Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lessons Learned on Branding from Celebrities

For the past week all we've heard on the news has been about Michael Jackson. The following is from my favorite 'marketing guru,' Liz Goodgold. She tells us about lessons we can learn from celebrities in regards to branding.

What You Can Learn from Michael Jackson

Given the unexpected death of Michael Jackson, it’s only fitting to take a moment to see him as both an icon and a brand.

Michael’s success speaks for itself: best-selling record of all time (Thriller), amazing videos boosting MTV’s image (Billie Jean, Dangerous), and chart toppers (The Girl is Mine, Bad, P.Y.T., Black or White). He earned his place as a brand for many reasons, but let’s take a look at a few of them:

He had a Nickname:
All of the greats have one; he took The King of Pop.

Here are others:

Descriptive Name / Performance Name

First Lady of Soul - Aretha Franklin
King of Soul - James Browne
The Boss - Bruce Springsteen
The Queen of Country Music - Kitty Wells
Chairman of the Board - Frank Sinatra
Rhinestone Cowboy - Glenn Campbell

What’s the Hot Lesson? Nicknames are tremendously powerful. You only come up with them if you care about a brand. If you’re indifferent, you won’t waste a moment creating one. Most importantly, however, nicknames are a sign of endearment: You are so special that you deserve a special name.

If you’re still struggling with a catchy name, think back into your childhood. Ask your parents, siblings, and childhood playmates if there are any nicknames or pet names they remember using for you.

He Had a Strong Visual Brand - Whether it was the flood pants with socks showing, the hat, or the white glove, there was a distinctive Michael Jackson look. Oh, and let’s not forget the famous moonwalk!

Here is the key:

People become celebrity brands when they can be imitated.

If you’ve ever tried to change your accent, play down a personality trait, or banish a word from your vocabulary, stop! You too can start building a strong brand by embracing all of your quirks, mannerisms, and style.

by Liz Goodgold, branding expert, author, and speaker. Sign up for her FREE BRAND FINALE newsletter with valuable information at”

How have you branded yourself or your business? What businesses can you think of that have outstanding branding?

Mine, of course, is Painted Lady. Often I meet people that don't know me by my given name, but they do know me as The Painted Lady. I'm flattered because I know my branding works. If you're wondering where the name comes from; it's from my love of butterflies. There is a species of butterfly called The Painted Lady.

I was recently denied 'PaintedLady' as a user name on Wikipedia as they thought it was inappropriate. Guess they don't know anything about butterflies.

To Your Branding Success,
Annette AKA The Painted Lady
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"




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