When you introduce yourself to a crowd and your last name is Hefner, it’s hard to distinguish yourself from your famous father and his equally famous brand. But the daughter of Hugh Hefner has spent her life doing just that – making her own brand, crafting her own special blend of creativity and business acumen, and ultimately making herself one of the most sought-after branding experts in the country.
You might be surprised when you dig deeper into the brand and the persona of Christie Hefner, known as the daughter of Hugh Hefner to most, but to the marketing world, lauded as the woman who put Playboy back in the black. Profiling this Chicago native, Today’s Chicago Woman recently released “Brand Building 101 with Christie Hefner” and included a myriad of facts you might not know about this incredible woman (even if you don’t agree with or enjoy her father’s company). You might not know how Christie joined Playboy and turned the company around in a challenging economy:
Not surprisingly, there are some sweet ironies in this success story.
The first is that Mr. Hefner would not be enjoying such long-lived success without Christie Hefner, his daughter and the female brand ‘champion’ who supported, defended, restructured, promoted and rebuilt the iconic bunny, undeniably one of the most recognizable and emblematic logos in the world. She joined the company in 1975 after a short stint as a journalist, and was thrust into her role as brand champion when she became Playboy’s president in 1982. It was the height of a worldwide financial crisis, and she was barely 30.
The second is the fact that the brand has thrived in large part due to its billion dollar licensing business that focuses mostly on women. When Ms. Hefner took the helm at Playboy, market analysis showed that “80 percent of our sales for branded goods were for women’s products such as jewelry, handbags, apparel, sexy workout clothes and perfume,” Ms. Hefner divulges. Naturally, “I built on it,” she says with a wry smile in a recent interview about branding, a topic near and dear to her heart.
The story gets better, my friends, and more interesting. Read the rest of Lisa Skolnik’s article at TCWMag.com by clicking here. You’ll find brand building suggestions from Christie Hefner herself, and more about how she’s used common sense to build a branding empire and use it in her new ventures.