Beyoncé may beat out Rihanna when it comes to straight income, but according to a new report, Queen Ri is the more marketable celebrity. After crunching 92,000 surveys that recorded participants’ preferences for more than 1,000 celebrities and 2,500 consumer brands, market research firm the NPD Group determined that Rihanna’s fans have some of the most distinctive tastes, making her a golden candidate for product endorsements.
NPD’s analysis, which covered celebrities with more than 10 million “big fans,” determined that Rihanna would be a smart endorsement hire for more brands than any of her peers. NPD gave Rihanna an index of 367, meaning she has nearly 3.7 times as many prime endorsement opportunities—in other words, brands that her fans are at least 50 percent more likely to choose over opposing brands—as the average A-list celebrity. Beyoncé came in second place with a score of 336, followed by Ne-Yo and Usher at 334, with Wiz Khalifa, the Weeknd, Jennifer Lopez, Kevin Hart, Dr. Dre, and Khloé Kardashian rounding out the top 10.
Rihanna has already inked major partnerships with Christian Dior, Puma, and Stance socks, and her Instagram feed is full of shout-outs that could be down-low endorsements outside Federal Trade Commission regulation:
One of the brands that Rihanna’s fans show a particular affinity for is Jeep. The singer’s made no public endorsement of the car company, but she did receive a Wrangler as a gift from Jay-Z in 2012 and drove one in her 2006 video for “We Ride.” “On the surface, if Jeep were considering a celebrity endorsement, it might think that Rihanna and Beyoncé are equally good choices; both are chart-topping female R&B stars with very similar fan bases,” NPD wrote in its release. “However, BrandLink shows that Rihanna’s fans are much more likely to choose Jeep.” Shame—Beyoncé’s ever-blowing hair seems destined to whip around the free space of a top-down Wrangler.
It seems that Rihanna is an enchanted talisman for people who want to make money. Magazine publishers sell more issues when she’s on the cover; pro basketball teams win more games when she’s in the crowd. What product wouldn't want to be Instagrammed poolside alongside a superstar as legend-inspiring as this?