Jessica Simpson is an American singer, actress, television personality and fashion designer. She shot to stardom in 1999 as a pop singer and has since starred in several television shows, commercials, movies, as well as lending her name to a line of beauty products, fragrances, shoes and handbags. Simpson, like many others, uses social media; but not for networking, but for successfully promoting her business endeavors.
As she has learned from her singing career, success does not last forever. She opted to follow a similar pattern to others that came before her, and build an empire by lending to her name to products that are able transcend musical taste. Her music was marketed to a very specific demographic. She needed to expand on that, not to change it. Lending her names to products with broader appeal allows her to maintain her the image she already built. Celine Dion, Jennifer Lopez, and Brittney Spears are prime examples of other celebrities that have accomplished similar feats, and have lent their name to fashion and beauty products, allowing them to maintain their current marketability while gaining new ground. These have resulted in an increase in popularity and fortune. Being a figure of notoriety, you can rely on your core base built from previous endeavors for monetary support. This will not be enough to transcend a career, so Jessica Simpson uses Twitter to increase the sales of her fashion collection.
On 2/11/11, Jessica uses Twitter to post “Prom’s comin’ up ladies! Click here to see what @instyle says about the newest addition to the @jscollection party! http://bit.ly/ePM1qP,”
It can be assumed that her marketing consultants have made her aware that if her social networks are just used for promotion purposes, then people will lose interest, resulting in a loss of followers, and a reduced sphere of influence. This is why she incorporates promotional tweets with personal aspects of her life. For example, she tweeted on the 2nd of February 2011, “Had a wonderful and relaxing time in Santa Barbara with this sexy man XO http://plixi.com/p/74318683’, which is “spicy” info….
The “sexy-man” refers to her fiance, Eric Johnson. Keeping this strategy, Simpson has gained almost 3.5 million followers on Twitter. It is obvious that those who follow her tweets have become not only potential customers, but also actual buyers. Many publications such as “People Magazine” started to claim that Jessica Simpson is “sitting at the helm of a nearly $1 billion empire”. While her empire may be worth that, it’s not necessarily what she is worth. She already sold the master license to the brand developer – Camuto Group in 2005 for $15 million. In 2009, her earnings were approximately $20 million.
This confusion can at times influence the decision of a consumer. If a journalist underestimates a celebrity’s fortune (ex. Donald Trump sued author Timothy O’Brien in 2009 for underestimating his fortune) because a dispute in fortune may appear that the brand representative is dishonest, resulting in a loss of credability and sales. Conversely, when someone makes a claim that a representative is managing a $1 billion empire, it subconciously changed her perception to consumers. Consumer thought patterns become, she is a billionaire, a fashion mogul and she must be treated consequently. A limited number of people had the chance to read other articles that prove the contrary.
The media has great power, to elevate or the rescind your image and your business. It depends on your strategy, on your brand, and on your product. Are you trying to sell a quality product, or your quality image?
Jessica Simpson has already made significantly more money following the collapse of her singing career, partly because she exploits social media for her favor. Twitter has helped Jessica Simpson to both increase her income and create a strong brand.