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You Are the Brand

Steve Adubato, PhD

Publication Year: 2011

Steve Adubato's entire professional life has been about branding--learning it, living it, making mistakes at it, teaching it at several universities, while discovering how to find the fine line between shameless self-promotion and smart, strategic branding--first for himself, then for others, and now for readers interested in an honest analysis of the good and bad in practiced branding.

So, what's really in this book for you? Adubato profiles the brands of more than thirty people and companies and skillfully analyzes and dissects their strategies. His sage advice and on-target approach will help readers who:

  • Feel they have something of value to offer,
  • Are in a market-driven or aggressive environment in which their name, reputation, and persona hold the keys to their success,
  • Want their customers to buy products and services again and again,
  • Feel unappreciated in their current job,
  • Have recently lost a job or are seeking their first job out of college,
  • Are trying to get back into the workforce after years of being "out of it."
  • Let's face it--it's a tough economic world today and there's cutthroat competition. Dive into Adubato's book and get ready to turn a powerful page in life.

    Published by: Rutgers University Press

    Quotations, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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    pp. xi-xii


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    pp. xiii-xvi

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    pp. 1-9

    You are the brand. Yes—you.
    Sure, as a business person, you probably have a basic marketing plan that focuses on ways to reach your target audience. But what about a branding plan that focuses on you—your reputation and your unique position in a highly competitive market? You know branding is a big deal for organizations and celebrities such...

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    Tiger Woods: No One Walks on Water

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    pp. 10-16

    When I decided to write this book in 2008, I considered writing about Tiger Woods as one of the greatest American brands ever. In fact, it was a tossup between Tiger and Oprah as to who, in my mind, was the strongest individual brand on the American scene today...

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    Buddy “The Cake Boss” Valastro: Baking Cakes and Living Dreams

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    pp. 17-21

    Everyone loves Buddy “The Cake Boss”Valastro. My kids, my wife, and all my nieces and nephews became a lot more interested in my television work when they heard I had interviewed Buddy. “What’s Buddy really like?” they all wanted to know. “Is he that much fun in person?” “You think you could take us to meet Buddy?”...

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    JH Cohn: Branding for Accountants? Why Not!

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    pp. 22-26

    JH Cohn is a full-service accounting firm. It’s not in the “Big 4,” but it is one of the fastest growing and most successful firms of its kind in the country. It was founded in 1919, but like any established firm, JH Cohn cannot rely on tradition alone to make its brand stand out; it has had to evolve to meet changing times and...

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    Toyota: Putting the Brakes on Its Brand

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    pp. 27-32

    Your brand is about your reputation in the marketplace. It is about how others see you, about the degree to which you are respected, and about the belief of customers and key stakeholders that you, as well as your product, services, and integrity are beyond reproach. Interestingly, in the same way that there are many ways to build...

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    Michael Port: Living by the “Golden Rule”

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    pp. 33-38

    Michael Port is a classic example of someone who was doing just fine in one profession, but decided that wasn’t enough. For many years, Port was a successful TV and film actor. But in Port’s case, it wasn’t BIG enough for him, since he felt he had more to offer people and more to demand of himself.Then, in 2006 he published his...

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    BlackBerry: The Brand You“Can’t Live Without”

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    pp. 39-42

    I gave a speech a few years ago at a conference in Las Vegas in which I talked about some of the ways that people could make their meetings more engaging, dynamic, and inclusive. Right after my presentation, Jim Balsillie, the chair of Research in Motion (RIM), which manufactures the BlackBerry smartphone, got up and said...

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    Barack Obama: A Brand in Transition

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    pp. 43-50

    Who the heck was Barack Obama? How dare he think he could be President of the United States just a couple of years out of the Illinois state legislature? He was still inexperienced, not worldly enough, and had never served in an executive capacity. He didn’t wait his turn. These were the kinds of questions and the negative...

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    Coke: It’s the Real Thing

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    pp. 51-54

    I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it’s true: I can’t live without my Diet Coke. I know it isn’t good for me, and I know I drink too much of it, but I love it. On some level, I guess I’m addicted. This attachment to a carbonated drink has nothing to do with its value as a product, and everything to do with its power as a sustainable...

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    Thirteen/WNET.org: Beyond Sesame Street and Bill Moyers

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    pp. 55-59

    “The THIRTEEN brand has always been associated with integrity and intelligence as it stands apart from a lot of the pressures that impact the commercial world.” These are the words of WNET.org president and CEO Neal Shapiro...

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    TD Bank: Beyond Colors, Letters, and Logos

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    pp. 60-64

    Very often, creating and bolstering your brand comes down to making and keeping a promise. In the case of TD Bank, Fred Graziano, head of retail banking at TD Bank, told me that success is built on “how we execute against our brand promise, which is: America’s Most Convenient Bank.” Interestingly, to keep this promise...

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    The Catholic Church: A Brand in Constant Crisis

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    pp. 65-69

    The Catholic Church’s brand is in big trouble. It’s no secret that serious image and reputation problems for the Church revolve around its consistent mishandling of a decades-old pedophilia scandal involving the molestation of young boys. It is now known that an alarming number of current and former priests involved in...

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    Toast: Knowing Where Your Bread Is Buttered

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    pp. 70-75

    I met Amy Russo several years ago when I stopped in a new restaurant in town called Toast. I was intrigued by the name “Toast,” which is always a branding plus. However, as soon as I met Russo, I knew that while her restaurant had a catchy name, it was Russo herself who had the passion, enthusiasm, and all-around big personality...

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    The New York Yankees: A Lot More Than a Baseball Brand

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    pp. 76-80

    I’ll never forget the first time I walked into Yankee Stadium. I was seven years old in the summer of 1966, and the New York Yankees were playing the Cleveland Indians. My dad and I walked up the entrance ramp as the crowd roared in the bottom of the first inning, and I knew there was nothing like it on the face of the...

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    The Kennedys: The Rise and Fall of America’s “Royal Family”

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    pp. 81-87

    The Kennedy name is synonymous with American culture and politics. In fact, for decades, the Kennedys were considered America’s “royal family” by many. However, today the Kennedy brand is a struggling one that has clearly seen better days. Its rise, fall, and...

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    Hospital Brands: Hospital Branding in Challenging and Uncertain Times

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    pp. 88-99

    Much of my coaching and consulting work revolves around marketing, communications, and, yes, branding in the world of healthcare. Many of my clients are hospitals or hospital systems trying to figure out how to manage and meet their bottom line in a constantly changing environment, including national healthcare...

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    Starbucks: “Your Usual, Steve?”

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    pp. 100-104

    I’m not exactly sure why I started going to Starbucks to drink my coffee, read my newspaper, and eventually brainstorm and write in the cozy back corner. When I first stepped into the store, I’m sure I had no idea that the place would eventually become my home away from home. I also don’t know when I decided that I was willing to...

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    Blackwater Changing Your Name Doesn’t Fix Your Reputation

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    pp. 105-108

    Sometimes, a brand has to rebuild itself. Sometimes a new name is necessary. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to start all over again. Sometimes, however, this approach to improving the company brand is a bad idea—a very bad idea if the company has been involved in an egregious or embarrassing incident and then tries to rebrand simply by coming up with...

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    Campbell Soup: Engage Your Employees . . . Awaken Your Brand

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    pp. 109-115

    In the early 2000s, Campbell Soup Company was called a “beleaguered old brand.”1 Its sales were down, employees were not engaged, and the company was losing some of its most talented performers.There were constant rumors that Campbell was for sale...

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    Nick Matarazzo: Staying in the Game

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    pp. 116-120

    Nick Matarazzo spent twenty-seven years as a top sales and marketing executive at Hachette Filipacchi Media (the publisher of such popular magazines as ELLE, Woman’s Day, Car and Driver, and Road & Track). His views on personal branding were solidified the day in mid-2009 when he became the victim of downsizing...

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    Martha Stewart: Boy, . . . Was I Wrong

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    pp. 121-124

    I was convinced that going to jail and doing real time would destroy the Martha Stewart brand. There was no way that this woman, whose brand was predicated on seeking perfection in everything—from the way to bake a cake to what to wear and how to speak—could survive a jail sentence and keep her reputation...

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    Bobbi Brown: Keeping It Real

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    pp. 125-129

    Bobbi Brown is a makeup maven—Bobbie Brown Essentials is one of the most successful brands in the cosmetic industry.When asked how she did it, Brown’s answer is a bit surprising. She says she didn’t do it with a lot of market research or a big-time advertising budget. In fact, in his book The Authentic Brand, Christopher Rosica...

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    Oprah: The “Babe Ruth” of Modern-Day Branding

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    pp. 130-136

    Oprah. Like Madonna, Sting, Bruce, and Sinatra, Oprah Winfrey doesn’t really need more than her first name to conjure up a brand, an image, or, in her case, a powerful media force of nature that has changed the landscape of American pop culture forever...

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    BP Oil: Total Brand Destruction

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    pp. 137-141

    Sometimes it’s not what you say that delivers your message, but rather the context in which your comments are received. Consider the case of British Petroleum—BP—the company responsible for the largest uncontrolled oil disaster in American history that devastated the Gulf of Mexico. This is a case study that clearly illustrates...

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    TODAY: It’s about Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

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    pp. 142-147

    I’m a bit biased when I talk about NBC News’s TODAY show.That’s partly because I’ve been on the program many times over the past several years as a media and communication expert and have greatly enjoyed every appearance on what many consider to be the number-one network morning show on the air.The TODAY show is...

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    Howard Stern: “The King of Media”

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    pp. 148-153

    If you’re working hard to earn your “15 minutes of fame,” you can give up the idea of having a successful brand right now. Successful branding is about making a name for yourself that keeps you competitive in your field over the long haul. Enter Howard Stern...

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    E*TRADE: When Your Brand Is a “Baby”

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    pp. 154-157

    How important can a baby—who can’t even talk—be to a brand? Just ask the folks at E*TRADE, the online trading company that created the YouTube sensation (as well as “water cooler” conversation) when it kicked off a series of entertaining, highly digitized TV commercials featuring babies, in particular a really cute baby “talking”...

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    Gibbons: One Name Can Communicate So Much

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    pp. 158-164

    Branding a law firm to stand out in such a crowded professional arena is no easy task. A law firm is a collection of individuals who provide clients with individual service; each lawyer has his or her own personality, style, and approach. How do they all contribute to one brand? Having a long and distinguished history adds another...

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    Governor Chris Christie: When Being “Blunt” Is Your Brand

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    pp. 165-169

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been called a bully and an intimidator with an “in your face” style of communication. According to Christie, “Listen, I was sent here to bring change. . . . Direct, blunt and honest—that’s how I’d describe my style. And...

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    Lebron James: When Your “Decision” Hurts Your Brand

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    pp. 170-175

    Lebron James is a superstar and an American sports icon. He is a marketing machine and a huge money maker for the NBA.Together with Kobe Bryant, James is clearly one of the heirs apparent to the Michael Jordan legacy of being the greatest basketball player around. No doubt, Lebron James is also a huge brand. In fact, in the...

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    Newsweek: Times They Are a-Changing

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    pp. 176-179

    Sometimes even the strongest brands just run their course. No matter how successful a brand is, sometimes demographics, technology, market forces, and the inability and/or unwillingness to respond to sweeping changes can erode a brand. Consider the case of Newsweek magazine...

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    Daniela Costanzo: Spinning Her Magic

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    pp. 180-184

    Several years ago, I was looking for a different kind of workout when I heard about a spin class offered at the New York Sports Club (NYSC).Word around town was that the class was intense and challenging and that the instructor was great, but definitely demanding...

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    Sarah Palin: So You Want to Be Taken Seriously?

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    pp. 185-191

    Political brands can be hard to figure out. There have been some names and brands associated with great leaders throughout American history—names such as Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, JFK, Roosevelt. You get the idea. But in the modern, media-obsessed, Internet-driven blogosphere, building and sustaining a successful...

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    Rutgers University: The Block R Success Story

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    pp. 192-197

    I have three college degrees from New Jersey schools. Of course, the most notable school in this state is Princeton University—but that’s not where I got my education. I got my master’s and doctoral degrees from Rutgers University, which, to many, is of Ivy League caliber. I mention these two schools in this opening paragraph...

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    TJ Nelligan: Doing Well by Doing Good

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    pp. 198-204

    TJ Nelligan is a character. Any way you look at it, he stands out in the marketplace as one of the most creative, aggressive, and entrepreneurial sports marketers in the country. His firm, Nelligan Sports Marketing, was created on June 4, 1999, after Nelligan spent nine years at industry leader Host Communications, learning the...

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    Eliot Spitzer: Go Figure

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    pp. 205-209

    Eliot Spitzer’s story proves that in America, no matter how embarrassed or ridiculed public figures may be, there is almost always the opportunity for a “second act.” Let’s recap Spitzer’s story: Eliot Spitzer had built a damn good brand as the “sheriff of Wall Street” when he served as New York attorney general. Spitzer was also the...

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    Wells Fargo/Wachovia: Two Banks into One . . . the Bottom Line

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    pp. 210-214

    Sometimes it isn’t just your organization or your individual brand that needs to be strengthened. Often, a brand needs to be bolstered when an entire industry is being seriously questioned and/or challenged because of recent events that call into question the integrity, character, and behavior of everyone involved. Consider the case of...

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    Make-A-Wish Foundation: Granting Lasting Wishes

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    pp. 215-221

    The Make-A-Wish Foundation is an organization that touches the lives of kids who have life-threatening medical conditions. It brings joy to these children by granting their wishes for things like a trip to Disney World or a meeting with a favorite celebrity or a professional athlete, among so many other wish types. According to Tom...

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    Fox News: Love ’em, Hate ’em, Trust ’em . . . Watch ’em

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    pp. 222-228

    Fox News Channel premiered on October 7, 1996. At the time, there was no compelling reason to believe that with CNN firmly established as the number-one cable news operation, that Fox News would become the cable news brand juggernaut that it is today—a...


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    pp. 229-234

    About the Author

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    E-ISBN-13: 9780813550718
    E-ISBN-10: 0813550718
    Print-ISBN-13: 9780813550428

    Page Count: 256
    Publication Year: 2011