1.1 Background to the Study
Possibility consumers are typically attached to their favorite celebrity, and they are typically well-trusted by their followers. If they use a company's item, it programs their fans that it is a product worth using and builds trust in a company's brand. Seeing a celebrity attach their name to an item also assures consumers of the high quality of a company's product (Freire, Quevedo-Silva, Senise & Scrivano, 2018). The celebrity would certainly be at risk for destroying their reputation if they endorsed a product that is quality was lacking. Making use of a celebrity to represent a company aid to distinguish a company's brand from competitors. Likewise choosing the right celebrity can open a brand to new markets.
Advertisers try to involve consumers with organizational products that offer helpful, life-enriching interactions, however choosing the appropriate media / celebrities to manage their messages is not easy (Muda, Musa & Putit, 2017). Each year, many companies invest a great deal of money on celebrity endorsement contracts, presuming that celebrities are spokespersons for their brands or products (Katyal, 2007). In modern-day Nigeria, celebrity endorsement is a multi-million-naira market. Companies pay celebrities large amounts of money to certify or advocate their products and services in order to improve their brand's image, trustworthiness, approval, and attractiveness. Different business works out marketing agreements with stars in the wishes of acquiring a unique and valued location psychological of their customers (Temperley & Tangen, 2006). Despite product type, celebrity endorsement techniques are progressively being made use of in a range of businesses (Jain, 2011). It is believed to operate as a signaling technique. Reynolds, Ganesh, and Arnold (2000) likewise suggested that celebrity endorsement improves a product's appeal. With all that said and done, one should evaluate the prospective hazards versus the prospective profits, as celebrity sponsorships continue to be dangerous and incredibly gratifying, and there is always a human variable that telecommunication companies might be unaware of.
According to Kotler (2009), endorsement is a channel of communication where celebrities serve as spokespersons of a brand and by expanding their popularity and personality to certify the brand's claim and position, while Jeyapalan (2015), specified celebrity endorsement as one of the marketing methods companies embrace to create awareness and acquire beneficial feedback from customers regarding their services and products, with using different sports and entertainment as effective and lucrative devices. In today's business setting, the endorsement of celebrities has been determined as one of one of the most effective marketing techniques used by companies because of the level of intense competition amongst brands. In Nigeria specifically, using celebrities in advertisements to promote services and products was not widespread up till a few years back. Past studies have revealed that advertisers think that a celebrity's qualities and meaning might really be moved to their brand which might aid positive campaigns. Despite the ever-changing business setting, organizations have to flourish and make it through by embracing updated advertising/marketing techniques like celebrity endorsement.
In spite of the fact that celebrities' endorsement technique is viewed as a feasible market for a company's products, little research on celebrity endorsement technique has been seen in Nigeria academic circles. Nigerian consumers' mindsets are quickly shifting, and they are ending up being more conscious of the products they use to reveal their socioeconomic condition in society. The objective of this study was to discover what management thought about celebrity endorsement on the performance of most of the Nigerian companies. Some brand celebrities might have an adverse effect on the efficiency of a company's goods if they engage in immoral behavior after being endorsed. Nevertheless, many people will not be attracted to a telecommunications company's product if the celebrity is not appealing in body form or facial look, since celebrity attractiveness affects consumers' decisions to use or otherwise use the product. The employment of a celebrity's image does not guarantee financial success; just like other managerial choices, this form of marketing method brings risks, such as a mismatch between the celebrity and the marketed product; and businesses going overlooked because of an overbearing celebrity. After a cautious review of related literature to this study, it was observed that researchers barely see the proxy of celebrity endorsement can be used to improve efficiency. It became important for the researcher to analyze celebrity endorsement and organisational performance by using Tecno Mobile as a case study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The obsession with digital gadgets amongst the young generation worldwide, Smartphones particularly, has offered a chance for telecommunication marketers to target generation Y (Tariq M. Khizindar, et al, 2015). This has provoked scholars to research this topic detailed. Fairly a number of scientific studies have been done on the topic celebrity endorsement (Amos, Holmes & Strutton, 2008). Nevertheless, there is still some argument regarding the precise role that celebrity endorsements play on the impact of celebrities’ endorsements on sales performance of organisations. Cabellero (1989) is of the viewpoint that the correlation between the celebrity and the consumer's attitude to the brand is weak while some reports suggest that the relationship between both variables is strong (Kahle & Homer, 1985).
Competition in the telecommunication market has been increasing over the years as more players join the market. This has made firms to spend a great deal of resources in order to make a competitive advantage over their rivals or keep it if they are at the top. Nigeria is not excluded in this as also the big and established mobile firms that have been in existence for years and some also enjoying monopoly are seen to brand and rebrand making use of celebrity endorsement in a bid to win the hearts of their target markets.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to examine celebrity endorsement and organisational performance by using Tecno Mobile as a case study. However, the specific objectives include:
i) To determine the frequency of exposure to celebrity endorsement of Tecno Mobile brand among consumers.
ii) To understand the extent celebrity endorsement increases the brand acceptance of Tecno Mobile product
iii) To determine how a celebrity's physical attractiveness affects consumer's perceived performance of Tecno Mobile brand
1.4 Research Questions
The following statements will be considered to be the research questions for this study:
i) What is the frequency of exposure to celebrity endorsement of Tecno Mobile brand among consumers?
ii) To what extent does celebrity endorsement increase the brand acceptance of Tecno Mobile product?
iii) How does a celebrity's physical attractiveness affect consumer's perceived performance of Tecno Mobile brand?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following statements are the research hypotheses for this study:
i) There is a significant relationship between the frequency of exposure to celebrity endorsement and Tecno Mobile brand among consumers.
ii) There is a significant relationship between celebrity endorsement increase and the brand acceptance of Tecno Mobile product
iii) There is a significant relationship between a celebrity's physical attractiveness and consumer's perceived performance of Tecno Mobile brand
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will help Nigeria celebrity know the extent of their influence on endorsement of product on the organisational performance as well as the patronage of the brand. It would also highlight if celebrity endorsement is an area in advertising that is worth thorough investigation as huge resources are expended by companies on advertisement annually.
The study will throw more light on the acceptability of a product as a result of its commercial is due to celebrity’s endorsement of the product with various intermingling factors such as music and graphics playing complementary roles.
Also, the study will be of invaluable use as a literature review to researchers in mass communication and advertising department as a reference to further up research on celebrity endorsement and its effect.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study on the influence of celebrity endorsement and organisational performance and patronage will be restricted to Tecno Mobile Product brand endorsed by WIZKID an afrobeat singer in Nigeria. The study basically is an investigation on acceptance of Tecno Mobile among other brands of smart phones in the market place.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined for clarity on the topic for the reader and provide context to the remainder of the study.
Advertising: A group of activities aimed at dissemination of information many paid on personal formation concerning an idea, product or service (both new brand and old products) to compel action in accordance with the intent of an identified sponsor.
Brand: An identifiable product, service, person or place augmented in such a way that the buyer or user perceives relevant, unique added values, which match their needs most closely. Furthermore, its success results from being able to sustain these added values in the face of competition (Ross and Harridine 2007).
Brand Loyalty: the increased profits or benefits of a branded product, corporation or person compared to those with no brand name attached (Kahle & Kim, 2006).
Celebrity: This is an expert in an industry such as entertainment, sports or politics with great popularity and respect from the public
Celebrity Endorser: Celebrity endorser is “any individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf of a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement”
Endorsement: The act of publicly saying that you approve of or support something or someone (Cambridge dictionary).
Smartphone: A smartphone is a mobile device that combines cellular and mobile computing functions into one unit.