Jennifer Colli is getting ready to publicly launch her fashion application, Who Has It? and she has a question for fashion brands every time she gets on a phone call. "Why do you not actively pursue celebrity placements? Their answers are pretty much the same. No money. Not enough money. I don't know who to call."
Or a brand's rep will say she's called a celebrity's publicist or manager and no one returns the call.
Product Placement and Technology
Product placement with celebrities generates exposure and many times can beat traditional advertising. Jennifer Colli sees a weakness in the current model, though, and is looking to disrupt an industry.
She cited an example where the friend of a celebrity was posing to others as the person's manager. As Jennifer said, many people don't know how to verify relationships if they're not inside the entertainment or sports industries. The friend collected a large number of goods from Louis Vuitton, handed off a wallet as product placement and then sold the remaining items.
The Who Has It App? will take care of those issues, says Jennifer. She had about 40 celebrity performers and athletes on a roster to mix and match with 150 fashion brands at the time we spoke and she was adding about 25 new brands per week.
"For us, our celebrities are picking out what they like and what they want and giving feedback to the brands. We verify brands the same way Twitter does. To be a verified brand is free but we have to know the products are a certain level of quality."
Product Placement and Star Power
She sees marketing power for brands of all sizes and goods of all costs in a celebrity-focused world. Jennifer acknowledges that one celebrity won't drive a billion dollars worth of revenue but she believes a gathering of about 20 can.
A small brand with a unique product can hit it big when it's positioned with a known name. The celebrity has the power of choice and is not locked into long-term agreements.
"I work with seven different sock companies and the celebrity may have liked one company and later may decide that none of them are appropriate. Our motto is 'you like what you like.'"
Celebrities are the verification of "if it's good enough for a celebrity it's good enough for you" and the price point isn't what sells, says Jennifer. "It could be a $2 bracelet or a $500 bracelet. The celebrity verification is 'I like the product, I wear it and it's awesome.'"
"That's where we're able to launch these smaller brands into greater visibility and give them a push to what they're trying to accomplish."
Her revenue model includes revenue share with the brands, a fee for priority product placement, and advertising.
"When you go into someone's closet, we're relying on pay per gaze. I know you were on the screen and you saw [the item]. All of a sudden these nine products are as good as it gets. I ask the brands, can you afford $500 for a week of being in the number one slot?
"It's not a typical advertising budget because they make you commitment to months at a time. Celebrities and their team have the final say so."
Click here to see the Who Has It? app on iTunes.