Go Ask Lisa.

January 19, 2010

While I want to say I’m above it all, not enticed by the opportunities so abundantly provided to us by entertainers and politicians, I am not.  Today’s blog was inspired from a phone call I had last week with a dear childhood friend while on my way to a networking event.  She was actually delivering a message from her mother “You need to blog about your Lisa Druck story.” 

Who is Lisa Druck and why is she someone I should blog about?

John Edward’s dalliance, Rielle Hunter or Lisa as we fellow elementary school classmates called her, was in my fourth grade class at Pine Crest Preparatory in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  She was super cool, wore make-up and didn’t succumb to the traditional white blouse under the forest green jumper uniform, so we all knew she wore a bra because we could sneak peak it from the side.  I coveted her brand – I wanted to be her.

I remember distinctly that for our big fourth grade book report assignment, Lisa read and discussed with poise and a sophisticated flair “Go Ask Alice” – a far cry from my “Harriet the Spy”. Her report clearly showcased a ‘naughty’ book that fascinated me, so I requested that my mom find, check-out and bring me a copy of it from the high school library, since any efforts to locate it in my lower school library were futile.

My mom, to whom English is a second language, dutifully sought out the book and upon check-out was questioned by her counterpart librarian as to who was going to read the book.  Needless to say, I never got my pudgy, fourth-grader paws on it.  It didn’t stop there.

“You MAY NOT be friends with Lisa Druck” – even in a heavy Spanish-laden accent, the message was crystal clear.

Can a nine year old develop a personal brand or did circumstances create it for her?  Did Lisa turn Rielle just continue to show up in the way that aligned with how she was perceived?

Everyone and every company has a brand; in some cases – and I bet it happens more often than not – that brand isn’t strategically constructed and managed.  The problem is that brands are enduring; even the bad ones.  Take Microsoft for instance; they’re well known for being stodgy and not innovative.  I doubt they like that.  I know they try hard to get us to believe something else.  Is that possible?  Can you re-invent a brand? 

With enough money, talent and perseverance you can.  Look at Target’s rise from K-Mart-type discount store status in the late 90’s and Chrysler’s recent logo re-fresh and “My Name is Ram” campaign to re-introduce the brand to truck lovers. But, it takes money and diligence.

And, while for some name changes – either company or personal – are attempted often in the hopes of brand resurrection, all bets are off if you don’t strategically develop and consistently maintain it.

MarketingSmack by any other name is still Jack’s blog: www.marketingsmack.wordpress.com or visit us at www.summitstrategypartners.com.


5 Responses to “Go Ask Lisa.”

  1. Lamadogg Says:

    Enjoyed the post and insightful perspective.

    I read a blog a while back that used ‘dating’ as a backdrop for branding. It compared a girl’s dilemma. Date the college-bound, clean-cut, polo-shirt wearing, golf playing, wine-drinking, jelled hair blond calendar dude driving the Volvo. Or, go out with the blue collar, black T wearin’, pony-tailed, whiskey drinking, Harley riding dark latino hunk (oops, easy answer for you), make that an Italian who owns a Ford truck.

    Much like Microsoft v. Apple. Just like the ‘guys’, both brands have their distinct merits but are uniquely positioned. (And in some ways… each would like to be a bit more like the other).

    Wonder where Lisa Druck is today…?

    Talk to u soon.

    • I get the parallel – but interestingly enough the latino thing doesn’t typically draw my attention. Not that the ‘blonde volvo driver’ would either…. I believe Lisa Druck lives in town – maybe to be closer to her baby daddy. Who knows?

  2. I was having fun with the Lisa story even without the brand analogy. I must say, however, that Target’s re-branding has worked not only because of the cool commercials and aggressive marketing. The commercials worked because the company changed, their products changed and, therefore, the re-branding became an authentic message.

    Microsoft has been trying for so long to change its image and they still can’t do it–even Sienfeld couldn’t help them. No one believed in the message because their product line did not reflected the commercials.

    By the way, Lisa Druck lives in Charlotte in a house John Edwards bought for her and the baby. I just happen to see it this morning on tv.

    • Maurilo, Glad you enjoyed my Lisa tale. You made some really great points regarding Target’s delivery on the new brand promise. You gotta deliver to be believed. And, thanks for the Re-Tweet!

  3. Kristina Says:

    Looks like Lisa’s brand remains the same as back in the day at Pine Crest Prep. Your mama was right!

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