Friday, August 13, 2010

Are You a One Night Brand?

Back in the 1950's Hugh scraped together $8,000 from family and friends and launched a business and a brand that took America and the world by storm.

His business model focused on a magazine that featured a style of photography and an element of brand notoriety that appealed to a certain demographic and a certain type of advertiser.

Hugh needed those advertisers in order to publish his magazine and after meeting with initial resistance from the stuffed-shirt crowd, he persisted and eventually signed up brands such as:

- Crosswinds House beach towels
- Scintella Satin BedSheets
- Lektrostat Record Cleaning Kit
- Mansfield Holiday II 8-mm cameras
- Leslie Record Racks
- Electro-Voice Musicaster loudspeakers
- The Ronson Electric Shaver
- Max Factor crew-cut hair dressing
- The Rogers "Rocket Flame" cigarette lighter

And lets not forget the unforgettable "Batch Book", that new and modern address book where you can jot down every pertinent detail and avoid those ghastly social errors.

Those brands aren't exactly household names today. Few of them still exist.

Some disappeared as society changed. Technology rendered others obsolete, while the rest ran out of creative, emotional and financial gas.

Brands can vanish for any number of reasons, but the real question is why should your brand be one that sticks around? How is your brand positioned to be a long-term player since now more than ever, even the best corporate brands are no longer guaranteed longevity in the marketplace.

And few figured out this brand longevity issue better than Hugh.

Hugh Hefner is the ultimate "lifestyle entrepreneur", creating a brand that has endured for generations. Playboy is still the leading men’s magazine in the world,
and the business model has diversified to include four income streams: publishing, licensing, online and TV.

And as Hugh learned a long time ago, the "story" never gets old.

Gradually, organizations are discovering a brand is no longer what they say it is.

It's what others say and whether they feel its worth talking about.

Hugh Hefner may be living a certain way personally, but his Playboy brand has been set up in another fashion. The question becomes whether you want your brand to be strategically positioned for a long-term love affair with your customers with decades of profitable bliss or something that smacks of pash-and-dash, booty-calls and one-night stands.

Think about your brand and the way it is positioned right now.

Does the brand "story" still resonate?

Can it be adapted seamlessly to other business models?

And how much staying power will it have?

"Life is too short to be living somebody else's dream"

Originally posted February 10, 2010

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