Celebrity brands: Building a brand without a product or service

When we think of a brand, we often think of a corporate brand like Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, Starbucks, etc. Each of these brands evoke a certain emotion; each of these brands make a statement about the user.

But brands aren’t only specific to a product. People have brands, too. I recently wrote about how Jimmy Buffett was a brand and had created a pretty significant net worth because of the various brand extensions he had developed.

He’s certainly not the only brand built around celebrity.

Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian are brands. They become famous and then leverage that fame into brand extensions like products and appearances. We tend to think of them as vacuous divas (or, at least I think of them that way) but that is the foundation of their brand and as much as I hate to admit it, they are both very smart business women who know exactly how to build their brand and cash in on it.

Martha Stewart is another excellent example of someone who has developed a brand then leveraged it like crazy.

Oprah. Yeah. Probably one of the biggest celebrity brands there is.

On the business and financial side of things, there is Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump and Jack Welch and Zig Ziglar and Harvey Mackay and Tom Peters… plus a million others.

These are all people who have created some kind of brand around their celebrity (I’m using the term “celebrity” in a broader term than just exclusive to Hollywood). They have built an attitude or an idea around themselves and then have used that as a foundation to profit in different ways.

Not everyone is going to effectively build a brand around themselves and then leverage that brand into opportunities. But it’s a possibility and depending on who you are and what you sell (or what you hope to sell in the future), it might be an option to consider today.

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