As logo designers, we would like to think that there is no limit to the potential of branding. However, there occasionally comes a promotion that makes even the most seasoned professional raise their eyebrows. This week, we found another one of those rare situations: Justin Bieber brand nail polish.
Everyone who hasn’t spent the last year under a rock in the wilderness has heard of teen sensation Justin Bieber. This teenager is known best for his pop ballads, but he is something of a branding success story himself. He is a media package of innocence, romance, wholesomeness, and everything a twelve-year-old girl wants from their imaginary boyfriend. His youthful appearance and voice—which belie his actual age, which is much older than he seems—creates a wholesome charm that appeals to parents as well. While the Justin Bieber brand was definitely designed for younger teen and tween girls, even we could never have predicted that he would be used to brand nail polish.
The Justin Bieber line from Nicole by OPI nail polish will represent today’s most trendy colors, each one named after a song from the youthful superstar. These will be distributed by one of America’s other biggest brands: Walmart. The collection is named after a popular song as well: One Less Lonely Girl.
It should be noted that Bieber is not the first person to launch a collection with Nicole by OPI; he follows in the footsteps of other celebrities such as Serena Williams and Katy Perry. However, he is likely the first male to do so.
Will girls buy nail polish that is linked to a boy brand? If the sales numbers associated with other Bieber merchandise are any indication, they certainly will. Bieber fever is sweeping the country, with little girls lining up to buy t-shirts, jewelry, CD’s, journals, calendars, and just about every other consumer item imaginable. His concerts sell out in minutes—in a few cases, seconds—and he has a 3-D movie slated to come out in a few months as well.
What does this little bit of branding weirdness mean for small business owners like us? One important lesson is that every branding opportunity—however unorthodox—should be considered. If a teenage boy can sell nail polish, just about any marketing possibility seems worth a little consideration.
Another lesson is that teenagers and children are a true force to be reckoned with in the marketing world. If there is any way to reach out to this key market, a smart small business owner takes the opportunity. If you can create a brand that appeals to this key market as well as their parents, you are set up for almost certain success.
Last, co-branding works if you handle it correctly. Identify your target audience and see which brands appeal to them. If you can reach out to other brands (noncompeting ones of course), the results just might be astounding. Marketing and branding in the modern world takes a lot of creativity, but the rewards are higher than ever.