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The latest news on Branding from Business Insider

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    Given the ubiquitous nature of air travel today, it’s hard to believe that in the 1920s the public was terrified of flying. (Americans preferred the train.)

    But everything changed in 1930, when a young registered nurse from Iowa suggested hiring onboard nurses to reassure the public that flying was safe.

    The head of Boeing Air Transport enthusiastically agreed, and Ellen Church became the world’s first flight attendant.

    See The Revealing Evolution Of Flight Attendant Uniforms >

    The experiment was a tremendous success. Air travel gained popularity, and before long nearly every airline had nurses onboard.

    Still, the 1930s requirements for female flight attendants were restrictive at best. In addition to being registered nurses, women had to be unmarried, younger than 25 years old, weigh less than 115 pounds and stand less than five feet four inches tall. The first group of attendants earned $125 a month.

    By the mid 1960s and 1970s, most Americans had gotten over their fear of flying. Airline-attendant criteria loosened, and those who took the job were young and trendy. Fashion designers moonlighted as uniform designers, adding style and cachet to the profession. Florentine fashion guru Emilio Pucci, known for his vibrant prints, created uniforms for the now-defunct Braniff International Airways, as did Halston.

    Pierre Balmain designed the looks worn on Singapore Airlines in 1964. Italian couture designer Ettore Bilotta is responsible for the uniforms worn on Emirates Airlines today (red leather gloves included), and Virgin America announced this month that its crew members will wear uniforms designed by Banana Republic come August, including fitted lambskin leather jackets for women and zip-up cardigans with red-and-black bicep bands for men. (Passengers can even purchase pieces from the Utility Chic line from the airline’s in-flight shopping portal.)

    Today’s flight-attendant uniforms are crucial to an airline’s brand. Classic ensembles, like those worn on Lufthansa and Emirates, create a feeling of luxury, while more casual uniforms—like the colorful mix-and-match styles on New Zealand Air—reflect an airline’s sense of fun. From playful to professional, these designs go above and beyond.

    See The Revealing Evolution Of Flight Attendant Uniforms >

    More from Departures

    Austrian Airlines

    Austrian Airlines attendants dress in red and silver, emblematic of the colors of the Austrian flag.

    Female airline attendants wear red-and-silver silk scarves with the Austrian logo and male attendants wear silver ties.

    The bit of flash has a purpose: The airline, founded in 1957, operates under the motto “We fly for your smile.”

    Malaysia Airlines

    Founded in the 1940s, Malaysia Airlines has seen its fair share of uniform change.

    What began as standard skirts and blazers gradually took on more character, and today’s female attendants are known for their stylized batik uniforms, decorated with an intricate and colorful kelarai weave pattern from the Malaysian state of Sarawak.

    Singapore Airlines

    Perhaps the most innovative airline on our list, Singapore Airlines clothed its attendants in uniforms created by French fashion designer Pierre Balmain in 1964. Modern day attendants wear an updated version of Balmain’s design, the sarong kebaya, a traditional Malay garment.

    The sarong is made from a cotton batik-print cloth and custom fit to each flight attendant as they come through the final stage of the five-month training program. (The standard industry program is five weeks.) The uniform exists in several different colors; attendants begin in standard blue and then graduate to red, green and brown as they rise through the ranks.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow Getting There on Twitter and Facebook.

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    neil armstrong moon

    As the world mourns the passing of Neil Alden Armstrong, the first man to land on the moon, so many are recognizing his numerous achievements and marveling at the fact that, unlike other astronauts, he never tried to take advantage of his fame.

    Like most true heroes, he felt that he was only doing his job.

    Those close to him have said that he always felt embarrassed that he was given most of the credit for an effort that involved tens of thousands of other people. Why was he given so much of the credit? Brand marketers will tell you that it was because of one of the most powerful forces in branding—being first to a new position.

    The First In So Many Ways

    Neil Armstrong was the first to walk on the moon. He was also the first human to take a step on any physical world beyond the Earth. Moreover, he was the first to explore a mysterious new world with TV cameras and so many people around the world watching.

    This underscored his place in history and seared the event in the minds of those watching the landing on July 20, 1969. It did the same for those that saw the event on replays or read about it in history books. People don’t forget the first man to walk on the moon because (1) he was first and (2) it was such an important event. Neil Armstrong also helped us to remember this feat with memorable “branding” phrases such as “The Eagle has landed” and “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  

    First Mover Advantage

    Whenever I teach a marketing course or seminar on branding, I ask the question, “Who was the first man on the moon?” In all cases, I get the answer—“Neil Armstrong.” When I ask the question, “Who was second?” a couple of people timidly mumble, “Buzz Aldrin.” Then, when I ask who was third, I have never gotten a response—right or wrong.

    This makes my point. It is very powerful to be first. Second, while better than third, does not have the same power. Third is hard to remember, and any position beyond third is nearly impossible to remember. If you ask who won the Super Bowl or the World Series last year, many will be able to remember. Some will remember who came in second, but very few remember beyond that.

    Those doing the marketing for businesses that create products should understand this concept. Being first, or what some call the “first-mover” advantage, can be a very advantageous position if the company supports this position with effective advertising and marketing communications. It is usually a big advantage to be first, but unless it is properly recorded and communicated, few will be able to remember who or what is first.

    Why Being First Can Be A Powerful Advantage

    There are many reasons why being first to a position, with the support of good communications, can provide a big advantage to a business. Here are just a few.

    1. Uniqueness: The one who is first achieves automatic uniqueness. Uniqueness if expressed as a benefit to the target audience will get people’s attention and interest. It also means there is no direct competition. For all these reasons, uniqueness provides a big brand advantage.

    2. New: People are attracted to things that are new. If advertisers put a “news” word in the headline of a marketing communication, such as first, they will increase attention, interest in the ad, and memorability by double digits (≥10%). David Ogilvy accumulated this data when he worked for the Gallup organization, and talks about it in his book Ogilvy on Advertising.

    3. Memorable: People pay more attention and better remember who is first to a position. Apple was first in the brain with a tablet computer and the iPad still has a big lead over rivals. Gartner says that Apple had a 66.6% share of the tablet market in 2011 and is projected to have a 61.3% share in 2012 (which may be higher depending on the law suit resolution between Samsung and Apple).

    May They Rest In Peace:

    The first man on the moon, the inventor of Coca Cola, and the creator of Mickey Mouse all share the same distinction. They were first to do something that so many of us appreciate and remember. While Neil Armstrong chose not to capitalize on his fame, Coca Cola and Disney have become extremely valuable brands that are worth, depending on who is counting, many billions of dollars. May they, and all those that were the first to do things that makes people’s lives better, rest in peace.

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    nbc peacock 1968

    Most of us are aware that you can trademark a slogan, a logo, and a name, but did you know that you can also trademark a sound?

    In order to get approval from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, however, the sound must “uniquely identify the commercial origin of the product or service.”

    Click here for 8 of the most recognizable trademarked sounds >

    It may seem like a fairly cut-and-dried process, but keep in mind that the folks at Harley-Davidson were denied trademark status on the (allegedly) unique “potato-potato-potato” sound of a Harley's engine.

    Here are some sounds that passed muster and are officially trademarked:

    Click here for 8 of the most recognizable trademarked sounds >

    More From Mental_Floss:

    The NBC Chimes

    The famous NBC chime was the first sound to ever be trademarked, back in 1950. For the musicians in the audience, those three musical notes are G, E, and C.

    CHECK OUT: 11 Insane Features Of Normal Human Anatomy >

    The MGM Lion

    There have been five different lions used for the MGM logo. The first lion to roar (and the one who provided the trademarked sound) was named Jackie.

    The 20th Century Fox Fanfare

    The music that plays behind the 20th Century Fox logo was composed by Alfred Newman, who served as the head of the studio’s music department for over 20 years. Throughout his career, he won a total of nine Academy Awards.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow Advertising on Twitter and Facebook.

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    Finding your brand voice or your entrepreneurial message is a fundamental building block for growing a successful, profitable and sustainable revenue stream for your business.

    Understanding and implementing strong, clear messages is easier when you have identified your entrepreneurial voice. There are several different voices with which a business can communicate and choosing one can help you get from the idea stage to the starting line. You’ll add additional voices and messages as your company, product or service matures, but since the start is the most challenging hurdle in any entrepreneur’s business life cycle, let’s examine some options that will get you to go.

    The Teacher

    The teacher imparts information, sharing what he or she has learned and making it easier for the client or customer to find and utilize the information the teacher has worked hard to learn. The teacher voice is nurturing, encouraging, and informing.  The teacher voice provides step-by-step plans, action items, resources to help clients succeed, templates and a guiding hand to help clients navigate the information. This voice is ideal for coaches, realtors, or how-to products and services. Mari Smith, Chris Lang, Lou Bartone, Denise Wakefield and Max Simon are just a few examples of Teacher voices.

    The Trailblazer

    The Trailblazer voice reveals a new way of doing things, boldly stepping forward and creating something that did not exist before. The Trailblazer shares the secrets behind a new system, strategy, technique or tool that he or she has created, perfected  or discovered.  The Trailblazer often finds a need and invents a solution. The Trailblazer voice needs to highlight the problem and celebrate their solution in marketing messages. The Trailblazer must also convince people to try their solution over all others. The Trailblazer needs to provide metrics and social proof to win over the marketplace since their solution is new.  Trailblazers such as Richard Branson, Matt Mullenweg, Jack Dorsey, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Mark Kornfilt would be examples of Trailblazer voices.

    The Deal Maker

    The Deal Maker voice has a product or service that is not entirely different from others in the market space but the deal maker is able to offer a better price, a more personal service, a bigger inventory, a special bonus, free shipping or something that makes their product or service the best choice for customers. The Deal Maker voice needs to billboard their offer and show the consumer how they’ll save time, money, and frustration. Deal Maker voices are Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tony Hsieh of Zappos are examples of Deal Maker voices.

    The Trusted Resource

    The Trusted Resource provides valuable information, tools, solutions or strategies whether or not they created them personally. The Trusted Resource can be an information aggregation specialist like Guy Kawaskai of AllTop or can be destination for multiple trusted resources like Pete Cashmore of Mashable, who has gathered a tribe of experts to share their insights in one spot.  The Trusted Resource must keep up to date, in the know and consistently on top of new developments in their resource area or consumers will find another resource. The Trusted Resource can also become a Teacher Voice like Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner who specializes in social media tips, tools, techniques and strategies for entrepreneurs and also hosts virtual trainings with big name experts.

    The Inspirational Jump Starter

    Gary Vaynerchuk, Ali Brown, Shanda Sumpter, Cynthia Kersey and others are great examples of Inspirational Jump Starter voices. This voice is a storyteller, sharing their own journey and offering to shine a light on ways in which entrepreneurs and solo-preneurs can accomplish their own goals and dreams. The Inspirational Jump Starter voice needs to awaken desires, reveal passions and create new beliefs and empower change in clients and customers by acknowledging their pain, frustration and longing for “something more.” Again, this voice is often used in conjunction with the Teacher Voice and/or the Trailblazer Voice, but a brand can begin here and branch out if this is a good fit for that brand’s DNA.

    Which voice is right for your brand?

    I try to incorporate many of these voices in my own brand messaging, combining my teacher voice, inspiration jump starter voice and trying to be a trusted resource.  Those are my brand values.

    Most successful entrepreneurial brands combine several different voices within their brand messaging strategy. For example, a teacher voice might also be an inspirational jump starter. But entrepreneurs getting ready to launch should choose at least one strong voice and employ that voice clearly and consistently to attract and engage those people who most want and need what you offer.

    Which voice are you?

    @photocredit: istock photo plus additional element

    Read more posts on Brand New, Brand You »

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    flo progressive

    Progressive  is still suffering from the fallout after comedian Matt Fisher took to Tumblr to allege that the insurance company defended his sister, a client's, killer in court.

    Not only have thousands of people dropped Progressive since the social media debacle, but YouGov Brand Index, which measures consumer brand perception, says that Progressive took a sharp plunge to its lowest likability score in over four years.

    Katie Fisher was killed when a man ran a red light in 2010 and struck her car—he was uninsured at the time, which meant that Progressive would have to cover the costs. Although Progressive said that the driver was defended by Nationwide, Fisher took to the Internet to say that not only was Progressive holding out on payment, but a Progressive lawyer identified himself as such in court and continuously conferred with the defense throughout the trial.

    What really did Progressive in for consumer relations was the brash way it responded to Fisher's claims via social media. When the post went viral, Progressive autotweeted out a generic message over and over again to angry Tweeters: "This is a tragic case, and our sympathies go out to Mr. Fisher and his family for the pain they've had to endure. We fully investigated this claim and relevant background, and feel we properly handled the claim within our contractual obligations. Again, this is a tragic situation, and we're sorry for everything Mr. Fisher and his family have gone through."

    Progressive's smiling spokesperson Flo, who some suspect will be discontinued due to this massive PR fail, was icing on the cake:

    flo progressive twitter

    The social media controversy emerged in mid August, and YouGov measured that Progressive's Buzz score "bottomed out on Thursday, August 23rd with no sign of upturn yet."

    chart progressive yougov

    YouGov notes that "the biggest Buzz score gap between Progressive and Nationwide in 2012 before the court case crisis was 6 points on March 14th, with Nationwide ahead 17 to Progressive’s 11 score. Now that margin is 10."

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    Made in America 2012PHILADELPHIA — Over the Labor Day weekend 100,000 fans gathered behind the city of brotherly love’s skyline for a celebration of music, community, and freedom.

    Budweiser’s Made In America Festival spanned several city blocks and was the first ticketed event the Benjamin Franklin Parkway has ever hosted.

    The atmosphere was incredible, there were people of all ages and all walks of life coming together to celebrate America and good music.

    The two-day festival was headlined by Jay-Z and Pearl Jam, but there was certainly entertainment for everyone there.

    Click here to jump straight to photos of Made In America>

    We spoke with Anheuser-Busch Vice President of U.S. Marketing, Paul Chibe and learned about the company's involvement in the event.

    Below is a slightly-edited transcript of our conversation:

    Business Insider: How does this eclectic group of music fit into the Budweiser brand?

    Paul Chibe: I wouldn't necessarily say this group is eclectic, I think the important thing to note is inclusiveness. 

    Budweiser is an inclusive brand and we wanted to express that inclusiveness in how we brand with music. If you think of where America is today, the lines are falling apart and you don't have the barriers that were there in the past. That is what this festival and musical acts represent.

    BI: How closely did you all work with Philadelphia to make this event happen?

    PC: The Mayor's office, fire department, police department, and city planning...every single group that we have touched has been amazing and extremely accommodating. The thing that is really cool about this event is the transformational aspect for Philadelphia. To think about this area as a venue is amazing with the Art Museum and Rocky steps in the background.

    We learned that a portion of the ticket sales was going to be donated to charity benefiting the entire Tri-State area.

    BI: What spurred the charity aspect? Was it Budweiser's decision to donate a portion of ticket sales to United Way?

    PC: Working with Jay-Z and putting on the event we felt like there needed to be a cause. We discovered the United Way and what they have been doing in the Philadelphia area and beyond and it was a natural fit. This event is about connecting the dots on community.

    BI: We've heard a bit about the advertising for this event, how far did it stretch?

    PC: We ran a 60-second special version of the Made In America ad during the Olympics. And if you listen to the words that Jay-Z says, it really represents everything that this event is about.

    Here is the 60-second ad:

    BI: From a broader standpoint, what were Budweiser's goals for this event?

    PC: Budweiser has always been a major force in music. Our goal for this even was to provide opportunities for everyone. Budweiser is the King of Beers and it should be the King of Music, the Budweiser brand lets musicians and artists express themselves in a way. The Made In America theme is true to the fabric of Budweiser.

    The Budweiser Made In America Festival was a 2-day celebration of music and community, held in Philadelphia.

    Budweiser had branding all throughout the venue. This is where the Brewmaster station was housed.

    We were able to sample 12 different beers. Three will be included in a special Budweiser pack available this Fall.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow The Wire on Twitter and Facebook.

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    frederick's of hollywood

    Frederick's Of Hollywood is an age-old lingerie brand that has managed to stay relevant after all these years.

    It's going to have to be constantly tweaking if it wants to keep up in a a rapidly changing retail world, especially since it's so well-known for its catalog — a retail channel that's quickly becoming obsolete.

    Now, the company is revamping its catalog and moving up to luxury with a new brand called Harriett, reports Karyn Monget at Women's Wear Daily.

    From WWD:

    "The catalogue, which McCourt calls a “brandzine” because of the mailer’s magazine-like look, will feature modern, updated images aimed at younger, contemporary consumers as well as “VIP” customers. It will debut this week and will be part of 5.5 million catalogues mailed four times a year."

    The changes are supposed to make the brand feel more "contemporary, aspirational, elegant and engaging," according to CMO Tracy McCourt.

    Meanwhile, the Harriett brand is meant to grab a piece of the "accessible luxury" segment and to appeal to a wider base of consumers.

    Frederick's has been trying to become more mainstream lately, trying to escape a longtime stigma of sleaziness as it faces mounting competition from lingerie powerhouse Victoria's Secret.

    It's certainly continuing in the right direction, but it's a tall order to make people forget something that has built up for more than a half century.

    What's your perception of Frederick's? Let us know in the comments.

    NOW SEE: Apple, Victoria's Secret And IKEA All Fall Into The Same Brand Archetype >

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    tv girl shoes

    Lord knows I am not the smartest person in the world, the brightest bulb, the sharpest knife or any other euphemism you want to trot out connoting intelligence. But one fairly smart thing I said (at least I think it’s somewhat smart) over the past couple of years was that ‘people need to start looking at their computer screen or monitor the same way they look at their TV.’

    Not exactly rocket science when you stop and look at your monitor. Is it not a box-shaped item that is akin to your TV set? Of course it is.

    And you don’t read TV, do you? Of course you don’t.

    Well unless you count reading the now incessant scrolls that every news/sports network has on the bottom of its screen.

    But by and large you don’t read TV, you watch it. You watch the images. You watch the video. You watch the film.

    So why should your computer be any different.

    Now, before I go on, let’s one thing perfectly clear. I am in no way espousing the belief that traditional TV is dead; that we’ll be watching TV on our computers in the near future and our current TVs will become antiques.

    Nor am I advocating the removal of all text from all Internet sites as fast as humanly possible to be replaced by videos and/or pictures. Being a writer who makes his living off the writing of words which appear on computer screens, I would kind of like to see words stay for a while.

    No, I am merely pointing out something I think that has been obvious for quite some time and is now coming to fruition. And that is that people, AKA consumers, AKA the folks who buy your products, services and wares Mr. & Mrs. Brand, prefer to “see” rather than “read” when it comes to the deluge of information they are bombarded with day in, day out on the information super highway. (Boy, that’s an old term, isn’t it?)

    The folks at M Booth recently got together with SimplyMeasure to measure consumer engagement data on the Internet and social media networks.

    Some highlights of the following infographic which is pretty self-explanatory. (NOTE: The infographic also includes a brief timeline of the “visual revolution” from just the start of 2012 alone.)

    • On Facebook, videos are shared 12 times more than text posts and links combined
    • Photos are Liked twice as much as text only updates
    • 42% of all Tumblr posts are pictures
    • Pinterest, the photo-driven social media phenomenon, is now referring more traffic than Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and Google Plus

    So, Mr. Brand Marketer & Mrs. Brand Manager and anyone else who is responsible for hits the Internet airwaves - especially those that hit the social media networks, try and remember the computer/TV analogy and instead of “just” posting words, include and image or video to help tell the story.

    You’ll be glad you did.

    Named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred, Steve Olenski is a freelance copywriter/blogger looking for full-time work. He has worked on some of the biggest brands in the world and has more than 20 years experience in advertising and marketing. He lives in Philly and can be reached via email,TwitterLinkedIn, or his website.

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    Prescott Perez-Fox

    Your business card isn’t just a calling card, it’s a snapshot of your brand.

    "It's a tiny piece of your personality,” says Prescott Perez-Fox, owner of Starship Design. “Business cards tell a story, and can transmit the essence of your brand. A business card is a sales piece, a sort of mini ad for you and everything you stand for.”

    Many will argue the importance of investing in a great business card. A memorable card creates a memorable brand. “If you create a beautiful artifact that is kept rather than thrown away, it will live on,” says Perez-Fox. “In many cases, people will save a great card even after copying the info — they may even give the card to a friend just to experience it.”

    The perfect business card is intended to be an experience as much as a source of information. Creating the perfect business card is just a matter of finding the right balance between the two. Taken from experts on the subject, we’ve compiled the most successful tips for creating the perfect business card for your brand. 

    Make it clean.

    It’s essential to create a clean design with readable text and less clutter. A card that looks too busy will hide the message your business is trying to convey, and it will become lost on potential customers. Entrepreneur’s small business encyclopedia suggests using your company’s logo as the basis for the design, making it the biggest element on the card. If making it the biggest isn’t the way you decide to go, you may still want to consider making it the most noticeable.

    Ancillary Magnet is a creative and technical solutions company based in Brooklyn that uses a simple design to convey the brand’s signature — the pink elephant — and illustrate the company business cards.

    Make it shareable.

    When it comes to a memorable design, keep in mind that your card will reach a wider audience if it becomes one that people want to share. This brings us back to the card as an experience. People will share your card if they enjoy the experience of it. Kyle Laser created a business card for his Dallas-based company, Laser Printing, that emulated a Google search result. He estimates that the company signed on up to 10 of their biggest clients based on their business card.

    When people remember your business card, they’ll remember your business — and that goes for memorability in design as well as delivery. “A snazzy business card is no good if you hand it out left and right,” says Josh Spiro in his article on Inc. Spiro cites Bonnie Ross-Parker, CEO of The Joy of Connecting as a an example of proper business card distribution technique. Ross-Parker never hands out her business card unsolicited; it is reserved for only quality connections she makes with people she’s met. This preserves the meaning and thought that goes into a great card.

    Make it unique.

    “A poor quality card can undermine even the best rapport or the most persuasive conversation,” says Spiro. A unique business card will make you, and your business, stand out. You may choose to use some unorthodox materials such as metal, fabric, or glass. You can also experiment with different patterns, textures, colors, and fonts. Emboss it, embellish it, or try a different shape. Don’t be afraid to be a bit ‘out there’, but remember that an out-there design isn’t for everyone. “Depending on what line of work you’re in, and even your personality, you may want a more traditional design,” says Spiro.

    InterFUEL Interactive is a social media marketing and web design agency with offices in California and New York that uses a creative and interactive design to ensure that clients remember its brand. InterFUEL president David Holifield showed his card to Inc, explaining that people "interact with [the card] in a way that is unexpected. While a more traditional business card would work, it's often a missed opportunity to create something memorable."

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    Zach Beatty

    There's a lot more planning and strategy involved in marketing a new brand than many entrepreneurs anticipate. Poor execution can derail even the best product.

    To get some perspective, we spoke to Zach Beatty, Marketing Manager of Blue Fountain Media about what exactly is involved in the process, and how to successfully pull off a campaign.

    Below is a slightly-edited transcript of our conversation:

    What’s the first thing a new brand should consider when it comes to marketing strategy?

    The first step a new brand should take when developing their marketing strategy is making sure that they have a strong understanding of their target customer. Without this, it's easy to create messaging that is too broad or that doesn't address the customer's actual needs. This can be a challenge for new brands if they try to appeal to too large an audience from the start and end up not resonating with potential customers.

    When should a young brand start marketing themselves? Is it ever too early to start?

    It's never too early to start. Even in the early stages of bringing an idea to life, there are communities of potential customers that will not only become an early following, but also that will help spread the word about your brand.

    What's the biggest marketing mistake a new brand can make?

    One of the most common problems I see with new brands is lengthy or confusing messaging that alienates the potential customer. People tend to have short attention spans, so brands need to present a clear, concise and powerful message that draws their audience in.  

    Let's talk about digital marketing. This is one of the most popular ways brands get their names out there. Are brands that don't market online doomed to fail? Are there any exceptions to the rule?

    Brands that don't market online aren't doomed to fail, but they are missing out on exposure to potential customers. For some brands a majority of business may come from referrals—but even in this case, potential clients will likely look the brand up online at some point. Ensuring that your online presence speaks well to the brand is important even for these types of brands.

    Is there a difference in the strategies a brand employs when marketing online and when marketing offline?

    Absolutely. The online and offline customer differ in part due to the mediums being used to reach them; so both messaging and value propositions may vary. Additionally, because of the different types of attribution and metrics available for on- and off-line advertising, new brands often approach the two mediums are often approached with different goals and success metrics.

    What's your number one piece of advice to startups about creating brand awareness?

    For a startup trying to create brand awareness, one of the most important things is to not lose focus on making a great product that address their customers needs. A great product will gather a loyal following, but if the offering doesn't address customer needs, efforts spent marketing it will not pay off.

    NOW READ: Shareable Business Cards Are The Only Ones Worth Carrying >

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    Ghirardelli Chocolate

    Marketing and consulting group Harris Interactive recently released results from their annual EquiTrend study.

    The study asks 37,000 U.S. consumers to choose their favorite brands in more than 50 categories – everything from motor oil to casual dining restaurants. This year’s winners – no surprise – include well-known brands like Coca-Cola, Subway, and Gatorade.

    Click here to see the alternatives >

    The study suggests that brand recognition is a big factor in many consumers’ buying decisions. As a recovering brand-name junkie myself, I used to be guilty of falling for the hype, buying whatever cleaning product, snack food, or soft drink commercials recommended.

    While a lot of brands are household names because they’re good, that doesn’t mean they’re always best. I’ve found alternatives to the nation’s most popular brands that are not just cheaper – in my opinion, they’re better.

    Here are some of my favorite alternatives to this year’s EquiTrend winners.

    1. Beer

    In this category, 65 percent of participants chose Blue Moon as their favorite. Blue Moon is a Belgian-style wheat brew with a hint of orange and spices. I’ve been a fan for years, but a six-pack of 12-ounce bottles costs $9.49 in my area. I can buy better for less.

    Like Abita Satsuma Wit.

    This beer is also a craft brew and has a hint of Satsuma, which is similar to an orange. In my area, a six-pack of 12-ounce bottles retails for $8, saving $1.49.

    Buy online and you might save even more – check out our story 5 Tips to Save on Beer for details.

    2. Soft Drinks

    Not so surprisingly, Coca-Cola won in this category, with 72 percent of consumers picking regular Coke as their go-to brand.

    Growing up, I always drank Coke, but when I moved out on my own I stopped buying soft drinks. At $4.99 for a 12-pack, sugary drinks just weren’t in my budget.

    After a few years of abstaining, I broke down and started trying different store brands and generic-brand sodas. My favorite is Winn Dixie’s brand, Chek.

    Of all the store brands I’ve tried, they’re the closest to the “real thing” and much cheaper. Regularly priced, a 12-pack of Chek costs $3. But if you don’t have a Winn Dixie in your area, Walmart’s brand of sodas is a good runner-up.

    3. Chocolate

    Ghirardelli chocolate was the winner in the premium chocolate category, with 74 percent of consumers choosing it as their favorite brand.

    ou can buy their chocolate bars on the Ghirardelli website for $3.95 each, and they have some great flavors.

    However, I’ve found better deals.

    My personal favorite is the Endangered Species Chocolate bars.

    Retailing online for $2.99 a bar, they’re cheaper, made with organic chocolate, and 10 percent of the company’s net profits are donated to charity.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mcdonalds china

    Brand management firm Interbrand recently released its annual global brand value ranking, and Coca-Cola managed to retain its spot at the top of the heap.

    The top 100 is filled with retail brands, from luxury titans like Louis Vuitton to fast food chains like Pizza Hut.

    It's interesting to note that many of the top retail brands didn't rise to fame by selling things in their own stores. Disney has stores around the world now, but its brand originally grew because of its animated films.

    We've picked out and ranked the brands that are big into retail. For instance, Samsung and Microsoft have a limited retail presence and were not included, while Apple with its prominent retail division, does appear on the list.

    #23 Gap

    $3.7 billion brand value

    Down 8 percent from last year

    Ranked #100 overall

    Gap marketed to its core audiencemillennialsto smashing results. Sales are up and things are looking brighter than ever. 

    Source: Interbrand

    #22 Ralph Lauren

    $4.0 billion brand value

    New addition to the list

    Ranked #91 overall

    Ralph Lauren conducted a successful marketing campaign during New York Fashion Week. It also has among the best mobile apps of any retailer.

    Source: Interbrand

    #21 Starbucks

    $4.1 billion brand value

    Up 11 percent from last year

    Ranked #88 overall

    Starbucks released its new "blonde" roast and came up with a "sensory preference" map to give consumers more variety. 

    Source: Interbrand

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Mr Whipple Charmin Vintage Advertising

    Have you ever wondered why virtually all the people in TV commercials seem to be over-the-top, deliriously happy, all the time?

    After junior has thrown his food and drink all over the kitchen, mum delivers a broad smile, then thanks to her Super-Absorbo-Miracle paper towel, within minutes, the place looks like Buckingham Palace.

    Over at the Mall, teen queen Debbie can hardly restrain her mirth as she checks her $1,500 iPhone 265 for expensive bargains she will dispose of within a week.

    The recently graduated PhD’s serving burgers at McDonald’s for minimum wage are all grinning like churls at their customers. Student loans be damned!

    Well, it never used to be like that. There was a time when many TV campaigns featured spokespersons you would gladly cross the street to avoid. Anyone remember “Joe Isuzu,” the obnoxious car salesman? Or, “Mr. No,” the guy who never said yes in spots for Capitol One credit cards. How about the precursor to the “Aflac Duck”… “Toilet Duck.” An animatronic duck wearing a helmet, that floats in your toilet and greets you with, “Quack… Quaaack!”

    For the purpose of this erudite discussion we shall ignore the likes of “The Marlboro Man” or “Joe Camel.” Because, in spite of the fact they actually killed off a large part of their target audience, they were introduced at a time when the medical profession was often featured in cigarette advertising, claiming that certain brands were beneficial for your throat!

    However, the grand prize for the most annoying character in TV advertising can only go to the one and only, “Mr. Whipple.” Who not only wins from a finger nails on chalkboard point of view, but also holds the record for the length of the campaign, 1964 to 1990, and the amazing fact that the same actor, Dick Wilson, played the part in every single spot. For my sins, I actually worked on Procter & Gamble’s Charmin bathroom tissues at the beginning of my career at B&B.

    Please note the descriptor, “bathroom tissues,” ‘cos P&G was adamant that you never, ever called them toilet rolls, or even got close to hinting what their sole purpose was. For advertising history buffs, the very first Charmin commercial was made in, appropriately enough, Flushing, New York.  Dick starred in over 500 spots, half of them yelling at little old ladies to please stop squeezing the Charmin, the second half had Dick yelling at the little old ladies to please squeeze the Charmin. Apparently, some little old lady in a focus group in Boise, Idaho, said she thought it would be nice if Mr. Whipple encouraged them to squeeze the Charmin.

    So the MBA’s at P&G did exactly that. Apart from making tons of money from the actual TV ads themselves, Dick also earned a small fortune cutting the ribbon at openings of new supermarkets.  (Rumor has it that on these occasions Dick was mobbed by twittering hordes of little old ladies anxious to have their Charmin squeezed!) What they didn’t realize, ‘cos Dick rarely talked about it, was that as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940, Dick had served as a Spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain and been decorated several times for valor. Not a guy to be squeezed lightly! Sadly, Dick passed away at the age of 91 in 2007. Here’s a tribute spot.

    It’s a sad reflection on the current state of the ad industry that when P&G finally decided to dip its toe in the Super Bowl advertising cesspit and blow a few million on a new TV commercial for the 2004 championship game, they passed on resurrecting reliable Mr. Whipple.  Instead, they chose to do a pseudo-sports spot featuring a quarterback bending over to grab the snap from the center, only to discover that instead of the expected towel hanging from the player’s belt, there was a long strand of toilet paper!  The tag line for this awesomely obnoxious example of advertising art was: “Charmin Bathroom Tissues, softer and stronger for your end zone.” Yes folks… You can’t make this sh*t up.

    George Parker has spent 40 years on Madison Avenue. He’s won Lions, CLIOs, EFFIES, and the David Ogilvy Award. His blog is, which is required reading for those looking for a gnarly view of the world’s second oldest profession.” His latest book"Confessions of a Mad Man," makes the TV show “Mad Men” look like “Sesame Street.” 

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    Ryan Brown, HubSpot

    A great logo should tell consumers exactly what they need to know about your brand with just one look. The logo is often the first thing consumers see when buying a product or service, so it's crucial that it leave a lasting impression.

    Ryan Brown, Brand and Buzz Strategist at the marketing software company HubSpot spoke to us about what a company's logo can do for its customers.

    Below is a slightly-edited transcript of our conversation:

    Almost anyone can see the logos for Starbucks, or Apple, or Disney, and know what they represent. What does it take for a brand to reach that level of household recognition with their logo?

    For companies to have widespread recognition of their logo, they must have a great product or service as well as a really strong brand. If you have both of those things, selling your products and promoting your company is easier, giving you the ability and resources to promote further and reach more people. And once your product and brand becomes successful, you can use the money you make to promote your brand and logo in very recognizable ways. I think Apple and Nike are great examples of companies who built really great products and a strong brand experience that grew their business and helped propel their logo to widespread visibility and recognition.

    What are the best practices that brands should follow when it comes to logo design?

    Logos should be simple, clear, consistent, memorable and versatile so they can translate across different types of media, and can be placed on different types of backgrounds. I would look to Target, Shell, or FedEx as good examples of this.

    Is simpler always better when it comes to logo design?

    Almost always, yes. An exception may be if a more complex logo is done in an effective way to make your company more memorable, and for it to be a specific design choice that stands out. But generally, simple and clear is the best when it comes to logo design. Ask yourself, "what can I take away so that it's still awesome, still memorable, but isn’t really needed?"

    How have the overall styles of different brands' logos changed over the years? 

    Over the years there have been a series of trends that a number of companies have followed. For example, during the dotcom boom a number of companies included an “e”, “i” or “@” as part of their name or logo. For a period of time a lot of B2B companies all used a globe as part of their logo.

    Some companies like Pepsi have evolved their logos a number of times over the years to have more of a contemporary look and style, while companies like Coca-Cola have barely altered their logo at all over the years.

    What does a successful logo do for a brand's consumers, or potential consumers?

    A successful logo—and ultimately brand—acts as a symbol that you are part of a community, and it's a signal to consumers or potential consumers of what to expect. It becomes a strong visual cue to anyone who sees it and can represent a company's promise, trust, and level of quality.

    Take a generic can of cola. With no logo or an unrecognizable logo the soda is not worth much. If you place the Pepsi or Coca-Cola logo on a can of soda, that can of soda instantly becomes more valuable. It clearly tells people what to expect and creates a reaction to how they feel about that particular can of soda.

    What is your advice to a business that is creating its first logo, or rebranding and creating a new one?

    Take it seriously and don’t mess it up. Resist the urge to design by committee or trying to make everyone happy. Hire a professional or at least someone with experience to help guide you.

    Similar to the best practices already mentioned: Be thoughtful and mindful when creating or updating your logo. Your logo should be simple, clear, and consistent. Consider how it will translate across media, from TV to web to print, and think about how it might look on a dark background, or a light background, or a different color than you usually use.

    Your logo isn’t your brand; everything your company says and does makes up your brand. Your logo is how people will recognize your company and potentially tell them how they should feel about you. A strong, well-designed logo will help a company tremendously, but it's no substitute for building a company with a great product or service and treating your customers well.

    NOW READ: Every Startup Should Know When To Start Marketing >

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    Julie Smolyansky

    The Jack Welch fiasco is exactly why most CEOs are hesitant to join social networks. The benefits can be unclear, and there's always a risk of backlash after mistakes.

    We spoke to Lifeway Foods CEO Julie Smolyansky (@juliesmolyansky) about how she stays real on Twitter, while still bolstering her company's brand. 

    "It's the best way to be an activist and spread your message," she tells us. "I tweet, I'm on Facebook, I'm on Instagram, I'm on Pinterest, I'm on Foursquare, I'm in all of the different platforms, Lifeway is also."

    Above all, "just be smart."

    Smolyansky says this is the most important thing. The stakes are high, and the account is an extension of your brand. It's not the place for personal politics or controversy. (Jack Welch made that very clear when he faced a huge backlash after accusing the administration of manipulating jobs numbers due to a poor debate performance.)

    But at the same time, that doesn't mean you should be bland or impersonal. "I'm not going to be like, 'Hey I have a deal!'" Smolyanksy says. "I just took it as an opportunity to have another marketing tool for free and to build a community of supporters, activists, and people who really love the brand."

    By being authentic, she's been able to build and engage with what she calls "evangelical customers" across her corporate and personal accounts. 

    Here's how she does it:

    "I pass on health messages, I support different charities and causes that are important to me, and the brand, I communicate with different people that I know and support ... I share things that are happening in my life, I was at Fortune's Most Powerful Women summit, I went for a run with Christy Turlington, took a picture of that, you know, different things like that, just giving people a little window into my life, into the brand, a little bit behind the scenes."

    It's information that's interesting and personal, but all very much in keeping with the brand and its message.

    Here are some of Smolyansky's recent tweets

    Smolyansky twitter

    NOW READ: CEO Went On A Hiring Spree For Top Talent In The Recession — And It Paid Off

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    Felix Baumgartner

    High-risk, high-reward.

    That's one of the things Red Bull stresses in its marketing message, and that's why it sponsored Felix Baumgartner in his quest to jump from the edge of space and break the speed of sound.

    But his jump was, by far, the biggest risk the Red Bull brand has ever taken.

    Red Bull plasters its name across plenty of dangerous events, but there was something fundamentally different about Red Bull Stratos — the program that dropped Baumgartner from way up in the atmosphere.

    Red Bull has Formula-1 racecars that charge around a track at 200 mph, an air race that features planes zooming around a city's waterfront at 200 knots and a cliff diving series that sends humans hurtling down the sides of mountains.

    The consequences of even a small mistake in those sports can be deadly.

    So what the difference between those events and Baumgartner's jump?

    Unlike the others, Baumgartner's jump was squarely in the global spotlight, setting a YouTube record with 8 million concurrent views. It was more hyped than anything Red Bull had done before, and the whole world was watching this man plummet from space in a Red Bull-branded suit. 

    And unlike the others, Red Bull took the scientific lead with the Stratos project. It was Red Bull's responsibility to get Baumgartner to the ground safely because it funded the whole team.

    If something bad happened — no matter whose fault it was — everyone would be tearing into Red Bull about the excessive amount of danger involved.

    It would have been called a pure PR stunt. It'd be seen as exploiting an ambitious daredevil, even though he was an absolutely willing participant, just for some exposure.

    Fortunately for everyone, Baumgartner, the team of scientists and Red Bull succeeded, and we got to see history.

    SEE ALSO: How To Jump From 23 Miles Above Earth And Survive 

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    red bull paper wings

    Red Bull's marketing permeates the action sports world. The energy drink wants to be synonymous with excitement and risk-taking, and it has largely succeeded.

    The brand is plastered all over big-time extreme athletes, from Formula One drivers to freestyle motorcross riders.

    But it also takes its slogan "Red Bull gives you wings" literally.

    Red Bull has a series called Red Bull Air Race, which is currently being revamped for 2013. World-class pilots fly around a course in a race for the fastest time. 

    It also has Red Bull Flugtag, a much-publicized contest in which people construct homemade flying machines to launch off a pier. 

    And it just dropped Felix Baumgartner from the edge of space.

    But there's one event that really proves Red Bull's commitment to its wing-giving promise.

    It's called Red Bull Paper Wings, and it's a worldwide paper plane competition. That's right, paper planes.

    What's so different about it compared with its other sports ventures?

    There's absolutely nothing "extreme" about it. No one's plunging from space, no one's racing around a track at 200 mph and no one's barreling down a steep hill on a bike.

    And there's no connection with the action sports culture like Red Bull BC One (breakdancing) and Red Bull Art of Motion (freerunning).

    The event is branded Red Bull for one reason only — wings.

    That's how serious Red Bull is about pushing that simple marketing message.

    NOW SEE: Felix Baumgartner's Jump Was The Biggest Risk Red Bull Has Ever Taken >

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    aliza licht dkny pr girl

    Aliza Licht, SVP, Global Communications at Donna Karan International, is the voice leading the brand’s Twitter success.

    For some who presume social media is handled by interns, this was a surprise.

    But when Licht and the company started to take flight with the @dkny Twitter account, they were tapping into a channel that most luxury brands were still unsure about and proving how important it is as a focus across all levels at the brand.

    Today, with more than 400,000 followers and 40,000 Tweets on the @dkny account, Aliza has helped prove to her luxury brand peers that social media is not just a fleeting trend. It can generate welcome attention and brand esteem that might take years and much more effort to attract through other channels.

    In Part I of this two-part Q&A, Aliza discusses how the company built the social media status it has today and why she thinks social media and Twitter in particular are so important. You can stay tuned for the full interview in a few days, or if you just can’t wait to hear how she gets the same brand message across all social channels or how they account for social ROI, download the full interview here.

    The eTail Blog: Not too long ago, you “came out” online as the woman behind DKNY’s madly successful Twitter account. How did this whole Twitter persona start?

    Aliza Licht: In 2009, we knew that embarking on social was the next big thing, and even though very few fashion luxury brands were in the space, we felt our brand DNA was strong enough to tell a unique, NY-centric story.

    Which story though, was the question. As a PR person, credibility is always paramount, and I knew we didn’t want people to think this was actually Donna Karan tweeting. So I came up with the character “DKNY PR GIRL,” but for convenience purposes, the handle would simply be @dkny.

    PR, as a department, is a touch-point for so many different areas of the company. From events and runway shows to celebrity dressing and editorial, we have a ton of content to draw from. Being a fly on our wall allows someone to witness not only success, but failure and frustration. Did I mention stress?

    As far as the voice, it was decided that I would be the only one tweeting so the voice would be consistent, but that we would all contribute content for this “PR GIRL” character to live vicariously through. But the best-laid plans never happen, and it very quickly became obvious that it was one person and that person was real.

    So we scrapped the made-up character idea and traded it for anonymity of the person behind the sketch. That lasted about two years until we decided enough was enough, and the veil was pulled back.

    Q. How does Twitter compare to other social networks; for you personally, and for the company?

    A. Twitter is a passion of mine. It’s the platform I give the most attention to. It is also the platform that is the most personal. Through the DKNY PR GIRL persona, I infuse myself into Twitter, and Pinterest. Our other platforms like Facebook (Donna Karan & DKNY pages), Tumblr (Notes On A City & Donna’s Journal) and Instagram (donnakarandkny) are amazing, but maintain the respective brand voice.

    Q. What did it take for the company to “trust you” in having free editorial reign over the Twitter account?

    A. From day one, our management was excited about it, as they recognized that Twitter was another way that we could engage with our customers.

    They also showed a lot of foresight, because they knew it would only work if I could be real, unedited and write what I know… And a lot of what I know is the world of Donna Karan.

    Q. How much time a day do you spend on Twitter?

    A. I tweet while doing my “real” job. Pretty much on and off all day. I never schedule tweets, though, so there can be periods of silence at which point some of my Twitter friends come hunting me down.

    Q. From a managerial perspective, how do you do your job and keep up with the incoming tweets and all the press that comes in?

    A. I think when you love doing something, you figure it out. Social Media does not feel like an obligation to me. It’s a privilege.

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    Ken Carbone, Leslie Smolan, Carbone Smolan Agency

    The most iconic brands are instantly recognizable. Their logos are strong, and so is any other visual representation, like signage outside the store. 

    But it's not easy to pull this off.

    So what's the key to differentiating yourself from the competition? We've asked Leslie Smolan and Ken Carbone, co-founders of the design and branding company Carbone Smolan Agency and authors of the new book Dialog: What Makes A Great Design Partnership. They've created designs and visual displays of information for dozens of companies, including The Louvre, Tiffany & Co., New York University, Sesame Workshop, and Aether Apparel.

    Carbone says the best way to create an unmistakably-yours brand is with three words: unify, simplify, amplify. When your brand is "easy for people to recognize and embrace, your clients become ambassadors for your brand," he says. "If you’re too fractured in the way you communicate with your clients, it’s very easy to get lost in that noise."

    To begin, “I take a design problem and carry it around with me, taking my time to decide on the right approach," Smolan writes in Dialog. "It’s a bit like baking a cake: I make sure I’ve added the best ingredients before popping an idea into the oven." 

    Although consistency is important, creating some room for versatility is key. She gives Geico as an example of a recognizable brand that uses a variety of visual graphics in its commercials. "The strategy of those commercials is consistent, and the execution is different," says Smolan. "So, you can have inconsistency that’s actually designed into a consistency. There’s way too many brands screaming at the top of their lungs trying to get attention and I think you have to be consistent for people to recognize and understand what your brand is.”

    It's important to invest in creating high-quality visual graphics, even if you have limited funds. Carbone says that designers are generally willing to work with small businesses whatever their design budgets may be. "Small companies should definitely think about it, not just in terms of cost, but think about what they feel they can afford at this stage in their development," he says. "Any responsible designer would adjust what the cost would be, based on what the budget parameters are, and design something accordingly. It has to all be relative to the size of the business.” 

    Smolan says that the design campaign doesn't need to be executed all in one go, either. Small businesses have hired CSA for the first steps, "so we’ll align what we deliver with their budget, and then they’ll come back when there’s more funding for the next stage to continue that relationship."

    What's important to remember when it comes to branding, says Carbone, is to "do less, but do it extremely well. Don’t stretch the budget too far," he tells us.

    Carbone writes in Dialog that he hears many brands tell him “‘It won’t work.’ ‘We can’t afford it.’ ‘People won’t understand it.’ My job is all about turning a ‘no’ into a ‘yes,’" he writes. "Fortunately, I enjoy this.”

    NOW READ: Selecting A Name For Your Business Is Like Naming A Child

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    lance armstrong livestrong shirt

    The International Cycling Union announced that they have banned Lance Armstrong for life and stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles. This latest blow has knocked Mr. Armstrong’s image off its lofty pedestal and sent it crashing to the ground similar to Humpty Dumpty of the famous nursery rhyme.

    How he crafted his image

    Lance Armstrong built his image from his phenomenal cycling achievements, successful battle with cancer, and founding of the Livestrong Foundation to fight cancer. In fact, Lance Armstrong became a sports icon that was the face of cycling in America – if not the entire world. He put cycling on the map and created such a powerful persona that many thought of him as the Super Man of the sport.


    As a result of his success, sponsors lined up to endorse him. His biggest sponsors included Nike, Anheuser-Busch (InBev), Oakley sunglasses, and Trek bicycles. Nike and Trek stood by him until the end, but had to abandon ship as the volume of evidence outlined in the USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency) report overwhelmingly mounted against him. Some estimate that he will lose $30 million in sponsorships as a result of his being stripped of his titles. When all the amounts are tallied, the losses could go a lot higher. For example, a Texas firm that paid him $7.5 million for one of his Tour de France wins is asking for their money back.

    Why the great fall?

    As with Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong had a squeaky clean image that most thought was beyond reproach. When things are going well, such a lofty image translates to big payoff. Forbes pegged Armstrong’s net worth at $125 million. When the evidence against him became overwhelming, his image had a long way to fall. An image that falls from such a lofty perch is bound to shatter and be very difficult to repair.

    Why Nike stood by Tiger but not Lance Armstrong?

    Tiger Woods was caught cheating on his wife, but was never accused of cheating in his sport. Nike and Trek are companies that focus on sports. Nike knows that sports fans are not very forgiving when star athletes cheat at their game — especially when it is their profession for which they are paid. As my esteemed colleague David Carter who is Executive Director of USC’s Sports Business Institute affirmed, “… because his indiscretion cut to the very heart of competition in sport, if he lacks that kind of integrity there’s no way a company like Nike can tolerate that.”

    What should Lance have done to avoid such a great fall?

    From a marketing perspective, someone should have advised Lance Armstrong to follow what is known as the fact procedure to mitigate damage to his image. When the problem first became public, he should have done the following:

    • Admitted he did it
    • Apologized
    • Put the problem in perspective
    • Proposed a solution so it won’t happen again.

    Instead, he tried to “sweep it under the rug” denying he ever used doping or any performance enhancing drugs.

    What should he do now?

    It is very late, but not too late.  To have a chance at rehabilitating his image, Lance needs to “come clean” and begin following the fact procedure outlined above. Continuing to deny guilt when the evidence is so overwhelming against him is a losing strategy.

    It erodes whatever trust remains between him and the public. He needs to stop the erosion and begin to pick up the pieces of his shattered image. How can he do this? It won’t be easy, but he can dedicate himself to insuring that doping is eradicated from cycling and all sports.

    He can also help the Livestrong Foundation to continue its great work helping cancer victims. Unlike Humpty Dumpty, he has a chance to put the pieces of his shattered image back together again. Let's hope he does.

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