Celebrity, Celebrity Endorser, Brand: What's The Difference?

Allen Adamson, managing director of the New York office of Landor Associates, has written a useful article for students of brand: "What Justin Bieber Can Teach Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas and Other Superstar Athletes about Being a Super Brand." To summarize the somewhat complex language:

  • A celebrity is someone who has achieved fame.
  • A celebrity endorser either has credibility in endorsing the brand or there is some sort of "credible rationale" for the pair-up (for example, in terms of the image of the celebrity and the image the brand seeks to portray)
  • A celebrity brand is someone whose image goes beyond a single point of expertise or distinction to multiple categories.
In matching celebrity to brand Adamson offers a few tips but the most important concept is focus - ensuring that the positioning of the celebrity and the brand (or the celebrity as brand) is careful, specific, and unique.


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, www.AllThingsBrand.com and www.DannielleBlumenthal.com, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.