I've been in marketing for years—products as well as services. I have seen some great marketing and some not-so-great marketing. When I think of great marketing companies, BMW, Apple, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Anheuser-Busch, and select others usually come to mind.

Though you don't have to have a great brand to have great marketing, it helps. We would all be hard-pressed to name a successful company with bad marketing or an unrecognized brand. The point? Brand matters.

I have always been interested in brand and decided to do some sleuthing on what brand means. So, I checked in with Mr. Webster. The definition that stuck out for me was "a kind or variety of something distinguished by some distinctive characteristic."

Although I've been successful in promoting and extending corporate brands, I entered into another chapter of my life a few years ago: re-energizing my acting career. So, I had to don a new hat—promoting my actor brand. My new product is me—Susyn: film, TV, and stage actress.

I thought about the "rules" for how I needed to market myself and the "rules" for how I needed to market myself according to the entertainment industry's idea of the rules. As a result, I ended up spinning my wheels, becoming frustrated, stressing myself out, and throwing everything against the wall to see what stuck.

When I let go of all that pressure, I was able to see the light—marketing myself as an actor is the same as marketing any other product or service. I revisited common-sense ideas on how to extend my brand, which is helping me on my acting journey.

These common-sense ideas, usually known but put on the marketer's back burner, should always be top of mind to help you get noticed and extend your brand:

1. Treat a brand for what it is

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image of Sue Duris

Sue Duris is president of M4 Communications Inc., a Palo Alto, CA-based marketing strategy and communications firmthat helps technology, entertainment and nonprofit organizations build and extend their brands. Reach her via sduris@m4comm.com.

Twitter: @M4_Comm
LinkedIn: Sue Duris