Thursday, August 6, 2009


We all brand and market ourselves in a number of ways intentionally or unintentionally. Some of us cultivate a certain look, have a style signature or certain flair that stands out - some will only drive a particular kind of car, wear certain brands of clothing or glasses; some people are known for their political views or the public causes that they will promote or speak to; other people are known for their leadership style and so on. We all want to have some individualism and unique persona about ourselves.

Companies or commodity organizations that sell products from cars to golf clubs to milk to orange juice to make-up also strive to develop that unique persona and use celebrities from the movie, sports, television, music, modeling and political worlds. I have been looking at the various ads lately and thinking about whether or not I would buy that product because of the celebrity being used to market that product. Do we buy a product that is heavily advertised using celebrities based on trusting, liking or identifying with them? How do they influence our buying decisions? Would you buy mascara from CoverGirl because Drew Barrymore, Queen Latifah or Ellen DeGeneres are promoting the product? You may enjoy watching them in movies or on the television but how does their fame translate to the branding of the product? It would be interesting to know the investment that Nike has made in Tiger Woods and the pay back they have received in sales because of his branding that product. When I read certain magazines and they state this so and so celebrity uses this cleanser or shampoo, I don't buy into the promotion that this product is better because this person was given this product to try and somehow their publicist has provided this information to the magazine or the company that makes the product has provided it to the celebrity to try.

I find it interesting when celebrities get into their branding game. I recently started to receive a weekly email newsletter from Gwyneth Patrow. She has her own site, She states her blog site is about nourishing the inner aspect. She sends out a weekly newsletter and shares recipes, personal travel notes, advice she receives and follows and other things. Her site has six areas with simple headings and it is easy to read. I am fascinated about what she is doing and why. This site is not designed by novices and I am assuming someone manages and writes the material on her behalf. It will be interesting to watch this site over time and see if it changes or evolves.

The top rung of personal branding and influence likely belongs to Oprah. I don't even need to say her last name. Watching her grow in influence and power over the years has been interesting especially watching her struggles with weight control and her shows devoted to this topic. Watching her involvement during the US election campaign last year and her very public support and promotion for Senator Obama was an eye opener. She was an early supporter of the now President Obama and I can easily understand why. I believe she had influence with female voters.

Until next time.......

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