There’s a new guy in town and his name is Roberto Costilla.
But you may know him as EmbroidMe, the shopkeeper at 42 Hillside Ave. Roberto is the new owner of this franchise shop that has been here for 11 years.
The reason I wanted to write a column about him is not just to promote a new arrival to Williston Park but because it gives me a chance to explore the idea of branding.
You will recall that over the last several weeks I have focused on the way young people in town have taken to branding themselves with tattoos, Louis Vuitton handbags, backward hats and seven day old stubble.
All this is called personal branding.
Business has been branding itself for maybe three thousand years.
Branding was first used to identify slaves in Egypt and China began to use it in earnest based upon their love of printing and calligraphy by printing on wrappers, store fronts and lanterns.
America started branding their cows to identify ownership and quality.
It took photography, the growth of literacy, mass media, the railroad system, the telephone and the postal system to give branding the big boost. The world’s most famous brands now include Campbell’s Soup, Heinz Ketchup, Coca-Cola, Procter and Gamble’s Ivory Soap.
The National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) was the first company to use integrated brand experience to promote its first Uneeda Biscuit back in the 1890s. They created a little boy in a yellow rain slicker fishing on a dock in the rain to symbolize how fresh and effective the packaging of their biscuit was. They used slogans and cute illustrations to get their point across.
Campbell’s Soup transformed itself into multi-billion dollar company by doing the same thing with its Campbell Soup Kids who appeared in posters and stamps and with slogans and jingles to match.
This is exactly what Roberto Costilla would like to do for you and your company.
He might be just a local shopkeeper but he has the power and talent of the EmbroidMe Company behind him.
He can create and place your company logo on awards, shirts, uniforms, hats, mugs, promotional items and give aways. He can embroider your logo or print it.
He told me “I am here to promote any business, school team, charity event, wedding or Bar Mitzvah. Branding is all about showing a company’s personality and making it into a visual image that permanently enters the customer’s mind and stay’s there.”
I have used this store to place my logo on mugs, hats, shirts, casino tokens and golf balls that I then give away to my athlete’s in my sport psychology practice. And I was amazed to see a big white Tour Edge Golf Bag in Roberto’s store. I once represented Tour Edge when I did television appearances and their distinctive red, black and white logo is something I grew to love. (P.S., they make the best three woods in golf.)
I love branding because it’s all about telling a visual story which is fun to do. It’s a joy to get help in creating a logo which expresses your company’s or your team’s personality. The fact that you do all this with images and a simple slogan is challenging and enjoyable. In other words it brings the word play back into business and more play is what everyone in America needs more of.
Who doesn’t love to watch the Caveman ads for Geico or the new “Jake from State Farm” remake commercial using the Coneheads?
Some of best feedback I get about myself is thanks to the cartoon characters (Yin & Yang) I created and put into a cartoon strip for Asian and American magazines.
People like visual things, cute things and funny things.
Branding is a part of life today. So do yourself and your business a favor.
Go down to Roberto Costilla’s new EmbroidMe store and support a local store keeper.
Ask him to help you to create a logo and a brand for yourself. It’s not only good for your business but its will be the most fun part of your week. I promise.