If someone asked you, "What is the core essence of your personal brand?" would you reach for your bottle of cologne? If so, you obviously haven't met the ladies who run Juice Talent LLC, a brand planning outfit in San Francisco that specializes in nurturing the Mr. Peanut within.
"Everyone has their own brand," says Bonnie Wan, CEO and co-founder of Juice, a two-year old firm. "And there are a lot of parallels for uncovering that brand and figuring out where to take that brand with what we as account planners do with consumer brands."
Bonnie, a former account planner with Omnicom Group's Goodby Silverstein, and her partner Mari Cortizo, formerly the head of planning at London agency St. Lukes, do to CEOs and other professionals what ad agencies do to soap and beer.
"The marketing of a product or a service for a brand manager is very much the same as marketing an individual," Mari says. "There are the same benefits, with increased exposure increasing your price point. It's about having people seek you out rather than you having to go after them."
The Juice girls liken themselves to Hollywood talent managers, only they cater to business executives and marketing people. So far, they have 10 long-term clients who pay them a percentage of their annual gross income, and they also work for clients on a project basis, which can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000.
Given the sad state of the CEO brand in the U.S. today, with the fall from grace of executives at WorldCom, Enron, ImClone, Merrill Lynch and others, the Juice girls should be positioned to rake in business. In account planning jargon, a corrupt CEO surely would be considered a "challenger brand."
The Juice girls also arrange salon style dinners where clients can meet interesting people, "and have a platform for their message." Do they also get dates for their clients? "Not yet," Bonnie says. "Juice Dating is on its way," she quips.
Not a bad idea really. There must be a lot of lonely CEO's out there looking for love and redemption.
Man of the Year
According to an Adages "deep throat," Chris Clouser, chief global marketing officer for Burger King, has told colleagues that his goal in every job he's ever had has been to be named Advertising Age's Man of the Year. In order to flatter him, agencies in the past have created mock up covers of Ad Age featuring his smiling self. Of course there is no Ad Age Man of the Year but, have it your way, Chris, courtesy of Adages. Mr. Clouser denied the story, saying "I have no time or patience for such junk. I expect you and your people don't either."
What a waste
some Account planners still refuse to grow up. A British planner was overheard at the APG:US conference discussing an associate's research project: "He found that you can segment toilet paper users in three ways," said the planner. "There are the folders, the scrunchers, and the one that I find particularly revolting, the dunkers. That is the poor man's bidet. They dump it in the water before they wipe." Yet another example of a client's research dollars going straight down the pot.
Contributing: Kate MacArthur
Tap into Adages' brand essence at [email protected]