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2004 Marketers Define 'Branding' At Entertainment Publicists Professional Society Workshop In Hollywood

Sept.1, 2004

By George S. Mc Quade III
West Coast Correspondent
Odwyer Publications, NY

(From L-R Top right) Andrew M. Weisser, V.P. American Lung Association of CA; Sara Goldsmith-Grover, SVP, Marketing and Public Relations, California Pizza Kitchen and president of CPK Foundation; Moderator Howard Brodwin, Team Marketing Systems; Keith Chagnon, V.P., Marketing, BandMerch; Dave malacrida, V.P., Public and media Relatons, MGA Entertainment and Elie Dekel, agent, Creative Artists Agency at a Entertainment Professional Society (EPPS) Branding workshop in Hollywood.

Branding - Connecting
With Consumers

Marketing and communications executives defined what they mean by "branding" at a workshop hosted by PR Newswire and the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society Aug. 19 at the Wyndham Bel Age Hotel, Hollywood, Calif. .

Panel of experts discuss the latest techniques and strategies for product branding at the Wyndham Hotel, CA at a PR Newswire sponsored event.

Sara Goldsmith-Grover
California Pizza Kitchen

Brands need the third party validation says CPK's Goldsmith-Grover.

The CPK Foundation was started to raise funds for children's charities by publishing cookbooks and sponsoring fund-raising events. "We take many steps to differentiate us from other pizza companies," said Goldsmith-Grover. CPK's sales are nearly $400 million and it has 170 sites in 27 states. Brands Need "Third-Party Validation"

Elie Dekel, Agent, Creative Artists Agency

"Some of those products will emerge from the noise because consumers are hungry for help on where to go, what to watch, what to wear." In the youth market, when brands work, "there is a galvanizing effect that reaches every kid in the audience," he added.
Elie Dekel of Creative Artists Agency, Los Angeles, said that publicity can bring "third-party validation" to a product or service. "PR can help consumers to sort through all those companies promoting products and validate some of those sponsors and brand messages," he said. "Eventually," he added,
Dave Malacrida, VP, public and media relations, MGA Entertainment, said branding is a promise of what a product or service is going to deliver.



Sara Goldsmith-Grover, SVP of marketing and PR, California Pizza Kitchen, which has a marketing/PR budget of $2.5 million (70% of it on PR), said branding means "establishing an emotional connection with a product or service."

CPK, founded in 1985, pioneered combining pizza with other foods such as chicken, vegetables, pastrami, shrimp, sausages, etc. It targeted the children's market by staging events at which children helped in making pizzas.

Keith Chagnon of Band/Merch, Westlake Village, Calif., which imprints images of bands on T-shirts and other apparel, said "customer loyalty is key in branding." His company has a rule that anyone in the customer service area must pick up a ringing phone and do whatever he or she can to help the caller. He recalled how he recently did that and helped a 12-year-old customer who wanted immediate delivery of a T-shirt with her favorite band on it.

Andrew Weisser, VP of communications, American Lung Assn., said nonprofits also need to be branded.

"If the nonprofit doesn't have a brand, your supporters in the public will not know who you are or what you do. Branding is an ongoing process ... you need to know how to reach your various publics ... use research to find out what your audience really wants."

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