athletes are effective endorsers and brand ambassadors. As an athlete or marketer, how do you leverage these to build a strong brand that resonates with your intended audience?
Experts from a sports branding agency cite the following techniques that may help you achieve this goal.
Consumers want authenticity from the athletes they support. They want to know their values, their goals, their families, their aspirations and sometimes even their weaknesses. Storytelling has come to the forefront of marketing in sports.
The most successful athletes have built a brand around their personas. They use these to connect with their audience and create stories that resonate with their audience.
Extend the Brand
Many sports brands no longer focus on just on shoes anymore, they have diversified into different kinds of products from cologne to deodorants to casual wear. This diversification broadens their reach into similar industries.
This is also applicable to personal brands; avoid limiting your brand to clothes exclusively, but extend it to other kinds of products as well.
Build a Private Label
Nike is a good example of a brand that extended its reach by creating private labels. The company has created Jordan brand specifically for the most popular basketball player. This has successfully launched Jordan branded shoes worn and endorsed by other athletes.
They have also launched jerseys and apparel with the Jump Man logo. This approach provides maximum reach and higher possibility of conversion because it builds a brand around a recognizable persona.
Social Media Marketing
Social media was non-existent two decades ago, now it is an effective and cost-cutting approach to reaching a wider audience. Athletes have leveraged this platform to not just promote brands they believe in, but also speak their mind on social issues.
An athlete has more control over their narrative now because they can use their own accounts to say whatever they want. Brands and athletes can leverage these to directly reach and connect specific audiences.
Have an “Essence”
It is not enough to endorse a product that is top quality, an endorser needs to have an “essence” and an authentic persona that people can relate to. The values an organization embodies will play an important role in how your intended audience perceives you.
Attitude is Important
Some brands embody a certain attitude their customers connect with, this can be blue-collar values of hard work and perseverance or a form of rebellion to the status quo. These are traits that some people look for when using products or supporting an athlete.
These are just a few techniques that allow you to build a strong brand as an athlete or a company that offers sports products. Implement these to get the results you want and broaden your audience.