Running a successful business is difficult, Any entrepreneur will tell you the importance of proper branding, building a name and model that will encourage consumers to buy from you. There has been a massive spike in new businesses emerging already with developed branding, running through the power of celebrity.
Yes, more and more celebrities are becoming business owners. Using their personal brand to sell products that align with it, to ensure fans will be interested. Examples of celebrity owned brands include:
Sean 'Diddy' Combs: Ciroc Liquor
Drake: Virginia Black Whiskey
Rihanna: Fenty Cosmetics
Ryan Reynolds: Mint Mobile
Seth Rogen: Houseplant Cannabis
Kylie Jenner: Kylie Cosmetics
Frank Ocean: Homer Jewelry
Mike Tyson: Tyson 2.0 Cannabis
Jessica Alba: The Honest Company
Lizzo: Yitty Shapewear Clothing
George Clooney: Casamigos Tequila
And this is just to name a few. People who already have established fanbases and media attention can get significant brand awareness as a result. But, it is important to note, celebrity-entrepreneurs should sell products that fit their image or brand. It'd be much harder for someone like master chef Gordon Ramsay to sell a line of haircare products, when selling a line of cooking utensils would probably make more sense, and money. Kylie Jenner is well-known in the world of beauty, so creating a makeup line fits what she is known for. Mike Tyson, one of the greatest boxers of all time, has been procuring a post-career business and image as a cannabis advocate and farmer (legally of course). And his newest cannabis gummies are shaped like ears, a joke on the infamous ear bite he inflicted on Evander Holyfield that became a huge moment in the public eye.
Some examples of failed celebrity businesses include:
Donald Trump: Trump Steaks by Sharper Image
Smokey Robinson: "The Soul is in the Bowl" Frozen Foods
Ja Rule: Fyre Media and failed Fyre Festival
Kardashian Family: The Kardashian Kard
Donald Trump, in the 80s and 90s, was well-known as a real estate tycoon, why would people buy steaks from him? The Kardashians are a media-savvy family of models and beauty icons, why should I trust them enough to buy a prepaid Debit Card from them? These are questions a celebrity-entrepreneur should ask themselves before they dive into a business venture. The point was very bluntly made by Kanye West, when asked about Lady Gaga's business dealings:
"Look at (Lady) Gaga. She's the creative director of Polaroid. I like some of the Gaga songs. What the *@#% does she know about cameras?"
There is also a wave of businesses, not necessarily owned by celebrities, but whose services capitalize off of celebrity buzz. Rap Snacks has seen considerable growth in recent years selling chips with flavors based on different rappers, Cardi B, Lil Baby, the Migos, Master P, and Rick Ross are just some of the high-profile rappers who have a flavor of Rap Snacks, just recently partnering to sell their products at Sam's Clubs around the country.
Cameo is another example, for a certain price, you can have a celebrity make a custom video for you or a loved one, giving consumers a personal connection with the celebrities they look up to. So perhaps the trend is more so capitalizing off of celebrity and the public's need to follow and support entertainers in their ventures.
If your "brand" is suave, charismatic, rugged, like George Clooney, selling a line of tequila is something people may be interested in. If you're, well, Riri, you can sell just about anything you want in the world of fashion and cosmetics. This isn't to say that creating an out-of-brand business is impossible as a celebrity, but to do so, you should be driven and extremely confident with your idea, and if your goal is to push the envelope, go all in.
Written by Max Olarinde, @mobeige1 on all social media.
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