Branding – the world of Playboy.
Was Hugh Hefner the brand master?
There is currently a raft of allegations of sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood, industry, Westminster, and the Judiciary. YouTube is currently being criticised for hosting videos, that exploit and abuse young children and it is also claimed that Google the tech giant global brand has profited from such exploits. Now more to the point of this post seemingly Playboys models, and porn stars directed by Hefner have also
claimed sexual assault.
For example, an account given by Linda Lovelace in her autobiography ordeal published in 1980. There has also been the alledged lewd association of Hefner with his friend Bill Cosby.
However, despite the current news of the abuse of women and more to the point, of Playboys ‘scandalous’ past, I wish to focus on the “iconic“ nature of the magazine and Hefner’s entrepreneurism and the celebrities that he hosted at his mansion.
We must not lose sight of the praises written about Hefner as a civil and social rights icon, due to his support for gay rights and abortion.
Hugh Hefner is the king of building a brand. Hefner progressed the definition of branding from being a simple name, slogan, sign, symbol or design or in the case of the Playboy products- a combination, that identified its products and services.
Hefner successfully created the perception that made the consumer think of Playboy. From a pipe dream at his kitchen table to an iconic brand. From a peak selling controversial magazine to a reality show such as “the girls next door“ that ran from 2005 to 2009 and Playboy’s clothing, intimates, casual wear, pillows, key rings and T-shirts.
For 60 years Playboy world has fashionably been adventurous by innovating style and changing history by inventive and sharp marketing.
Hefner saw his Playboy product as a moving target and evolving with the behaviour of his consumers.
A mental picture is created in the Playboy’s consumers mind. It is influenced by the elements, words and creativity that surround it.
Hefner understood the needs and wants of his consumer.
Hugh Hefner’s brand spoke and said:
I exist because……
If you relate to who I am and why I exist, you might like me, you can buy me, and you can tell others about me .
As Hefner’s customers began to identify with the brand, Playboy lived within the heart and minds of its customers, clients and prospects.
Hefner saw the virtue in his brand, getting stronger and stronger as his battle for customers intensified. Hefner spent time investing in researching, defining and building the brand.
The Playboy rabbit logo is one of the most widely recognised and popular brands in the world.
Hefner saw branding as strategic and marketing as a tactical way of getting his Playboy brands to his customers.
Hefner’s strategic and effectiveness of branding was a lifetime effort, keeping the Playboy brand alive through lifelong experiences of the consumer. And so may Hefner’s son, Cooper Hefner, Chief Creative Officer at Playboy continue the brand as the legacy of Hugh Hefner.
Hugh Hefner died in his sleep at aged 91 on Wednesday 27 September 2017- US time.