Leverage Your Strengths: How to Build a Rock Star Brand

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If you want to be a rock star in the business world, your first lesson is to recognize that there is only one YOU, and thus, there is no other business quite like yours.  Keep that in mind, because you’re about to learn how to capitalize on that uniqueness, with a little help from The King of Rock’n’Roll. You know, that crooner of the 1950’s and 60’s who still has legions of fans even 30+ years after his death?

Elvis Presley was the musical icon of his time, and he left such an indelible mark that even those of us who were born years after his death know exactly who he was and why he was famous. Whether you love him or hate him is beside the point; he was one-of-a-kind, and isn’t that what we all seek to be as entrepreneurs? Why, yes!

So roll up your sleeves and get ready to mold your business into a superstar brand unlike any other! Let’s uncover the secrets of the Elvis Presley empire, and learn from The King’s success.

What makes a KING?

I’ll tell you what made Elvis great, and it wasn’t just his rich singing voice or his rock star good looks. It was Mr. Presley himself, the whole package:

  • Talent: Elvis had an amazing voice and irresistible dance moves that were all his own. He discovered the hip-shaking moves through experimentation; in his own words “Everyone was screaming and everything, and my manager – Colonel Tom Parker – told me they was hollering because I was wiggling.” And so the swinging Elvis hips were born!
  • Appearance: Good looks aside, Elvis was always dressed to kill. He had a signature style like no other – elaborate sequined jumpsuits, anyone?
  • Charm: You know, that trademark smile and lip curl, and his Southern drawl. Elvis not only charmed his fans, but reached out to them, at times even riding out to the gates of Graceland on horseback or in a golf cart to sign autographs for the admirers that gathered there daily.
  • Lifestyle: Who else could have lived in a mansion with a name like “Graceland”, crafting it into a piece of real estate so uniquely Elvis that it’s still a tourist destination today? Have you ever seen Graceland’s front gates? They were specially made for Elvis to look like an open songbook with musical notes and guitar players flanking both sides. A few other things that are uniquely Elvis: his favorite peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich, and of course, the pink Cadillac, which was originally blue before Elvis had it painted. (No, pink Cadillacs were not made famous by Mary Kay. Elvis bought his in 1955; Mary Kay Cosmetics was founded in 1963, and didn’t begin offering pink Cadillacs to their top directors until 1968).

So, what makes your brand unique?

Now that you know what made Elvis Presley “The King”, it’s time to get cracking on your business. Pinpoint your awesomeness, and milk it for all it’s worth:

  • Your Talent: Take inventory of the skills that you bring to your business. Can you invent out-of-this-world products? Are you great at customer service? You may discover an unexpected talent that can amplify your success, just like Elvis’ dance moves took him farther than his singing alone would have.
  • Your Image: should represent the unique qualities of your business. Bejeweled jumpsuits were quintessentially Elvis…what would a classic expression of your business be?
  • Your Personality: Be authentic, and stick to your roots. Don’t try to be something you’re not, and don’t imitate your competitors either. Remember to BYOB: Be Your Own Business.
  • Your Way of Doing Things: Just as Elvis had a distinctive lifestyle, the way you work can be a defining factor of your brand. Do you have unusual processes, a better way of accomplishing things, or a crazy technique that allows you to blow past your competitors? Don’t overlook that as a way to differentiate your business from others that provide similar products or services.

Simply put, if you want to build a rock star brand, you have to rock your uniqueness, and roll your strengths into one amazing brand. Stay true to yourself and your passions, and when you know you’ve got something great, fly with it. I’ll meet you among the stars!

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About Barbara Austin

As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!

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