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Archive for the ‘LEGENDS’ Category

Howard Schultz

March 14th, 2012 by admin

Schultz is the man behind the famous Starbucks logo.  Schultz is a business icon and Brand Champion for the internationally renowned Starbucks brand.  The success of Starbucks is linked directly to Schultz.  Schultz started Starbucks, but stepped down as CEO in 2000.  Without Schultz leading the charge, the company’s performance and stock price slowly declined until 2008 when Schultz took over the reins again as Chairman and CEO.  With the performance and growth of the company, so linked to his presence, Schultz is a Brand Champion in the truest form.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

March 14th, 2012 by admin

His speech rings through the halls of schools nationwide. “I have a dream” are four words that have changed history forever. A pioneer for the Civil Rights movement, MLK gave his family and friends hope for a better future. Now, his dream has come true with no more segregation and where all cultures and skin colors are treated equally. He put a stamp on history unique to only him, giving this legendary Brand Champion exclusivity of his brand.

Michael Jackson

March 14th, 2012 by admin

Even though this legend has passed, his music lyrics will never be forgotten. Michael Jackson topped the pop charts through the end of the century and has the most number one hits on the charts to this day. His devotion to his music has defined him and no one will ever be able to duplicate his dance moves or build to the same creativity of Jackson. Fans will never forget the silver glove, an item that will always be a reminder of this pop king’s musical success. Even through the allegations and negative court business, he is still a mentor to all musicians around the world.

Sam Walton

March 14th, 2012 by admin

Many picture the little yellow smiley face when they think of Walmart Super Stores, but without Sam Walton’s vision of affordable, fully-stocked shelves, with a variety of products, Walmart would just be an idea. This store began as a small venture in Arkansas and is now nationwide, with locations on every corner. The success of Walmart Super Stores has brought low prices to families all over the country. Walmart is a one-stop shop for Americans, who never like to make more stops than needed. Walton was a true businessman and his devotion to his vision is what built his brand build into the success it is today, even after his death. This Brand Champion built a template for many businesses, and the Walton name will never be forgotten.

John Wayne

March 14th, 2012 by admin

Born Marion Mitchell Morrison, John Wayne defined masculinity and paved the road for many western stars to come after him. His voice and unique gestures are just two characteristics fans relate back to Wayne.  His producing and directing skills are also memorable. Even through a surgery, removing his entire left lung, Wayne successfully made films with memorable quotes and plots. Stomach cancer is what finally took this star in 1979, but this Brand Champion will never be forgotten, as he truly defines the term American Icon.

Lee Iacocca

March 14th, 2012 by admin

Many car lovers know this Brand Champions name for his contribution to both Ford and Chrysler at the end of the century. Along with his successful business practices, Iacocca had many creative ideas for up-and-coming vehicles. Through the acquisition of AMC, Iacocca gained the Jeep name, giving him the floor to build the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Also, through his commercial campaigns, including the tagline “the pride is back”, Iacocca saved Chrysler and retired in 1993 with a successful turnaround under his belt. His commitment to his brand is what makes him a legendary Brand Champion. He changed the car industry with his creative innovations and smart company performance.

David Hasselhoff

March 14th, 2012 by admin

Popular for his German popularity and revival of Baywatch, David Hasselhoff is one legendary Brand Champion that cannot be forgotten. His early career in the hit show Knight Rider is what made him famous in the U.S.  Even with his up-and-down popularity, German fans fell in love with not only his acting career, but also his music career. Through the criticism, Hasselhoff has stuck through and kept his name high on the charts.

Clint Eastwood

March 14th, 2012 by admin

“Are you feeling lucky, punk?” Just one of many lines that this  Brand Champion is known for. Clint Eastwood went from actor to producer, producing hit films such as Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino.  His career began in the 1950’s where he starred in old westerns. Since then, Clint Eastwood’s brand is known for it’s rugged masculinity. His mind and spirit are in the movie business to stay.


March 14th, 2012 by admin

Known for her provocative stage outfits and racy kiss with Brittany Spears, Madonna is a top pop icon of the 80’s and 90’s. Her music spoke to many, bringing them to their feet to dance. Her music hits have hit the top of the charts, along with her award-winning role in Evita. Now she appears on every magazine cover talking about her life story, her endeavors, and her family. From her home state of Michigan to Material Girl, this Brand Champion is a prime example of small town success.

Dalai Lama

March 14th, 2012 by admin

The guru of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama has gained followers who partake in his beliefs and way of life. Now living in exile in Northern India, followers have opened schools and Buddhist temples in Dharamsala spreading the beliefs of the Dalai Lama. His peaceful ways have spread around the world, making this Brand Champion an inspirational and spiritual leader.

Mother Teresa

March 14th, 2012 by admin

This Brand Champion spread charity throughout the city of Calcutta and following her death, was beatified by Pope John Paul II and given the title Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Her selflessness spread around the world. At the time of her death, she had over 600 missions in over 120 countries. Along with the awards she received worldwide for her work, she received a memorial at the time of her death.  However, no structure can communicate the enormity of selfless charity work she did for the poor and homeless.

Steve Jobs

March 13th, 2012 by admin

Social media and the way we communicate have been completely transformed with Steve Job’s electronic creations. People stand in line to receive the latest and greatest invention from Apple Inc., whether it is the next best MP3 player or a touch screen cell phone. Apple is not only a corporation. It is an environment. Professional but young, Apple Inc. items have taken over the electronic world. Even though this Brand Champion has passed, his legacy will stay with Apple lovers without end.

Phil Knight

March 13th, 2012 by admin

Chairman and co-founder of Nike, Phil Knight is a business mogul and role model to many upcoming businessmen and women. Even though he stepped down as Nike’s CEO, Nike’s successes would not be what they are without this Brand Champion. Even through the criticism of sweatshops, the Nike logo is still seen as one of the most influential in the business fashion and sports attire world. Athletes dream to be sponsored by this company and to wear the Nike swoosh on their clothing. Knight started off selling just shoes, now he has built an empire known as Nike.

Hugh Hefner

March 12th, 2012 by admin

Hef is a Brand Champion famous not only for providing quality entertainment, but for pushing the envelope, as well. Born into a family which he once described as “conservative, Midwest, Methodist”, Hefner launched the controversial Playboy Magazine in 1953 when he published the first issue featuring Marilyn Monroe. Hef’s Playboy Enterprises has since expanded outside of publishing, and now includes divisions that handle everything from nightclubs to apparel, a transformation that has resulted in the brand’s Playboy Bunny symbol achieving a status of international ubiquity. Outside of Playboy, Hefner has been active in politics and philanthropy, donating and raising money for the Democratic Party, among other organizations. The Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award was created in his name to honor individuals who fight to protect American’s rights to free speech and expression, ideals which are certainly of great importance to this timeless Brand Champion.

Henry Ford

March 12th, 2012 by admin

One of the great American industrialists, Henry Ford is remembered not only for the founding of the Ford Motor Company, but also for sponsoring the assembly line technique of mass production.  As the owner of Ford, he displayed intense commitment to lowering the costs of production, while continuing to pay high wages to his workers, a system known as welfare capitalism. His Model T, first introduced in 1908, opened up automotive travel to the middle class, and has since been declared the most influential automobile of the 20th century by an international poll. Today, the Ford Motor Company has truly gone global, with dealerships located in major cities all across the world. A true Brand Champion, Henry left most of his vast wealth to his foundation, while still arranging for his family to control the company permanently, a wish that has been kept alive to this day.

Walt Disney

March 12th, 2012 by admin

From Mickey Mouse to Walt Disney World, this Brand Champion’s legacy has been a part of popular culture for decades, and plays an integral role in childhood across America. Born just after the turn of the 20th century, Disney was a multi-talented man who had a hand in many different areas such as film production, directing, voice acting, and animation. Today, Disney is best remembered as a film producer and showman. Along with his brother Roy, Walt founded Walt Disney Productions, which is now one of the best known film companies in the world. During his lifetime he received four honorary Academy Awards and won 22 Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations, giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual in history. This Brand Champion’s vision lives on today through continued film production and the operation of theme parks on three continents.

About The List

A company's greatest asset is its brand. An individual’s greatest asset is character or image (a personal brand). But without a true Brand Champion leading the cause, brand success (for a company, product or person) can be elusive. The Brand Iron BC 100 list is comprised of individuals who truly understand and embrace the power of a brand (our Brand Chumps list is comprised of those who clearly don’t). Whether leaders of an organization or individuals managing their personal brand, they take responsibility for developing a brand that exudes success. Each month our staff will recognize a notable Brand Champion. Each year we will announce our BC 100 list. Whether you agree or disagree, we invite you to share your opinions. And feel free to nominate anyone you feel deserves to be part of the list.

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