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Branding at its best?!

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By Elissa Ruffino, NIAF’s Chief Brand Officer


During the first weeks of December, everyone should review what’s happening in the news and the marketplace!

Brand, branding and brand partnerships are popular buzz words today. Brands assist in the formation of new relationships, and the identification of ongoing ones. Everyone strives to establish an ongoing brand relationship with the public.

Pope Benedict XVI – a.k.a. @pontifex is now just a tweet away!  On December 12, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger started tweeting with the handle @pontifex. Questions we may be asking ourselves-- will the Pope respond in real time to events and news items that could shape a global debate? Read more in The Washington Post article by Michelle Boorstein, “The bird is THE WORD.”


In case you missed it on Saturday, December One, discounter Target and luxury merchant Neiman Marcus formed an unprecedented partnership.  They joined their brands to market a limited holiday 2012 collection. Remember when Target pioneered the idea with Italian designer Missoni last year?  It was so popular that Target’s website crashed!  With this newest brand partnership, both companies can attract a segment of new customers.  You can think of it as cross-shopping for designer brand enthusiasts at competitive prices.  Check out your local Target and Neiman Marcus for items.


 Now that the Christmas shopping season is well underway, many are flocking to outlet malls for deals.  Brand–conscious consumers will find that these stores stay true to their name. “Outlet malls are a $30 billion industry, and retailers celebrate their outlet store as a means to amplify their brand and find new customers.” Read more in “How to Shop Outlet Malls” with eight great tips by Katherine Boyle


Here are some of the latest brand partnerships with Italian American celebrities! Rocker Jon Bon Jovi just inked a fragrance deal with Avon.  Madonna has a new Truth or Dare line of perfume, and over-the–knee lace-up boots and other footwear.  Let’s not forget Jaclyn Smith, who starred in the 70s television series “Charlie’s Angels” and pioneered celebrity brand sponsorships in 1985 with Kmart. Industry experts report that for each celebrity brand that is a hit, five others flop.  Read more in “From memorizing lines to clothing lines,”


Please send your comments and thoughts on these brands and more to comments@niaf.org