Tod Browning's production of Bram Stoker's Dracula, from 1931, is one of my favorite of the Universal horror collection. And Bela Lugosi's portrayal of the creepy count from Transylvania continues to inspire moviegoers and enthusiasts, as well as inform all other depictions of vampires on stage, screen, and in books.

Because of that consistency and memorability, Dracula can actually teach important lessons about branding for small businesses, associations, or entrepreneurs.

Lesson 1: Positioning Dracula

Brand positioning should always be done relative to the competition. In Dracula's case, he is positioned against other classic monsters of the day: Frankenstein's monster, the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Gill Man from Creature of the Black Lagoon, and many others.

But effective positioning defines what makes you unique. The famous vampire is differentiated by his aristocratic alter ego—Count Dracula—and by his ability to morph into a bat on demand. While other movie monsters terrified their victims simply by their presence, Dracula first hypnotized with his gaze, and then sucked their blood for a protein-rich midnight snack.

Dracula was different—not the same-old robot, alien, or zombie. So he has a clear and consistent position in our minds.

Lesson 2: Defining Brand Dracula

Developing the Dracula brand is pulling together various attributes like personality, image, and core competencies. What did Dracula stand for?

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Michael DiFrisco is the founder of and the author of How to Craft a R.A.D.I.C.A.L. Brand for your Small Business or Organization, the do-it-yourself manual for building your brand strategy.