Branded bedding collaborations have become the latest unlikely show of celebrity star power, experts have revealed, replacing more traditional commercial opportunities like eponymous fragrances and clothing partnerships.
In the last eight weeks alone, Rita Ora and Tess Daly released their first bedding collections, both available to buy through Next, while Holly Willoughby has rolled out a range of pastel-coloured duvet covers and pillowcases with Dunelm.
Meanwhile Dancing On Ice star Caprice Bourret, 48, a veteran of the celebrity bedding game, unveiled her latest By Caprice Home designs, also sold through Next, which apparently encapsulate the ‘golden age of Hollywood’.
While they are far from the first to put their names – and faces – to homeware (Kylie Minogue at Home was launched in 2016), the rapid string of releases suggests bedding collaborations could become sought after by stars looking to expand their commercial portfolios, in the same way cosmetic and fragrance opportunities once were. And with an estimated six-figure paycheck, it is easy to see why.
Branded bedding collaborations have become the latest unlikely show of celebrity star power, experts have revealed, replacing more traditional commercial opportunities like eponymous fragrances and clothing partnerships. This month Rita Ora unveiled her first homeware range
‘Bedding appears to be the new celebrity perfume,’ explained PR and marketing expert Neil Kent of Chapter Communications (chaptercommunications.co.uk).
Not only is homeware ‘low risk’ in terms of its impact on the star’s individual brand – unlike, for example, an exercise video, weight loss programme or cosmetic treatment – but it also affords an opportunity to grow their fan base. This is particularly savvy of stars like Ora, whose once largely teenage following are now growing up, leaving home, and investing in their own bedding.
Mr Kent explained: ‘When you’re in the public eye you never really know how long you will stay relevant and popular. This means you have a potentially finite window in which to maximise your star power through endorsements and brand collaborations.
‘As far as collaborations go, bedding and homeware is relatively low-risk in comparison to weight-loss and health partnerships that can sometimes turn contentious, or very high profile partnerships that can be difficult to reverse out of.
Last month Tess Daly released her first bedding collection, available to buy through Next. Stars stand to earn six-figure sums for their work designing and promoting their ranges, experts say
He continued: ‘Celebrities, particularly those who started their careers with younger fans and followers might see homeware collaborations as a way of growing with their fanbase and providing them with touch points and merchandise opportunities that are suitable for the stage they are in their life now.’
Of course there is also the money. Lifestyle PR expert Claire Shiels, of Pay by Results Publicity (www.csm-comms.co.uk), estimated celebrities could be earning six-figure sums for putting their name to bedding ranges.
‘A bedding partnership provides another source of income, with deals thought to start around £750,000,’ she explained. ‘Entertainers are always looking for ways to expand their portfolio of sponsorships, endorsements and investments, particularly if the partnership allows them the creativity to express and develop their own, personal brand.’
A second payment model ties the celebrity’s financial compensation to the success of the range, providing the star with a greater motivation to promote the product.
Not only is homeware ‘low risk’ in terms of its impact on the star’s individual brand – unlike, for example, an exercise video or weight loss treatment – but it also affords an opportunity to grow their fan base. Pictured, Holly Willoughby showcases her Dunelm range, released last month
‘Celebrities would be paid an up-front licence fee to allow the brand to use their name and would normally negotiate a commission payment linked to sales,’ Mr Kent said.
‘Typically, once various sales targets are met, payments are triggered. This encourages the celebrity to promote the range via their own marketing channels as they benefit financially. They could expect a greater proportion of commission when direct sales are achieved via an Instagram post with a trackable link, for example.’
Crucially, these partnerships also operate on minimal input from the celebrity themselves.
Mr Kent said: ‘Homeware collaborations also require little time investment – at most a few visits to see samples and discuss design ideas with the product development team, a photo shoot for marketing materials and then a launch event,’ making them an even more appealing prospect.’
Their primary role will be in product promotion, both in press interviews and on social media. Daly, Willoughby, Caprice and Ora have all publicised their homeware ranges on Instagram, where they boast follower bases of between 25,7000 (Caprice) and 16million (Ora).
Dancing On Ice star Caprice Bourret, 48, a veteran of the celebrity bedding game, unveiled her latest By Caprice Home designs, also sold through Next, which apparently encapsulate the ‘golden age of Hollywood’. Pictured, Caprice modelling the designs earlier this month
Ora’s post announcing her collection, which is also available on ritaorahome.com, revealed she was ‘beyond excited’ to ‘share her new venture’ because interiors ‘are a passion’. It has received more than 500 comments and 123,000 ‘likes’.
Meanwhile retailers can see a ‘tangible’ and ‘immediate’ benefit of the partnership in the form of increased sales, according to Ms Shiels. ‘As consumers, we love being associated with celebrity and glamour and surround ourselves with designer or celebrity-endorsed products.’
Mr Kent agreed: ‘Consumers are more likely to buy a product when it has been endorsed or recommended by people they trust. The term for this is “social proof”.
‘Some consumers place their trust in the opinion of celebrities and even though they might know the celebrity is being paid to give their endorsement, the very fact they have attached their name to a product and been involved in the design process is enough for them to part with their money.
‘It’s for this reason that retailers can often add a price premium to an endorsed product. Beyond the product line, associating with a likeable, trusted and influential person has a halo effect. Whether or not you buy a set of bedding from them, the very fact this celebrity is attaching their name to the brand can make you think more positively of them as a business.’