Fame Game

Fan see, fan do: Get your product into the hands of stars . . . and their devotees.
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This story appears in the June 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

"Aerosmith's Steve Tyler buys it by the case," InStyle magazine raved about Heavy Duty hand cream.

When a rock legend buys lotion in bulk, it's news for fashion magazines-and big news for Alexandra Volkmann. "Tyler's such a Heavy Duty kind of guy," says Volkmann, creator of the product and "chief mechanic" of Heavy Duty Products, the 3-year-old Carmel, California-based body-care products company, "he's perfectly aligned with our brand."

How do a rocker's personal-care preferences affect the bottom line? "Celebrities have access to and can afford the best of everything, so if a celebrity uses a product, the assumption is that it must be the best," says Emily Sills, consumer marketing director for Kodora Communications, a marketing firm in Hauppauge, New York.

And how can your product make it to the red carpets of Hollywood? The trick is to infiltrate celebrity channels. Heavy Duty's items landed in baskets at the American Music Awards-and the company snagged a photo of Britney Spears posing with its "JumpStart Kit" as a result. You should also place the product where celebrities happen to shop-Jennifer Love Hewitt became a fan of Heavy Duty while browsing at Bloomingdale's.

Once the famous are frothing for your wares, make sure the media know about it. "We're living in an increasingly celebrity-driven society," says Sills. A zillion outlets report on every aspect of celebrity life, and your product may end up gracing the pages of the glossies right alongside the beautiful people.

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Edition: July 2017

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