050423-F-7203T-185.JPGEditor’s note: While on the subject of personal branding this month I thought I would re-purpose one of my all-time most searched for blog posts that first ran in April 2009. Guess it showed me how much people love Dolly Parton! I’ll be hosting a talk on personal branding on Product Management Talk blog radio and #http://www.twitter.com/prodmgmttalk on twitter Monday, January 23 at 8 PM Eastern.

All professional marketers can learn a lot from Dolly Parton. The rags to riches singer  is an icon. Her personal marketing and branding skills should be required study for those of us in the marketing business. Why? Let’s just look at the past 24 hours.

While my husband and I were watching the basketball tourney on CBS Saturday we saw an ad for Dolly’s interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday night.  Earlier on Saturday we bumped into some family friends. Where were they heading for Easter break?  Dollywood. Then Sunday morning my husband began channel surfing only to land on an Arts and Entertainment special on Dolly.

Later, after church we stopped by Cracker Barrel for lunch. Who was on the sign out front smiling at me as I entered the restaurant?   And whose music was playing in the background as we shopped and played checkers while waiting for our table? And who could be heard advertising her special music offer  just for Cracker Barrels?  One word answers all these questions: Dolly. No doubt the publicity blitz is a tie-in to the opening of her new Broadway musical 9 to 5 based on the  movie of the same name in which she starred some 30 years ago.

I admire Dolly Parton for many reasons. She single handedly formed and funded the Imagination Library program which provides free monthly books to all Tennessee children ages 5 and under. Mostly though I love and admire her marketing genius when it comes to personal branding.

“Here you come again” Dolly.

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