Next Generation of Window Branding?

Christina Lewellen
August 17, 2010
THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

Survey Results as of 08/23/2010:

Will we see additional co-branding in the window and door industry to bolster consumers' trust?

No, it will be limited.

  

 

53%

Yes, it's a likely trend.

  

 

36%

Not sure yet.

  

 

11%

Our poll respondents were mixed in their thoughts about branding with celebrities this week, and so were the folks who took the time to email me. Some wait on the sidelines to see if this will become a growing trend, and a little more than half of our poll participants think celebrity branding, like Window World’s use of Kathy Ireland, will remain limited in the window and door industry.
Still, there is a sizeable number of folks who think it might be something to grow in time. Based on the feedback I got this week, making celebrity endorsements work well needs a solid alignment of who’s representing your product and what their brand means to your potential customers.
“Celebrity endorsements … have been used probably as long as we’ve been in business, and their examples are everywhere,” writes one marketing professional in the industry. “The challenge is: find a celebrity who is universally loved in the marketing area, and have them say nice things about your product. This works great if you choose a celebrity like Johnny Pesky, who is universally loved by Bostonians and has been the spokesman for JB Sash for decades. It works not so well when you choose someone like say, Kobe Bryant or even Tiger Woods. You can invest millions in advertising campaigns built around these people, only to see it all go down the drain the minute they hit the front page with some scandal. This, to me, is the HUGE risk of using celebrity endorsements: they are completely out of your control.”
Some window and door executives may be quick to put Kathy Ireland down as a former model looking for a paycheck (and believe me, I received several emails with this sentiment expressed), but the bottom line is that many consumers—particularly women—may feel some sort of connection to their former “Dancing with the Stars” favorite.
“Companies are always looking to differentiate their product/company from their competitors,” another industry marketing professional writes. “Celebrity endorsements are just one aspect. There are pros and cons to attaching your name to a celebrity that need to be evaluated, just as in any marketing strategy. The pro side is to get the borrowed equity of the celebrity to be reflective of your product/company. In this case, Kathy Ireland appears to have a great following with busy moms and has created the kathy ireland HOME brand with endorsements for many home and beauty products. It is assumed that those busy moms will use the products that Kathy Ireland is endorsing. Will it make moms more comfortable to buy their product or associate Kathy Ireland with Window World? Time will only tell.”
Another writer adds: “Kathy Ireland was on Dancing with the Stars, so 30 million (women mostly) who watch know who she is. Therefore, it gives recognition and differentiation to Window World over all the other dealer networks …except maybe WindowPros who have Don Shula.”
Will celebrity branding grow over time? And are these endorsements really going to help window and door companies get more deals? Well, I guess we’ll see. And I’ll wrap things up with a short-and-sweet email I received:
“Trend? Not more than it has been. Effective? Probably helps.”

Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at clewellen@glass.org.

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