By: Cathy Droz – Founder – HER Certified

Author – Consultant – Speaker

People ask me all the time about my branding.  What comes first the story or the brand? Kind of like the Chicken or the Egg.

Here is how I look at it.  After so many years in the Ad Agency business where I was paid very well  to  come up with names for businesses, I would consider several things.

  1. The type of business, understand the owners passion, ask lots of questions to find that gem in the story that stood out.
  2. Does the name of the product, service, website or store tell you immediately what it is or do you need the tag line to do that?
  3. Are you able to afford to follow through with a marketing budget or will you be able to do so in a grassroots campaign?
  4. Is the name trendy or one that will stick? Can you get the domain, and should you trademark it?
  5. Are the materials needed to brand easy to transport, use on social media, identify quickly and a likable product for others to talk about? (see below as to why I asked about transport)
  6. Is product placement and branding the same?

HERE WAS MY THOUGHT PROCESS WITH HER CERTIFIED… I wrote a book about confidence and told the story of how I started buying cars with my dad.  I’m short so I wore heels all the time. Red is a power color and my subtitle for my book is ” Don’t let these High Heels Fool You”. This means don’t mess with a woman with red heels. I chose the Cover of book to have “Red Heels”.  I purchased a $10.00 pair of red High Heels (not to wear) but to place in the cars I review and wherever I travel.

I wear Red Heels or red shoes almost daily so that if I’m out and about I’m seen in Red Heels to compliment my book and my HER Certified Program. I tend to wear clothing that is red or accented with red.

I’ve also added to my arsenal a few other small items:A car trunk with red shoes and a bunch of cards

My License plate is RDHEELS and since only one is needed in the back of a car,  the second one I use to put over the plate of the car I’m test driving -  or lay it on the seat of a car I’m testing along with my book, mug, red heels etc. I may only one item or all of them.

My YouTube Auto Reviews will contain several frames where my branding is boldly displayed. This 7-minute video is all my branding.

I take a small pair of heels with me on vacation and as you can see in this video, display them in front of almost anything beautiful like oceans, resorts, stores or a farm in Texas. People will hold my book and love to have their photos taken reading it.   Instagram loves it!

I’m known as the woman with the red heels and receive random gifts all the time from well-wishers and women who have benefited from my advice.  They generally order my book.


Branding is taking you, your company or service and establishing a personality to compliment or match your business, service or store.  Product Placement is placing your “business, service or store image” subliminally into another product or service.  i.e.  I test drive cars and review them each week. My branding is part of the review but could also be considered product placement… except I don’t pay myself for the advertising; nor does anyone else. However, my daughter owns a coffee shop.. so when I place one of her to-go-cups with her company name on , in the cup holder of the car I am reviewing, I’m bringing attention to something that eyeballs will see and register in their mind.  I don’t charge her, but if you have the opportunity to showcase another business you would charge according to your exposure.  (This is not the same as an influencer).

When you view a major motion picture,  and they show a coke bottle on the table or a Mercedes Benz as the actors car .. that is product placement and they pay dearly to be a part of that production.

As far as the Chicken before the egg… In my case, it was always going to be red High Heels and dedicate to my mother who wore High Heels till she was 82.

I love helping people with their branding… for more videos go to my YouTube Channel HER Certified and see just how much I BRAND and PRODUCT PLACE.

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