While celebrity endorsements of food & beverage brands (i.e. Pepsi, etc…) are traditionally widely known in the advertising industry, a new trend appearing in the last five years are celebrity entrepreneurs creating eCommerce and content powerhouses of their own, creating new products and brands in lifestyle, food, and many other industries on the web today.
More and more celebrities entering the start-up game and adding “founder” to their ever-changing job roles, especially among women celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Alba which we’ll cover in detail below. Recently Simmer also reviewed celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow and Blake Lively’s lifestyle startups in similar areas of eCommerce, with distinctly publishing strategies at their foundation.
The valuations for the companies below also speak for themselves, with the Honest Company coming in at $1 billion as of August 2014.
The Honest Co. by Jessica Alba
The Honest Co., founded by Jessica Alba is changing the landscape of care products through non-toxic, eco-friendly, thoughtfully designed, affordable products for babies and homes. Honest started with diapers, baby wipes and cleaning products, and soon expanded to soaps, shampoos and sunscreens. Just recently, it began selling baby formula and women’s deodorant with the intention to introduce a line of feminine care products later in 2015.
Valued at $1 billion and estimated to exceed $150 million in annual revenue according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, it’s clear that the Honest Co. is charting its own path to greatness. Honest has taken a hybrid approach to distribution, a trend that is becoming more common in the eCommerce industry.
Brick-and-mortar stores account from ~30% of sales at locations such as Whole Foods and Target, widening the net of conduits towards purchase beyond its many forms of eCommerce. The brand focuses on savvy style, sustainability, extraordinary customer service and convenience wrapped in integrity and sprinkled with fun. It’s no wonder The Honest Co. thinks it can build a healthier Johnson & Johnson.
Honestly, the name of the company’s blog, is an online destination dedicated to providing the best in natural, healthy and stylish living content. It details organic recipes and DIYs, including everything from beauty to wellness.
Giving back to NGOs has also been one of the company’s main goals and as of December 2014, the Honest Co. has donated over 500,000 products and helped nearly 60,000 children and young people in need.
Draper James by Reese Witherspoon
Another exciting celebrity digital property entrance soon debuting in a variety of eCommerce and lifestyle spaces this May 2015 is Draper James by Reese Witherspoon. Characterized by “grace and charm”, Reese dished about Draper James, in an interview with parenting site, Cricket’s Circle, that the brand will be a multi-channel lifestyle brand that will include an online store built on Southern traditions, uniquely inspired by Reese’s grandparents.The site will offer products that are made in the South by local artisans who will be sharing their own traditions such as looming blankets, casting silver and denim. Its retail section is expected to include bed and bath items, lingerie, handbags, home goods, fragrances, cosmetics and more. As Reese told Cricket’s Circle, “I can’t wait for people to see it because I have had so much fun working on it!”
As we await the launch of Draper James it will be interesting to see how it measures up to pre-existing celebrity eCommerce brands in the lifestyle space. We’re also excited to experience the beautiful things Draper James promises to offer, and the way the digital purchasing experience is crafted at DraperJames.com.
The Taco Salad recipe below is versatile in that it can be modified to meet any dietary needs. It’s also fun, kid-friendly, and easy to make.
To see how celebrity brands are leveraging recipe content: browse the complete recipe archives from the Honest Co. on their blog Honestly for further cooking inspiration and examples of how the Honest Co. perfectly crafts their content marketing, recipes, and editorial strategy in order to drive revenue to their eCommerce products.
We expect the trend of celebrities leveraging their social clout to create eCommerce brands to continue into contemporary economies. Alba’s the Honest Co. continues to prepare for an IPO. With engaged fans built into these brands, investors are especially interested in the future scalability of these markets.