Each month I give my verdict on who has shown the world an interesting and distinctive brand. My latest personal brand of the month goes to…
This month, we give a big nod to the world of celebrity vloggers. What’s particularly interesting from a branding perspective is how these individuals have built their fame largely with their personal brands alone (in addition to being tech-savvy of course!). And Zoe Elizabeth Sugg, the 26 year-old English fashion and beauty vlogger known by her YouTube username Zoella, is a great example. Not to mention she has a very festive website (including the kitschy “24 days of Zoella” and “Vloggmas” segments)!
A self-styled “writer and enthusiast of all things Beauty, Fashion and Life related”, Zoella first became a hit with her channel “Zoella”, that features fashion, beauty tips, and “favourites” videos. On her second channel, “MoreZoella”, viewers can get a glimpse of what goes on in her day. Between the two, she has grown over 15 million followers.
Her online success led to a debut novel Girl Online in November 2014, which broke the record for highest first-week sales of a first-time novelist in recorded history. She has also won multiple awards including the Cosmopolitan Blog Award and the Radio 1 Teen Awards “Best British Vlogger”. Not bad! What’s the secret behind her personal brand?
She’s highly relevant
Brand relevance is a key driver to highly successful personal brands. Her vloggs are full of informative “how to’s” that directly appeal to her target audience of young women.
Experimenting with a new look? Tune into her channel. Click around and find a wealth of practical information. She also does something very smart from a marketing perspective; she includes a link to “Items Mentioned In The Video”. Very simple for the viewers, and a brilliant strategy for future product endorsements.
She’s the real deal
When I was researching her, it was her authenticity that came shining through. She’s a natural in front of the camera, and engages her audience as if she’s video chatting with a friend. She invites you into her home on her vloggs, showcasing things that she’s passionate about.
She recently recorded a vlog while under the weather, in PJ’s, without makeup, exposed spots and all. But as a regular viewer, you knew this was the same glam Zoella who can demonstrate how to wear impeccable make-up and gorgeous hair. By exposing all sides, she becomes incredibly real and relatable to her fans. She’s also blogged about her struggles with anxiety, illustrating that her humanness is one of her strongest brand attributes.
She has Commitment with a capital C.
It’s pretty clear that one doesn’t magically gain over 15 million followers over night. It takes an incredible amount of dedication, determination and stamina for a brand to take hold and build momentum. She needs to be on the ball and deliver what her audience wants. Her followers are tuning in daily, just as if they have arranged to meet a friend. And so she needs to produce content (and consistently good content) daily. Such commitment, reliability and consistency allow brands to thrive.
She’s great at co-branding all around
Zoella’s co-branding in her personal life seems to be as strong as her corporate branding ventures. She’s currently in a relationship with fellow YouTube personality Alfie Deyes, whom she regularly features on her vlogg. To catch a glimpse of their brand synergy, you only have to watch a vlogg of Alfie putting on her make-up (for their target audience, I’m sure it works like magic!). There’s also an Alfie and Zoella A-Z (marketed as “the ultimate guide to one of the hottest and most popular new celebrity couples”), further evidence of their “power couple” status. Her corporate co-branding is also pretty impressive, just check out her beauty line with Superdrug.
For more info on the world of vlogging, check out The Ultimate Guide to Vloggers 2017 Edition, a must-have for any aspiring vlogger!