THE MAN BEHIND THE BRAND

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MARKETER: Empower Health Corp., Austin, Texas

WHERE TO FIND IT: www.drkoop.com

CRITIQUE: You're a brand. Face it, you're no different than a box of soap flakes or bottle of floor cleaner. Some people choose to make more of their brand than others. In other words, some people market themselves well, and some don't.

If you're unconvinced, take a simple civics quiz: Name three people who have served as the U.S. surgeon general.

Odds are, you answered "C. Everett Koop, that woman who talked about masturbation, and uh . . . " One point made. Next point: you didn't answer "Dr. Koop," which is a problem with the newly launched, www.drkoop.com. This is the first product for a company Dr. Koop founded to help provide better healthcare information to the public. The launch is supported by banners featuring the bearded visage of the man himself and copy like "Need to see a specialist? How about the former surgeon general?"

The branding issue is that "Dr. Koop" does not initially trigger "C. Everett" in consumers' minds but the connection is eventually made.

It's a good, clean site and there's little doubt that the good doctor's seal of approval on anything health-related will increase consumer confidence in the validity of the data. Because as any portal site will tell you, there is a lot of conflicting research available on the Internet in any field, but especially healthcare.

So who do you trust? The man, the brand, C. Everett Koop.

WHO CREATED IT: Capstone Studio, Boca Raton, Fla.

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