AAF-Houston AdSmart July - Proving the Value of Branding

Houston AdSmart

July 2009, Issue 4

In This Issue...


Rita TrelewiczThe value of branding should never be taken for granted. It can take years to build a strong brand. Yet even strong brands can suffer if not consistently nutured. This goes for our personal brands too. Whether you know it or not, you already are a brand. Great brands are demonstrated, not told. How do you demonstrate your brand?

The key to creating a sustainable, differentiated brand is understanding your talents and strengths.Your natural talents stick with you your whole life. So if find what you're naturally good at, you can develop your strengths regardless of what field you're in. If you know your talents, it gives you a real edge in helping you build your brand.

Change the way you think about employment. You are not a cog in a wheel nor are you a victim of the economy. The most important thing in developing “Brand You” is to "know thyself." Only when you have a clear idea of what you stand for, what you're good at, and what you want out of life should you begin building your brand.

As always, if there is something you want to share, drop me a line. I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next month, thanks for reading!

Rita Trelewicz
AAF Houston AdSmart

Proving the Value of Branding

James GregoryThis month HAF Houston is presenting a breakfast event in lieu of our usual lunchoeon. Come hear James Gregory founder and chief executive officer of CoreBrand this Wednesday morning, July 15th at 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM. He will talk about how to prove the full value of your marketing campaigns to the CEO and CFO. Gregory will reveal the latest findings in a 20-year research study and identify the secrets of communicating with you senior management about the intangible asset known as your brand.

The current economic crisis is damaging many corporate brands. According to Gregory, this is not necessarily the fault of the brands themselves. Brand mismanagement or adverse financial conditions can overwhelm even strong brands beyond the ability of the brands influence. However, corporate brands can remain strong and even grow in the face of the downturn.

CoreBrand's Corporate Branding Index® research analyzes 1,200 companies across 49 industries to identify and rank the top 100. The research points out that top brands have succeeded in maintaining or increasing brand value even as brand equity, on average, has been in decline since 2004.

James Gregory is the author of four acclaimed books on the subject of "value equation."

Register Now for this event.

The Brand Called You

If you have not already created “Brand You”, now is the perfect time to start developing your personal brand. The value of a strong personal brand is always important and perhaps more so today's employment environment.

The fact is, you already are a brand, whether you know it or not. However, in order to maximize your brand, you need a clear brand strategy. So says Blaise James, Gallup global brand strategist and principal and a former partner and strategic planning director at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

Your personal brand must be authentic, of value to your boss, and aligned with your company's goals. It should be more than an elevator speech or a couple of positive corporate buzzwords. "Brand You" is a reflection of your authentic traits and accomplishments.

On the Gallup Management Journal website, James explains how to determine your unique value based on your talents and strengths. Finally, he shows why knowing yourself well enough to build a differentiated brand is a strategy that's hard to beat.

AAF National Conference 2009

Salute to Achievers Luncheon

Member News

This month, we welcome in a new slate of officers for the year. For those of you who may not know these people and for those that do, please enjoy the short profiles below. You may learn something that you never knew. Thanks to the hard work of the board, the Houston Advertising Federation has a lot to offer its members. Thanks guys!

Camille Bryan was born in Houston but raised in Louisiana and can talk Cajun! She has worked in the video industry since 1984. She joined forces with her husband, Locke Bryan and together they grew Locke Bryan Productions into a nationally recognized, full service production company. She thinks Houston is a great city and deserves to be recognized as such. It drives her crazy when people don't know that Houston is the 4th largest city. She wouldn't live anywhere else.

Joe Cesaratto is from Milan Italy. He moved to Cleveland when he was seven. He admires philanthropist/billionaire Warren Buffett, who has lived in the same home for 25 years, drives his own car and flies commercial. A favorite movie is Endurance in which 26 men lived for 2.5 years in Antarctica yet kept heir moral up - a great example of leadership through example. In the past 25 years, Joe has only had one sick day.

Pat FantPat Fant got into radio broadcasting for the free records. In his free time he likes to search and discover great new songs. He has been able to encourage and promote the careers of some very talented people. His heroes include Clint Eastwood and Ronald Regan and his favorite book is "Words that Work" by Frank Luntz. He loves the energy and warmth of Houstonians but can live without the tree roaches.

Natalie Gonzalez has had three distinct careers – dancer, marketing professional and career consultant – and she hasn’t hit 40 yet! After being laid off from her position as Marketing Director with a dotcom, she was blessed to find the creative and marketing services staffing industry. As a Sr. Recruiter with Clearpoint Creative, where has truly found her calling. She only wishes she had found her true professional passion was sooner. She is a non-fiction book junkie.

Tad Grow is an army brat. He went to school at SUNY Fredonia and is an Art Major. He is tenacious and likes getting things organized and executed successfully. At Brand!t, he puts his marketing skills to use helping build business’s and making things happen. In his free time he plays volley ball, swims and sails. He loves Houston! It has great people and plenty to do. He is proud of his daughter, good friends and being debt free.

Dave Henry got into video production because it does not feel like work to him. He wished he learned how to use the internet earlier because one day it's gonna really take off. He has a unique sense of humor. In his free time he enjoys cooking, working out and watching English soccer. Go Liverpool! However, Houston is the home of the best soccer team in the land -- the Houston Dynamos. His favorite book is "The Stories of John Cheever" because he captured the odd phenomenon that is modern American suburbia, where I grew up in Houston.

Rich Klein, a Colorado native, believes that being a rancher is not much different from building a successful advertising agency. It takes guts, hard work, planning, and an aggressive stick-to-it approach – the foundation of his character. He currently serves on the board of the Houston Chapter of the Harvard Business School Club. His weekends are spent working on his ranch keeping 35-head of Black Angus growing and enjoying his stocked wine cellar with his wife, Sheilla.

Craig Koopersmith was born in Spring and grew up in New York. He loves Houston and returned as soon as he could. Since he was 8, he wanted to own a business and now is the CEO of the Sabre Group of Marketing Companies and President of Skyline Displays of Houston. As a Gemini, he works hard and intensely. The other side of him plays just as hard. He has ridden the MS150 7 times and plans to continue as long as his legs hold out!

Heather LoftissHeather Loftiss graduated UH with a literature degree yet did NOT want to teach. She volunteered to layout the literary magazine, fell in love with design and a graphic designer was born. Heather enjoyed "Wicked", because she likes stories turned on their ear. When you take the time to listen to the other point of view, you realize “truth” is about perspective. A proud accomplishment is winning a Crystal Award for the Clearpoint rebrand.

Norm PegramNorm Pegram has taught direct marketing classes for more than 35 years at UH and Leisure Learning. He is CEO of PremierIMS, the company formed last fall with the merger of International Mailing Systems and Premier. His company has grown to be the largest independent Direct Marketing Mailing operation in Houston. He received the 2009 Luke Kaiser Education Award for the individual with the most outstanding contributions to education in the Direct Marketing Industry.

Darrell Picha goes home every day to beautiful sunsets over the water with palm trees swaying in the cool sea breezes of Clear Lake. Maybe that's why he has lived this long and doesn’t look it. His desperate need for attention plus his lack of guitar skill caused him to enter the creative field. In his free time he leads a Mariachi band and enjoys tiki statue carving.

Lisa Riley is from San Antonio and has yet to find puffy taco’s in Houston. Her father worked for the San Antonio Express/News during her childhood. She started working in the industry with newspapers, then moved into Direct Mail, and with the shift of the industry, she moved to outdoor and now does advertising sales for Clear Channel Outdoor. She has the ability to remember phone numbers and keep them stored in her brain forever.

Alan StiversAlan Stivers is a native Houstonian who got into digital printing sales because the line to become Prince of Pop was too long and crowded. He enjoys Houston’s close proximity to the bay/gulf, and its great people and opportunities. Alan is convinced that if he learned the value of entrepreneurship a little sooner, he would own the world by now. His favorite book is Atlas Shrugged, because life in the clouds sounds really appealing.

If you have any news you want to share with the group or want to include a short profile in future newsletters, please contact Rita Trelewicz. Let the Houston Ad Crowd know what is going on with you.

©American Advertising Federation-Houston, 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Rita Trelewicz
(713) 419-3567
Author: Rita Trelewicz
Phone: (713) 419-3567
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