As mentioned earlier, the internet is a great leveller. A new or unheard of brand, could gain awareness, and build relationships with consumers without having to spend the kind of money that is required in traditional advertising. Sugarpova is one such example.
Maria Sharapova, armed with her celebrity status and a massive social media following, launched the premium candy line in 2012 with an initial investment of just US$500,000.
It was Jeff Rubin, a veteran in the candy industry, who conceived of the concept for Sugarpova and coined the brand’s name. The candies come in a variety of flavours with fun labels like “Flirty”, “Smitten Sour”, “Sassy”, and “Splashy”, and can be purchased on the company’s website (Exhibit 19.7) or at select outlets in some countries.
A year after the launch of the candy line, Sharapova expanded the Sugarpova brand to include a range of clothing and accessories, and in 2014, she introduced “Speedy”, a yoghurt gummy shaped like the iconic Porsche 911. In 2016, partnering with Baron Chocolatier, she introduced the “chocolate collection”, premium chocolate bars in four flavours.
As Sharapova’s social media following continues to grow, crossing over 27 million in 2022, Sugarpova is able to capitalize on her star power through digital marketing. By consistently engaging with her fans and promoting the brand on social media, Sugarpova has built a strong following and established itself as a successful and recognizable brand.
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