“The brand is the amusement park and the product is the souvenir,” exclaimed Nick Graham, founder of the $500 million Joe Boxer brand, rock ‘n’ roll musician, stand-up comedian, president of the National Underwear Association and branding guru.
In his first self-published book, “One Hundred Questions,” Graham chronicles the making of a brand and how it reflects the personality of its creator. In the case of Joe Boxer, that continues to be quirky, whimsical and eccentric, with signature Lickey Face motifs on boxers, even though Graham sold the brand in 2001 and created a multibrand company this year called Wonderbrand LLC.
“Simply put, it means that a brand is an experience and its products connect us to that experience,” said Graham, who published the book for friends and to hand out at the annual Technology, Entertainment & Design conference, a think tank of international leaders such as Virgin’s Richard Branson, former president Bill Clinton, “the Google guys” and even Cameron Diaz.
“Celebrities are brands, too,” he said. “Cameron told me she loved the book.”
The 100-page read begins with the question “Who Are You?” and ends with “How Do You Want To Be Remembered?”
“This is not a business book, it’s a person book,” he sºaid. “This book is how we as individuals, whether we choose to build a business or not, are brands. Every person is a brand, a representation of experiences, values, beliefs, tastes and lifestyle, and a projection of emotion and memory. Inasmuch as everyone has a unique personality, everyone has a unique brand.”
Graham believes the biggest faux pas people make when trying to create a brand is the copycat syndrome.
“People say they want to be another Ralph, Donna, Galliano or McQueen,” he said. “But what makes a brand interesting is its own self — you. A successful brand is a brand you want to have dinner with, something, someone who is interesting and provocative.”