Brands in China do well when working with brand ambassadors, the FMCG industry is not an exception. According to a report released by 119IT, in April 2022 alone, a total of 115 brands in China had new endorsements officially announced, with a total of 227 new endorsers, most of which were FMCG brands.
There is no doubt that choosing a good ambassador is important for any FMCG brand. From a branding perspective, the ambassadors themselves are their own brand. They come as a package with fans. So the collaboration of a brand and an ambassador is rather a collab of two brands.
The brands help each other to form a brand identity, strengthen the brand personality and establish brand image association. The ambassador empowers the brand in the process, and the brand forms brand equity as well.
From the point of view of sales, it is common for consumers to pay for their favorite celebrities, and it is easier for consumers to boost sales of fast-moving products than expensive durable consumer goods, which can directly promote the revenue.
Read on this article to learn more about how FMCG brands can choose the right ambassador.
1. Analyze the needs of the brand
It is important to first define what FMCG brands want their ambassador to bring. If brands want their FMCG brand to be young, then it is a good choice to pick a young star who has a large fanbase in China. If brands want to improve the tone of their FMCG brand by, choosing a traffic star (traffic stars are those that has a great number of devoted followers who are willing to pay for anything in which they participate in) is not as effective as choosing a well-known actor or artist, especially an international one, who helps to build a high-end image.
If you want to expand a specific new target audience for your FMCG products, it is better to choose someone who is outstanding in that field than to follow the measure of universal popularity.
Take Perfect Diary for example. Perfect Diary is a fast-emerging local Chinese cosmetic brand that is positioned as a new local affordable brand with products that follow the route of ultimate cost performance. It put beauty KOLs on RED/Bilibili for word-of-mouth marketing during its early stage to make its products more known among the public.
Perfect Diary, which already had a certain level of product awareness, needed an ambassador who could enhance the tonality of its brand, and it chose Zhou Xun. Zhou Xun is a famous Chinese actress who has won domestic and foreign awards, and her image are in line with “high-end” and “international” concepts.
Perfect Diary perfectly feeds its brand image through the image of their ambassador successfully. Perfect Dairy released its TVC of Zhou Xun, which has been played 1.8 million times, and the Weibo hashtag #Zhou Xun, the global ambassador of Perfect Diary#, has been read by more than 15 million people.
2. Tap into current trends to choose direction and type of ambassador
Following the definition of the brand’s internal demands, the next stage is to investigate the general environment and then the sorts of consumers who are currently interested in the areas they are interested in, which necessitates a specific sensitivity to the Chinese trend.
Due to China’s large population and audience, anyone can become famous overnight from just showing up on a series or a variety show, and the celebrity effect in the wind of public opinion can provide the brand with significant exposure at the same time.
During the Chinese New Year, Eileen Gu earned tremendous attention with her spectacular performance in the Winter Olympics, and people identified her with words like “brilliant girl”, “good energy” and “outstanding”. Many brands inked endorsement deals with her before the Winter Olympics, and these brands have relied on her to generate awareness ever since.
3. Assessing the right people
When a brand has decided on its direction and type of ambassador, the following step is to evaluate the chosen individual. The correct use of the ambassador and their cost effectiveness, i.e. the fit between the brand and the ambassador, is one of the most critical factors to overview.
This is why a CSI model (celebrity selection index) that examines a comprehensive index of celebrities based on social influence, eye-catching index, and brand booster index is particularly important. The specifics are divided into two categories: ambassador evaluation (social influence, eye-catching index) and brand fit evaluation (brand booster index).
FMCG products tend to target the mass market, which means that their distribution channels will expand into supermarkets in third and fourth tier cities, in addition to first and second tier cities. So the issue that FMCG brands face is how to broadcast quickly and on a huge scale. To do this, these firms are leveraging super idols that already have a lot of fame to help them extend their impact quickly, therefore the ambassador’s popularity is highly vital.
For social impact, there are three factors to consider: social buzz, Internet word of mouth, and the potential to attract fans.
Furthermore, risk variables are classified into seven major categories: politics, illegal, drug-related, cheating, racism, controversy, and sexual orientation. Li Yifeng is one such example. Following the disclosure of his prostitution scandal, about fifteen brands terminated his contract, and many consumers flocked to the social media profiles of which he was a brand ambassador to write comments indicating that the brand had not chosen a decent ambassador.
Overall, the process of identifying a brand person for an FMCG brand is a never-ending one. Selecting the best ambassador is a matter of identifying the core, the one that most resonates with the target consumer group, and fleshing it out. A brand has identified the appropriate ambassador when customers can recall your brand name within seconds of seeing the celebrity.
However, finding the perfect ambassador is not the end of the process; FMCG businesses must also decide how to collaborate: is it a regular endorsement (including TVC + print + co-activity), a product co-creation endorsement, or simply a promotion ambassador, etc.? All these factors should be considered
Alarice may tap into our vast network of Chinese social media influencers to assist your company in developing goal-specific social marketing campaigns and profitable collaborations. Contact us here to get more information.