Embrace or be Hijacked

Part of branding is the persona or character you create or that is created for you. Word association games can be a fun way to see who we associate with different brands. Name a person associated with each of these (or who comes to mind):

  1. Tiffany’s
  2. Chicken of the Sea
  3. Cristal Champagne
  4. YMCA
  5. Campbell’s Soup
  6. Hilton Hotels

Want to see the answers, read on!

  1. Audrey Hepburn
  2. Jessica Simpson
  3. Jay-Z or P. Diddy
  4. Village People
  5. Andy Warhol
  6. Paris Hilton

What do all these brands have in common? They didn’t ask to be represented by these people it just happened. So, what if your brand becomes tied to a non desirable character or even worse gets hijacked by Snooki? Do you pull an Olive Garden and dis your endorser, drop them when they cheat, or do you embrace the situation and take advantage of the awareness? Any PR is good PR, right? The answer depends on your company’s goals, your target audience, and how it will make you money. See how quickly this branding question went from public relations, to corporate business strategy, and then to money – marketing is so tightly woven together. Just like Snooki’s clothes. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Think about some of your favorite brands. Is the brand character created by the company or did it happen naturally – and are they good or bad for the company?

PS. For the record I don’t watch Snooki. Love her name, but don’t watch her show. She’s giving poor New Jersey a bad rap.