Sharon Marcus, Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia,.
CelebrityCruises adopted the Chandris X, which was slightly stylized for its logo. The new line was promoted as a “luxury cruise by design”, with the strategy of offering an exclusive product at mass-market prices. The ships would feature refined interiors, destinations and restaurants, including a partnership with famous chef Michel Roux, something unique for a cruise line of the time.
Quoted by the then president, John Chandris: “We are going to offer comfort and quality, not ostentation or glitter. In 1997, the Chandris family sold their stakes in Celebrity Cruises to Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, leading to the formation of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (later Royal Caribbean Group) as a holding company to maintain both brands separate, and to the change of name from Royal Caribbean Cruise Line to Royal Caribbean International. After the delivery of the Mercury, the first ship in the line, the Meridian, was sold to Sun Cruises, based in Singapore.
He has worked with several startups, including the comedy production company Funny or Die, with famous founder Will Ferrell at the helm. He also cites his work with the start-up breast pump company Willow Pump as an example where the brand's history needed to separate itself from its founders from an early stage. Numerous iconic brands bear the name of their founder, and firms such as Dyson and Estée Lauder continue to demonstrate clear links. Charly Lester, an entrepreneur and marketer who co-founded and sold the dating app for people over 50 Lumen, knows firsthand the ups and downs of balancing a founding brand with that of the business.
And not only to celebrities who have founded businesses, but also to people affected by the celebrity culture surrounding the founders of iconic brands, such as in the world of emerging technology companies, where people like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are idolized and immortalized. He has worked with founders of start-up companies whose exaggerated ego has prevented him from developing a clear brand mission, leading to the failure of his business, and he has learned in his own companies what that journey is like. Lester, who is currently the marketing director (CMO) of Clementine, a mental health app for women whose founder is replacing a new CEO, must forge a clear strategy and brand reputation that are backed by the founder's personal brand, but not dependent on it. If marketers learn anything from the Ellen DeGeneres story, it's to devise strategies for decentralization, such as the welfare platform Goop taking advantage of its content managers as co-presenters with the famous founder Gwyneth Paltrow in her version of Netflix.
He gives the example of an orthodontic company whose founder was his face, an approach that was no longer sustainable once it expanded across the United States. In addition to being an award-winning actress, Witherspoon is also the founder of the clothing and lifestyle brand Draper James, which is inspired by the southern roots of the Louisiana native. While the damage to De Generes' reputation and brand remains to be seen, this may sound alarm bells for marketers working with a famous founder. It recognizes that, at the beginning, the story of a founder can be added to the seller's toolbox and can be consulted if the business trajectory requires it, as was the case with Funny or Die.