A former client contacted me recently to pick my brain about what agencies he should look at for celebrity seeding. It got me thinking about the many agencies out there. While coffee dates can be fun, an endless search for the perfect fit is not.
There are few things that drive sales faster than an item showing up on a style star celebrity like Amal Clooney or a fashion blogger like Cupcakes & Cashmere. And, if that’s the goal, it’s mandatory you go with an agency that might be able to get product on A-list trendsetters.
However, it’s also important that they have the contacts and follow-through to leverage the celeb-connection and disseminate the hits through sites like Who What Wear and magazines like Star and People StyleWatch. Because, really, if the public doesn't know what brand the celeb is wearing or where to get it; they really aren't going to do the legwork to figure it out - they'll just buy something similar.
My point is that boutique agencies tend to specialize. Some focus on celebrity seeding, some are great at event production, others are focused on getting editorial placements. Most agencies can do everything – but, depending on the brand's real focus, it's important to pick an agency that excels at the piece that’s most important to you and your brand; because if you’re looking to get clothing on Rhianna, but just keep getting great product shots in Glamour and Cosmo, you and your agency will both get frustrated at the feedback.
Many agencies will claim to do it all – and their portfolio will tend to support their claim. The best thing to do to get a real taste of their expertise is to review their website, check-out the latest placements – is it all celeb? Is it all online? Is it all business stories? Is it all lifestyle magazines? If they don’t have an up-to-date site; ask to see all of their placements for the past two months (it should be easy to compile – if they say this is a hassle you probably want to keep looking anyhow). Their latest hits are a good testing gauge for what sort of placements to expect.