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Who Are You?

Create a strong brand identity to make sure everyone knows.

What do you think of when you think of Jaguar? Luxury? Style? Exclusivity? A strong brand identity?

The people at Jaguar and its advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather Direct, hope you think of all these things. To help ensure that you do, they've recently developed a targeted, integrated marketing campaign for their first new sportscar in 20 years--the XK8. Every promotional piece, from the point of advertising through the point of sale, reinforces that message through a consistent look and feel and consistent language.

Nina Gramaglia, a partner at Ogilvy & Mather Direct, explains how the campaign is used to strengthen brand identity. "You're continually reinforcing the message to the consumer and the individual you're trying to speak with by sending a consistent message through a variety of media," she says. "Each medium really has something different to offer the campaign. The advertising allows you to generate the message in very broad strokes, to get out the new theme, to generate awareness. By following up with direct mail that's still on that same theme, you can reinforce the awareness of the changes that are going on. It's the more in-depth information that gives the consumers specifics and educates them."

The elements of the campaign continue to tie in throughout the buying experience. "When the customer gets to the dealership, there's more literature there to reinforce what they've already seen," she says.

Jaguar's methods are impressive, but they may not, at first glance, seem applicable to small-business owners. Think again.

Small businesses can benefit from the same wisdom the "big guys" use to continue growing bigger, according to Sheila Paterson, co-owner of Macro International Inc., a marketing consulting firm in New York City. Before joining forces with her business partner to form Macro, Paterson spent 25 years working for one of the world's largest advertising and marketing companies, where she created brand identities for major international products.

"When I went into my own business, I found the principles for marketing the world's largest brands were just as effective for making small businesses successful," Paterson says. "As a matter of fact, they have to follow these principles to be successful."

Lin Grensing-Pophal reviewed the latest tax software in "Start-Up Mart" in the April issue of Business Start-Ups.

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This article was originally published in the September 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Who Are You?.

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