“I wanted to be more famous than Persil Automatic”. You’ll find these words, recorded in Victoria Beckham’s 2001 autobiography ‘Learning to Fly’. Who would have thought that this expression of a yearning to be famous would result in the multi million pound “Posh and Becks” global empire. Born Victoria Caroline Adams, on the 17th April 1974, she made her first appearance at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex. Victoria was destined to become celebrity royalty herself, when she was chosen from four hundred “wannabes” to be a member of the girl band “The Spice Girls”.
Once the group came under the Svengali like influence of their manager Simon Fuller they took off big time! In fact, to say they took off is a massive understatement, as the rise of The Spice Girls was nothing short of meteoric. Since the Spice Girls finally disbanded after their somewhat questionable comeback tour, ‘Posh’ has pursued a second career in the fashion world. Pretty much everyone was of the view that this would just be another high profile celebrity cashing in on her fame.We all expected that the ‘Victoria Beckham brand would appear on some anonymous but high quality fashion designer’s work. But we were all proved wrong.Victoria turned out to be an accomplished fashion designer in her own right and is every bit as famous today for her fashion as she was for her role as ‘Posh’Spice. We all know that fame is the stuff that celebrity is made of, but has it genuinely got a place in the serious business of building brands that are valued at millions of pounds on the balance sheets of the world’s largest companies.
For the answer let’s turn to the IPA report Marketing In The Era of Accountability. The findings state unequivocally that making “brand fame” your communications strategy leads to significantly more effective campaigns, outperforming campaigns targeting such measures as awareness, differentiation, penetration, quality, commitment and trust.
The other key point made in the report is that fame is not just another way of expressing awareness. It’s a perception of authority in the category, rather than a state of knowledge. So it’s not really surprising that fame as an objective, when compared with awareness, produces stronger results across the entire range of business effects including sales, market share, profit, penetration, loyalty and price sensitivity.
When you consider that we value the famous far more than the little known, Victoria clearly had it right all along.