Anaheim, Calif. - BrandSource has signed celebrity Kathy Ireland as the buying group's "brand ambassador" as part of a renewed focus on female customers.
According to a BrandSource spokeswoman, the group is implementing strategic changes in its marketing and promotions campaigns to better target the female decision-maker.
In her new role for BrandSource, the lifestyle designer, former model and CEO of Kathy Ireland Worldwide (kiWW) will appear in advertising and promotional campaigns, and will "leverage her expertise in social media to generate greater awareness of the BrandSource brand," the buying group said.
Ireland will also collaborate with BrandSource on new product development and expand her home collections in BrandSource member stores.
Ireland represents a key target customer for the group: the 90 percent of women who make final purchasing decisions for the home and who are utilizing the Internet and social media to research and shop for appliances, home furnishings and consumer electronics.
What's more, Ireland was named one of the 20 best-branded women on Twitter by Forbes.com names. Her company, kiWW, topped $1.5 billion in annual sales last year according to Forbes, and was named the 28
most powerful licensed brand globally by License Global Magazine.
"We look forward to working with Ms. Ireland to support our members and build greater awareness of our brand," said BrandSource CEO Bob Lawrence. "Ms. Ireland relates very well to our female customers and really understands, first hand, what it's like to be a busy mom who wants the best for her home, family and career. We believe that she offers us enormous potential for influencing women and ensuring our brand's success."
Ireland will officially begin her role as BrandSource ambassador next week at the group's 2011 Summit in Orlando, Fla., where she will meet with member dealers and actively participate in workshops and planning sessions.
"It is very exciting to serve as brand ambassador for BrandSource," Ireland said in a statement. "BrandSource members bring support, service, expertise and value to the communities they serve. From innovative products to non-profit giving, BrandSource is a great resource that fulfills our mission of â€˜finding solutions for families, especially busy moms.'"
Founded in 1969, BrandSource is a 100 percent member-owned merchandising group with nearly 4,500 independent appliances, CE, flooring and home-furnishings dealers in North America, and close to 3,000 BrandSource-branded stores in the U.S. For more information on becoming a retail supplier or partner, call (800) 920-6984, ext. 1.