Insight Marketing Blog

When YOU are the Brand

There’s a guy named Scott Ginsberg and I don’t know if you’ve ever seen him, but he has his website called and for the past 2,900+ days, he’s worn a nametag. Which means, he’s been wearing a nametag everyday for the past 8 years. Scott wears his nametag every single day no matter where he is going. If he’s doing laundry, he’s wearing the nametag that says, “Hello, my name is Scott”.

His story is very interesting and at some point he even got a tattoo where his nametag would be – presumably to take care of days at the beach. That’s Scott’s “thing”. There is no question that Scott is at the very center of his brand.

And, being at the center of your brand gives you a level of differentiation that’s hard for your market to ignore.

Scott happens to help companies make their brands more approachable to their markets – so it makes sense that his “calling card” would be a nametag. It works perfectly for him. He’s done a good job with that.

But, what about you? What if you’re the center of your brand and you don’t want that dynamic anymore? You’ve found yourself being the Scott Ginsberg, the Dr. Phil, the Madonna of your brand you’re sorry you developed your brand in that way.

You want to be able to take a break.  You want to sell the company.  You are’re interested anymore.  You have had a nervous breakdown. Whatever the case, you want out. What do you do?

Well, you think, “that’s tough”.  You think it’d be hard to do for the obvious reason – YOU are the brand.

Martha Stewart logoLet’s look at Martha Stewart. Let’s say, for example, that she wants to sell her company. I believe she might make out BETTER than if the brand was NOT centered around her as THE brand’s personality. Look at it from a marketing standpoint: there wouldn’t be a Martha Stewart satellite radio station, cooking show, magazine, retail lines – without Martha Stewart being at the forefront.

She has also created a meaning behind the brand – well, her marketing people have. When you know something is made by Martha Stewart’s company, that means certain things – quality, fair price, equality – and those things aren’t really about her personally. It’s become what the brand means to consumers.

So, if YOU are the brand, there might not be so much to worry about. Just make sure the brand MEANS something aside from you so that when you exit, you don’t take the brand with you.

Continue reading →

Whatever Happened to the Hamburglar?

HamburglarWhatever happened to Ronald McDonald? Where is he?  And, the Hamburgler? What happened to him? Did you notice when they left? It occurred to me recently that they are MIA (missing in action) as part of the McDonalds’ brand.

We still have the Ronald McDonald house, which provides a tremendous service to sick children and their families, but where is Ronald McDonald himself? He used to be on TV commercials and made public appearances. You would see him and the Hamburglar and the other characters of Ronald McDonald land at grand openings of a McDonalds and other events. Looks like they were quietly retired from the McDonalds’ brand.

And, who has said hello? The Burger King in his costume.

I personally like the Burger King with his plastic face and frozen smile. Burger King didn’t try to make an animated character or overdo the Burger King concept. He’s just kind of totally fake and you know it, and more importantly, he appeals to kids AND adults.

Brand mascots can really do a lot to build a brand – especially when they are oddly real or people can identify with them – think Energizer Bunny or Owens Corning’s Pink Panther.

But, seriously, what did actually happen to the Hamburglar?

McDonalds’ marketing used to be totally driven towards kids. Their whole advertising was focused on engaging children and reluctantly the parents would give in and truck on down to the local McDonalds to get them Happy Meals that included little plastic toys – like the Hamburglar.

Now, as our population is getting older and making healthier food choices, McDonalds has changed gears – its advertising is focused toward aging boomers who want to have healthier food and McDonalds has revamped its menu to include more salads and lower fat meals.

So, while we might be pained to have seen the exit of Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar, McDonalds was smart to reposition themselves and take advantage of the changing demographic trends by offering healthier fare that appeals to both boomers and their older, more health conscious children.

Continue reading →

Which Should Come First: Advertising or PR?

Let’s say you have a new company. It’s got all the elements of a good brand, but no one knows about it. What’s the best way to break into the market – advertising or PR?Advertising or PR?

If you answered PR, you’d be right.


  1. Because it’s new, you probably have a great story to tell about the brand. Why you created it, the benefit it provides, etc.
  2. PR is going to be more cost-effective than advertising, even in a smaller local markets. This can be a significant consideration for a start-up brand that may have a limited marketing budget.
  3. Advertising builds effectively over time, but it’s costly. So, unless you’ve got deep pockets, you’re not going to launch a new brand with extensive advertising. PR is going to be much cheaper and more effective with the initial brand launch.
  4. Another subtle benefit of PR is the implied endorsement of your brand from the media that runs a news story about it. This is very powerful and you just can’t buy that kind of influence.
Continue reading →

Marketing with a Local Touch

Serving the Greater New York Metro Area Including the Counties of Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and the Bronx; along with Fairfield County, CT.