Branding Yourself: Tips from the Red Carpet

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Michiko Morales

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for the common fashionista – AWARD SEASON! Last Sunday’s Golden Globes could not have been a more glamorous way to kick it off. Filled with excitement, drama and cringe-worthy moments (Jacqueline Bissette anyone?), The Globes’ brand is crystal clear – it’s a fun one. But with the Grammys and the Academy Awards just around the corner, we can be sure that the usual A-list celebrities are already purchasing their Oscar de la Renta dresses and preparing their acceptance speeches. And while I am along with the rest of the world in wondering what color Kerry Washington will be sporting with her baby bump, or what lucky lady Leonardo will have on his arm, these award shows have their own special brand education for my fellow marketing types out there.

Without a doubt, when it comes to the acting biz – branding is key. Whether attempting to create a name for yourself or for your organization, I think there is really something to be learned from the high-profile celebs that we watch hour-long red carpet specials just to get a peek at. Let’s face it, love them or hate them – they’re doing pretty okay. And why is that? Because these people have created absolutely amazing brands for themselves!

So in honor of the season (and let’s be honest, any opportunity to talk about Leo) here are a few excellent tips to be gleaned from the celebs that know exactly what they’re doing out there.

1. Looks are important. And no, I don’t mean you should come to the office in a backless Vera Wang, but the overall look and feel of your brand is crucial. Everything from your corporate website to your personal business card should be representative of the brand; and the more eye appealing, the better. In the world of technology marketing especially, a well-organized and good-looking image can make all the difference in whether or not someone chooses to do business with you.

2. Acknowledge the fans. We’ve all heard the acceptance speeches: “I would really like to thank my fans, without whom I wouldn’t be standing here today!” In today’s social world, regardless of your product or service, your customers should not only be your biggest fans, they should be your evangelists. Treat them like kings and queens: Give them credit where credit is due, listen to their wants and needs, and keep them coming back for more. After all, a happy customer is the best form of advertisement for any brand.

3. Stay Strong in the Face of Crisis. Although everyone loves a good scandal whether it’s in the high-powered world of starlets and music artists or corporate takeovers and executive firings. Even if you’re not as big as Apple, the smallest rumor (Unhappy BOD? Employees angry over dilution? Security breaches – can someone say Snapchat?) can impact your brand, and consequently, your sales. And the longer your business is around, the higher the risk of your company taking a little tumble like Jennifer Lawrence or a diving into an abyss (flashback to 2007 Britney Spears). When that happens, take stock of the situation, craft your response, listen to your PR people and begin to rebuild trust.

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Leah Nurik