COFFEE, TEA & ME

March 1998

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COFFEE, TEA & ME

Birthing your own brand, baby!

If Andy Warhol were alive he might well revise his famous bon mot. In the future, he'd predict, everyone won't just be famous for 15 minutes, they'll have their own brands of mayonnaise or handbags.

Indeed, the concept of person-as-brand, at least as old as Betty Crocker, is being embraced with unprecedented zeal by marketers of all sorts, as a recent article in The New York Times points out. The results include a perfume named "Gossip by Cindy Adams," after the well-known gossip columnist, and a line of coffee named after apparel designer and non-coffee-drinker Donna Karan. And don't even get us started on one-woman enterprise Martha Stewart.

Jewelry retailers are playing their own role in the person-as-brand (or in their cases, person-as-store) movement. Harold Tivol long ago presented himself as a living symbol of his store - Tivol Jewels in Kansas City, MO. When consumers hear the name "Tivol," they think "winsome, trustworthy and unabashedly bald" - the attributes stressed in several of the store's print and television campaigns. Tivol has even taken to incorporating in his print ads a Ziggy-like cartoon drawing of himself - a symbol of a symbol, so to speak.

The ads that Baton Rouge, LA-based Lee Michaels ran to announce its new store in October were a shining example of jeweler/jewelry store identification. Trumpeting "The birth of another Lee Michaels," the ads depicted owner Lee Berg as a newborn, complete with cowlick and diapers. (His ad agency admits it got the idea from a campaign Tivol ran several years ago when opening a branch store in suburban Kansas City.)






Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


 

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