In this video by one of my favorite entrepreneurs Gary Vaynerchuck, Gary talks about “star-ups”, celebrity endorsed startups that have started popping up all over the place. I find this phenomenon interesting, albeit not new, but perhaps in a slightly different way than Gary.
While I agree that we’ll be seeing more of this in the future, what you have to remember is that it’s a two way street. If we want to be crass about it, you can say that the celebrity brings his or her brand to the table and lends it to this start up. And while this can definitely be a make it or break it component for the start up, it may also affect the celebrity brand if things turn sour. Either in terms of failure or in terms of various PR-disasters. Whatever the fait of the start up brand, it will impact the celebrity brand too.
So is there a hedge against this? I believe so. Going out there acknowledging the risk component of the start up and publicly accepting the potential damage (and upside) that the venture could have on the celebrity brand (and the start up brand of course) creates respect for the celebrity who climbs down to mortality and displays courage.
Anyway, check out the video if you haven’t already. It’s worth your time. If nothing else you can always learn a ton from Gary about personal brand building.