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From the very beginning, Cybex has relied on the cooperation with famous brand ambassadors. The hardware manufacturer uses the Celebrity Endorsement brand strategy in a targeted manner to increase sales. Johannes Schlamminger, CEO of the Cybex brand, tells Luna Journal what is important when working with famous brand ambassadors.
Since when have you been working specifically with celebrities as testimonials of the brand?
Johannes Schlamminger, CEO Cybex: “Since Cybex was founded about 15 years ago, the integration of opinion leaders and famous brand ambassadors into communication has been a central component of our marketing strategy. However, it is not only the celebrities we use, but above all our customers who share their experiences with the Cybex brand and our products on their communication platforms.
How do the characteristics of the respective celebrities affect the consumer’s perception of the brand image?
If the credibility is given and the consumer notices that a person, whether known or not, stands behind the brand or fits the brand and its offer, this has a positive effect on the brand and its image with consumers. The customer has a good feeling for whether a celebrity can judge a product and is really interested in learning more about it. You can see that in yourself: If you look at Instagram or Facebook posts from celebrities who are holding a product into their cameras for the sake of advertising, you usually keep swiping. However, if the product shown is related to the person who is posting it, you often want to know more about it.
How does such celebrity support affect consumers’ buying intentions?
Even if the support of convincing celebrities helps brands to increase attention and interest, the influence on the purchase decision is rather small. Here the customer usually orients him- or herself on objective test ratings, the qualitative characteristics of the products and how these correspond to his or her personal demand profile, but also on the recommendation of family and friends.
Do you see any differences here between Germany and the rest of the world?
On the whole, the differences are not very big, both nationally and internationally. Of course, especially in countries with a high social media affinity, such as the USA, China or South Korea, one achieves a much greater reach when celebrities communicate a certain brand on their platforms. However, in times of increasing global digitization, such values become more and more similar.
How do you find suitable testimonials for your brand? What characteristics should they have?
Credibility plays the most important role for us. A celebrity brings advantages to a brand if he stands behind it and the products and knows what is behind it. And that’s clear: For example, a supermodel like Giselle Bündchen, who is already a mother, can judge significantly better whether our products are good compared to a model that is not yet a mother. And a star designer like Jeremy Scott can better judge what’s currently in vogue than most others. But there is also the fact that a celebrity must really like our brand and share our values. If there is no bond here, there is no credibility and any advertising, for example in the form of social media posts, would go up in smoke or even have a negative effect. Accordingly, you always have to make sure that you select suitable candidates when searching. We have a worldwide network at our disposal that knows exactly what is important to us and therefore pays attention to it right from the start when searching. In the case of Cybex, however, most celebrities approach us on their own initiative, precisely because they become parents or already are and simply like the brand and our products. So we don’t have to take any action ourselves.
What benefit did you see in 2017 through the use of celebrity endorsement marketing? Is that measurable?
Such marketing measures can be measured especially by the reaction of end-consumers on social platforms. How many people react to a post from a celebrity? How many likes and shares does the post receive, and how positive are the corresponding comments? The second step is to analyze relatively precisely whether the people who have responded to a post then visit the other platforms of a brand, such as the website, in order to obtain further information. However, it is difficult to judge exactly to what extent these measures have led to which overall sales increase. However, since the Cybex brand has been recording very positive sales growth for years and we have been focusing very intensively on this type of marketing for years too, it can of course be assumed that the corresponding activities will have a positive effect.
Do you see this marketing strategy as a success for the Cybex brand and will it remain part of the strategy in the future?
In any case, we remain true to this strategy. Because nothing is more important than people talking positively about a brand and sharing their experiences with its products on their platforms. In the future, we will remain true to our strategy of using celebrities only when they have a great interest in our brand and fit in with our values. Purchased partnerships, just because someone is a celebrity, have never been our business and will therefore not be our way in the future.
Design cooperations are also becoming increasingly important. What are you planning in this direction for the company in the future?
Here, too, Cybex can be described as a pioneer in the industry. It all started with Lala Berlin. Today we work together with the international star designer and art director of Moschino, Jeremy Scott, among others, and recently launched our third joint collection on the market. The Dutch furniture, product and interior designer Marcel Wanders has also become a friend of the company, with whom we launched our first furniture collection in 2016. For us, this type of collaboration has always been important, as it allows us to receive the latest trends and inspirations directly from opinion leaders in various fields and to incorporate them into our product developments.
What are your future plans for 2019?
In 2019, too, we will try to surprise end-customers in a positive way. This ranges from new design, new features and technologies to new collections and perhaps also a new cooperation.
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Link: Der Kinderwagenhersteller Cybex stellt Kollektion mit Jeremy Scott vor