‘Fame scale’ created to tap growing desire for celebrity

The lure of fame has become a lucrative marketing lever among young audiences, according to researchers who developed a scale to measure ‘need for fame’.

Dr John Gountas of Murdoch University and Dr Sandra Gountas of Curtin University have developed a ‘fame scale’ to measure “desire for fame and the quest for its perceived benefits”, which their research suggests has been fuelled to new heights by the self-promotional nature of social media.

Dr John Gountas believes assessing desire for fame among consumers can help marketers segment audiences and tailor messages to leverage the perceptions around celebrity.

“We realised that this was not just a blip on our radar, but actually a large social and cultural change among young people,” Dr Gountas notes. “With the rise of social media, more people than ever have access to self promotion.”

“A better understanding for the contemporary desire for fame and its implications for different market segments would be a valuable marketing intelligence asset that could be used very effectively in both commercial and social marketing messages.”

The scale, which has been tested in two separate research studies, can be adapted for market research questionnaires to help marketers to better understand their audiences. It can identify discrete consumer groups and inform targeted marketing campaigns to reach them.

Dr Gountas believes the role model influence of celebrities and their associated fame will continue to be influential on consumers.

“Brand identity and market positioning can be closely integrated with the appropriate usage of celebrity role models to make small and challenger type brands more appealing to new and existing market segments,” he adds.

Six questions are used to assess a person’s desire for fame in the scale, which was developed through a literature review, exploratory interviews and two test studies on university students in Melbourne.