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Battle of the Brand

Is image really everything when it comes to your business? Listen as entrepreneurs and experts sound off about whether branding is crucial for success, then decide for yourself.

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This story appears in the March 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Entrepreneur Chrissy Azzaro has business down to a "T." Well, down to a T-shirt, actually. Azzaro, 28, is founder of My-Tee, a 4-year-old Los Angeles fashion company. Besides its signature product-the My-Tee T-shirt-the six-employee company makes its own line of skirts, shoes, tank tops and accessories that retail from $32 to $78. Publicists and buyers browse My-Tee's trendy showroom in Los Angeles for the latest trends and clothing lines. The company has built considerable buzz: Celebrities from Hilary Duff to Courteney Cox have been photographed in My-Tee clothing. This exposure helped the company rack up $1 million in sales in 2003.

Azzaro defines her brand as sassy clothing that's casual yet sexy. Branding, she says, has built her business. "It pushed us out of the pile of other people," Azzaro contends. "Instead of being underneath 100 T-shirt companies, it pushes you to the top. Branding is very important for any small business."

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