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sit back, relax, and take in some lessons about marketing and branding with a touch of nostalgia

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All blog posts are also available as audio on the Making the Brand podcast.

8 Personal Branding Moves to Survive an Unpredictable Job Market

8 Personal Branding Moves to Survive an Unpredictable Job Market

I saw on the news that 6.6 MILLION people have applied for unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic. This makes my heart hurt. Aside from social distancing, I wanted to help any way I knew how. So I've put together eight essential personal branding moves you should...

Blast From the Past: At-Home Fitness Marketing

Blast From the Past: At-Home Fitness Marketing

While the coronavirus outbreak has forced us to put our gym memberships on hold, people are transforming their living rooms into gyms. It’s one of the few ways we can get a sweat session in while social distancing. But I can’t help but chuckle over the fact that...

Jessica Simpson’s Brilliant Tips to Build Your Online Presence

Jessica Simpson’s Brilliant Tips to Build Your Online Presence

When you hear the name Jessica Simpson, many people think of her ditzy moments on the MTV reality show, Newlyweds. But if you ask me, who cares if it was chicken or fish? Jessica Simpson is not the dumb blonde that society paints her to be. Her true fans know that she...

Aviation Gin and Pop Culture Marketing Mastery

Aviation Gin and Pop Culture Marketing Mastery

Ryan Reynolds is certainly a successful fixture in popular culture. You may love him for his movies, his looks, or his charm, but I love him for something more: his creative genius. In February 2018, Ryan (yes, I've decided to affectionately call him by just his first...

6 Reasons to Use Pop Culture in Your Social Media Strategy

6 Reasons to Use Pop Culture in Your Social Media Strategy

Let’s go back to one of my favorite eras: the late ’90s. Imagine you’re surfing Internet Explorer on your dial-up connection, minding your own business as you research fansites, games, and chatrooms. Life is good. Then suddenly, you’re assaulted by a flurry of pop-up...

6 Steps to Turn Ordinary Customers into Passionate Groupies

6 Steps to Turn Ordinary Customers into Passionate Groupies

From Taylor Swift’s adoring “Swifties,” to Lady Gaga’s feisty “Little Monsters,” Justin Bieber’s dedicated “Beliebers,” and Beyonce’s fierce “Beyhive,” there are lots of passionate fan bases out there. My favorite has to be J.Lo’s sassy J.Lovers, or the new crowd of...

Kobe Bryant: A Basketball Legend with Immeasurable Star Power

Kobe Bryant: A Basketball Legend with Immeasurable Star Power

The world is grieving over the loss of an icon… the legendary Kobe Bryant. And even more devastating is the death of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and the other passengers on board that flight. I was listening to an interview on ESPN with Bob Costas, a sportscaster...

4 Things TikTok Does Better than Every Social Media Platform

4 Things TikTok Does Better than Every Social Media Platform

If you didn’t make up dances with your friends, did you even have a childhood? I have vivid memories of hosting sleepovers with my friends where we’d either choreograph our own dances to whatever was on the radio, or copy moves from the music videos we saw on TRL. The...

Designer Wins Christmas with Cash Packaging

Designer Wins Christmas with Cash Packaging

Let's face it — cash is always a crowd-pleasing gift, but stuffing it in a boring envelope is not a fun experience neither for the gift-giver nor the recipient. But Twitter user, @TwoClawsMedia found a way to solve this problem and add even more joy to Christmas...

This Christmas Card Trend Can Help Your Marketing

This Christmas Card Trend Can Help Your Marketing

When is the appropriate time in your relationship to send a family Christmas card? As Ross Geller would say, it’s a pretty big step. My husband and I love each other very much, but I’m pretty sure Christmas cards aren’t part of our holiday plans until we have...

Why Boomerangs are the Worst Thing to Happen to Instagram

Why Boomerangs are the Worst Thing to Happen to Instagram

It seems like I can’t go a Sunday morning without seeing a Boomerang of clinking mimosas on Instagram.  As much as I love mimosas, this bothers me. Look, I’m not here to rain on the basic bitch parade — if you’re on social media to have fun and cheers to...

3 Reasons You Should Want Your Brand to Get Made Fun Of

3 Reasons You Should Want Your Brand to Get Made Fun Of

In case you missed it, Jennifer Lopez hosted Saturday Night Live this past weekend, and just like anything she does, it was epic.  Source: NBC J.Lo had a series of hysterical sketches, but one that stood out was her spoof of the boutique fitness gym, Barry’s Bootcamp....

What Taylor Swift’s ‘Christmas Tree Farm’ Really Symbolizes

What Taylor Swift’s ‘Christmas Tree Farm’ Really Symbolizes

Christmas came early! Or should I say, “Swiftmas” came early.Last night at midnight, Taylor Swift released her first Christmas song entitled "Christmas Tree Farm." (Fun fact, Taylor grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania.) I can just imagine the mayhem at...

The Big Mistake Your Small Business Is Making on Instagram

The Big Mistake Your Small Business Is Making on Instagram

Every time I see another small business in my community shut its doors, I think about the 1998 modern classic, You've Got Mail. Source: Warner Bros. I’ve never owned a brick-and-mortar business of my own, but Meg Ryan's character helps me empathize with small business...

In Defense of Peloton’s Awkward Holiday Commercial

In Defense of Peloton’s Awkward Holiday Commercial

Peloton is facing backlash for a commercial, "The Gift That Gives Back" that they released on November 21 amidst the holiday shopping season. Seriously, Twitter is having a field day with this one. I can understand why people are critical of this ad. On the surface,...

How to Market Yourself Like Elle Woods

How to Market Yourself Like Elle Woods

Last month, I returned to my alma mater, the University of Central Florida to talk about marketing and personal branding with a group of students. Of course, I had to teach them what I know the best way I know how — with pop culture references. I started brainstorming...

The Secret Science Behind Red Bottom Shoes

The Secret Science Behind Red Bottom Shoes

In my last podcast episode of Making the Brand, my guest Gina and I talked about about what bloggers can learn from Sex and the City. One of the things we touched on was Carrie Bradshaw’s obsession with shoes, which really stems from Sarah Jessica Parker’s real-life...

6 Things Bloggers Can Learn from Carrie Bradshaw

6 Things Bloggers Can Learn from Carrie Bradshaw

Before there were bloggers, there was Carrie Bradshaw and her column in the fictitious publication, The New York Star. I like to think that Carrie’s character on Sex and the City paved the way for women to be unapologetically themselves and write about how they see...

Dancing With The Stars and Building Your Personal Brand

Dancing With The Stars and Building Your Personal Brand

 Now that The Bachelorette is over, we need to talk about Dancing With The Stars (DWTS).  I’m sure it’s no surprise that I first started watching DWTS because Nick Carter was a contestant back in 2015. Leave it to anything Backstreet-related to get me hooked. He...

Seasonal Sales: The Pumpkin Spice Phenomenon

Seasonal Sales: The Pumpkin Spice Phenomenon

There’s something magical about the fall. The leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping, and football season is in full swing.  But perhaps what people most look forward to during this change of season is pumpkin flavored everything. And by far, the...

The Storytelling Lesson From NBC’s ‘This Is Us’

The Storytelling Lesson From NBC’s ‘This Is Us’

(Frank Micelotta/20th Century Fox Television/PictureGroup) The past few years, I’ve gotten into a pretty established TV-watching routine. Like clockwork, every weekday night you can find me on my couch watching Jeopardy! Yes, I’ve officially become my grandmother....

Phoebe Buffay Proves Your Email List is Your Biggest Asset

Phoebe Buffay Proves Your Email List is Your Biggest Asset

Perhaps Phoebe Buffay is the most enterprising character in Friends. With an unconventional education background, Phoebe worked some odd jobs in her career. Before becoming a masseuse, she mugged people on the street. She also had brief stints as a telemarketer,...

Modern Networking: How to Slide into DMs the Right Way

Modern Networking: How to Slide into DMs the Right Way

It was May of 2013. I was 23, single, and visiting Las Vegas for an annual girls trip. My friends and I threw on our glitziest dresses and most uncomfortable heels before heading to a nightclub at Caesar’s Palace, which had free drinks for ladies until midnight. After...

Brands are Taking DNA Tests Thanks to Lizzo

Brands are Taking DNA Tests Thanks to Lizzo

For once, Maury Povich isn’t the only one talking about DNA tests.  Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard the anthem every woman has been singing all summer long: “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo. The song is so popular, it’s been sitting at #1 on the Billboard charts for...

6 Irresistible Words to Help You Sell Better

6 Irresistible Words to Help You Sell Better

If you’ve ever worked for a non-profit, you know how rewarding yet challenging fundraising can be. Non-profits depend on donations, events, auctions, etc. in order to advance their cause and continue the work that they do. But sometimes, inspiring people to dig into...

What Brands Could Learn From Jennifer Lopez’s Phone

What Brands Could Learn From Jennifer Lopez’s Phone

This past July, I had the pleasure of seeing Jennifer Lopez in concert on her It’s My Party Tour. It was the second time I’d seen her perform live, but this time was special. This tour was to celebrate her 50th birthday with the people she loves most (besides her...

Upgrade Your Audience Research with an Empathy Map

Upgrade Your Audience Research with an Empathy Map

It’s the first thing you’ll learn in any marketing class: know your audience. When it comes to content creation, you can’t know what your message should be if you’re not clear on who it is for. Most of the time, brands tackle this need by defining target...

The Fool-Proof Content Marketing Formula

The Fool-Proof Content Marketing Formula

In school, math was never really my thing (still isn’t!). I’ve always been the left-brained, creative type, which is how I got into content marketing. So don’t look to me to help you with the quadratic formula. But one thing I did absorb about mathematical...

A Lesson About Discounting from Taylor Swift

A Lesson About Discounting from Taylor Swift

The next time you think about discounting your products, think of Taylor Swift. Today, her new album, Lover, dropped, and she has people all over the world lining up outside brick-and-mortar Target stores to pick up not one, not two, not three, but all FOUR deluxe...

What Content Creators Can Learn from Ariana Grande

What Content Creators Can Learn from Ariana Grande

She’s small but mighty. Sassy but smart. And love her or hate her, she seriously has the voice of an angel.  This week, Ariana Grande made history by becoming the first artist to claim the No. 1,  2 and 3 spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 song...