Building a brand and building a business are not the same. A business can be forgotten. A business only lives as long as you do. A brand, however, can exist into eternity. When you focus on creating a brand, you’re crafting a legacy.

But none of this just happens. Like with anything, a carefully formulated plan needs to be followed in order to achieve stratospheric branding success. Having a clear-cut brand strategy is imperative if you want your business to weather the ups and downs of cultural trends, economic downturns, remain competitive, and, ideally, become an icon.

Elvis Presley’s popularity has continued well past his death. More than 700 000 people visit Graceland, Presley’s Memphis home and a museum to his life and stagecraft, each year. His songs are constantly remixed by today’s artists, including the release of the book “Shades of Elvis” by Christopher Amoruso. Biopics are still made to remember his life, and tons of other cultural references are being made to the star. All of this draws in big bucks ‒ a net worth of $500 million to be exact.

This is no accident.


Priscilla Presely ‒ Presley’s wife of six years and long-time friend after the divorce ‒ co-founded and chaired, for a time, Elvis Presley Enterprises. This company curated the brand that has stood the test of time ‒ the brand that is synonymous with Graceland, Elvis’s shaking hips, slicked black hair, and the lightning bolt move. Priscilla has preserved Presley’s legacy by catapulting the brand into the realm of brand distinction by marketing the visual identity that forms part of the DNA of the Elvis brand.

Decades after Presely’s death, Priscilla succeeded in making and protecting Elvis’s brand’s ability to be so absolutely unique that anything presented as Elvis merchandise or content is recognised globally, in any language. When a brand is differentiated, it can easily be recognised among competitors. When a brand becomes distinctive, it can no longer be competed with. In the mind of the consumer, nothing else exists in the same category.


While Elvis focused on being Elvis, his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was the first person to create merchandise for a celebrity during a time when the music world was at a crossroads and the world was at war with itself. Parker saw an opportunity to make the star’s brand profitable by making Elvis the face of a cultural youth movement that everyone could get a piece of.

Brands are built on innovation and opportunism. Setting your business apart by becoming the face of a cause, a trend, or a shift in the prevailing culture of the day puts you in good stead to become renowned today ‒ and maybe beyond tomorrow.


In explaining how the blueprint for preserving a cultural icon was created, Priscilla has been known to point toward always making decisions authentic to the icon ‒ to the brand. When you veer off into every new marketing fad and narrative that comes your way, your business will become confused. Your audience will become confused. One of the reasons behind the latest 2022 “Elvis” biopic by Baz Luhrmann’s international success is the fact that the team behind the brand had already done such a good job of publicising a specific narrative also called a brand story.

Just like how Shakespeare drew on popular tales when writing his plays and garnered massive local support that has lived past his death ‒ material usually lands better when a one-track narrative is easily followed. In essence, sell one story about your brand to the world and avoid having the world sell a million stories to each other at your expense.

Building a brand ‒ a brand that is iconic and will be remembered ‒ is a whole lot easier when you trust our truly exceptional team. Having worked on over 3,000 creative projects and creating more than 1,000 brands, we know how to build brand strategies that get results. Let’s meet for a coffee, or jump on a call, and discuss your customised brand strategy, perfectly tailored to your budget and needs.