Paris Hilton retail stores and merchandise

Paris Hilton has licensed her likeness to Brand Concepts and there are plans to launch merchandise and stores in India. Most of us  would harbor the thought: Who is Paris Hilton? Her reputation has not been pristine, her personality is not something aspirational and she is just an average pretty lady. So, will this work?
( more about Brand Concepts… )
Before dismissing this project, lets look at the trends round the world. Celebrity based licensing generated close to 4.87 billion dollars in 2010 (The Licensing Letter). The two big learnings from Global trends- “B class “celebrities have done better at Licensing. They are more available for appearances and promotions of the brand. Sarah Jessica Parker’s fragrance has been a hit in a cluttered market and analysts speculate that its due to her finding time in promoting the line.
Second,  with “B class” celebrities, there is now sharp “ups and downs” e.g Miley Cyrus at her peak of fame launched  Max Azria at Wallmart was heralded  for its fashion but sales fell as her popularity waned. Licensing has worked best when the association is more fashion and less talent. So, Jessica Simpson’s musical carreer is on a decline but licensing is on a trot. She has launched her 22nd category with diamonds!

Then, there are the numbers – The women’s fashion accessories market in India is estimated at Rs 6,000-6,500 crore and Paris Hilton has 17 product lines, including handbags, eye-wear, watches, fragrances, apparel, footwear, music albums, pet products, stationery and bedding. This can all be housed under a retail format.
So, we will  wont be surprised if it works in India. My only caveat- we need to build a brand before we license. Has Paris Hilton done anything in India to be a brand is the question…Time and the efforts of execution will be the answer.