Recently I have been feeling like everything I’ve ever learned about marketing, advertising, job hunting, career building, living, and breathing has revolved around one thing, and one thing only: building a brand. What is my personal brand? What is my professional brand? What do I want my colleagues, professors, and potential employers to think of when they think of Liz Dinsmore? These are the questions that keep me up at night (I hope this is the worst problem in my life…).

But instead of figuring out how to build my own brand, I thought it could be useful to look around and figure out how products are successfully branded. It seems to me that what makes an advertising campaign a success is its ability to give a product a strong brand identity. Association is everything in marketing. So this is what I found…

Nabisco’s Ritz Crackers are not only a delicious snack, but also a perfect example of a successfully branded product. What comes to mind when you think of Ritz? A game day treat? A casual cocktail party hors d’oeuvres? A post-playground snack for school-aged cuties? If you said yes to all three…nice work! Ritz has branded itself as being the perfect gourmet accompaniment for the social butterfly in all of us via their widely recognized and appreciated “Open for Fun” campaign. Let’s take a look, shall we?

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There you have it, folks. A perfectly branded product. If these ads don’t make you want to run to the nearest store and open up a box of Ritz (or should I say “open up a box of fun?”), I don’t know what will.

So I’m taking a lesson from Nabisco and applying their strategy of branding to my own personal and professional brands. I want to be recognized for my organization, attention to detail, and strong communication skills (that’s not too much to ask, right?). All it will take is for me to figure out how to present those qualities to the rest of the world…unfortunately I don’t think I’ve reached a point in my career where a multimillion dollar ad campaign is the way for me to do so…