Having a big-name celebrity attached to a brand has sometimes led to astounding success.
Ryan Reynolds could seemingly endorse sand in a dessert, and people would line up to buy it. Having a celebrity behind a brand, however, does not always guarantee success. Some celebrities simply misjudge their own fame and status as influencers.
That’s where Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard went wrong with their Hello Bello baby products line. The two have a certain level of fame, but even though they’re married with kids, that’s not the public’s first association with them.
It’s easy for Sammy Hagar to sell tequila because people associate him with living a party lifestyle and know of his affinity for Cabo San Lucas. Similarly, Snoop Dogg can sell cannabis products, and Shaquille O’Neal can put his name on a pizza because everyone knows Snoop smoke pot and Shaq can put down a pizza or two.
In the case of lesser-named celebrities, especially social media influencers, the track record for businesses has been mixed. There are multiple failures for every success, and big hits like Logan Paul’s Prime Energy drink are rare.
Now, another celebrity brand has gone out of business after being dragged down by the bankruptcy of the company that manufactured its products.
Kylie Jenner has built a billion-dollar beauty brand.
Image source: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images
Bankrupt beauty brand bet big on influencers
Arguably, you can blame Kylie Jenner for making it seem like it’s relatively easy to build a beauty brand around an influencer. In reality, however, Jenner has a massive platform and a higher level of fame than almost any other social media influencer.
Repeating her success was always going to be a challenge, but that did not stop Forma Brands, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection about a year ago, from betting heavily on influencers.
That included Jaclyn Cosmetics, a brand tied to social media influencer Jaclyn Hill.
“I have decided to close the doors on Jaclyn Cosmetics for the foreseeable future,” Hill posted on the brand’s Instagram page. “There has been plenty of talk, but what I will say is the brand has been such an important chapter in my book and one I will always cherish but am ready to close.”
Her note also thanked her fans and customers of the brand.
“First, I want to thank each and every one of you for the love and support you have shown for me & this brand. You let this girl dream and that’s what I did,” she wrote.
Hill assured fans that she was in a good mental and physical space despite the closure.
Forma brands has fallen apart
Forma had closed other brands and ended deals with some influencers before its bankruptcy. Since its filing, the company has sold Ariana Grande’s R.E.M. Beauty back to the singer.
It likely offered Hill the same deal, according to responses to her Ia group instagram post.
“Let’s make this very clear. You didn’t ever own your brand. Therefore YOU didn’t shut down your brand. Forma did. And they gave you a chance to buy it back from them and be a true brand owner and you said no because your likeness isn’t profitable anymore,” thesophasaurus posted.
Hill did not, in fact, fully own the brand and whether she had an ownership stake in it has not been revealed publicly.
“Other brands within Forma’s portfolio include Morphe, Playa Beauty and Bad Habit, which featured influencer Emma Chamberlain as creative director. The company made a big bet on tying itself to beauty influencers, including Hill as well as Jeffree Star and James Charles,” RetailDive reported.
Forma exited bankruptcy in April after selling itself to a group of investors and creditors.
“This marks the start of an exciting new chapter for Forma Brands. With new capital and the support of our investor group, we are moving forward with the resources necessary to support the execution of our new long-term growth strategy focused largely on our global wholesale and e-commerce operations,” Forma President Simon Cowell said in a press release.
The company has been steadily trimming its portfolio both during and after the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.