Thursday, September 4

Joan Rivers, The Brand

RIP Joan Rivers.
Thank you Joan Rivers.
We love you Joan Rivers.

The world just lost a pioneer, a legend, and a humanitarian ... in so many ways.

I can't even imagine or comment on how Joan's daughter and grandson are feeling right now. It's unimaginable. I'm sure on some level they knew some day this day would come, but honestly this was not her time. It was not supposed to happen yet, not this way and not this day. It's very hard to accept.

Granted, she lived a long and rewarding life ... with a lot of struggles along the way ... but this was not her time. Not yet anyway. She had so much more to give, and we were ready and waiting for more from her.

While I must admit that I am a mega-fan, I didn't know her personally so I can't really comment on anything personally. But I can comment on Joan Rivers, the brand.

Pioneer. When honoring the brand Joan Rivers, we must start and end with the word "pioneer." She broke boundaries, shattered ceilings, fought obstacles, and helped others to do the same. Great brands bring new things to the table, and that she did. Yes, she was the first female to break into comedy and expose the boys club of late night. But she was also the first to reinvent the red carpet. She gave us a reason to want to experience her red carpet.  "Who are you wearing?"

Unique Legend. Her comedy, her brand essence, is uniquely her own. No one can touch her brand of comedy.  Nobody, not even her proteges that follow her. We thank you, Joan, for the hours of side splitting laughter that was real. We need it. To be touched by Joan, no matter what she said, means that you had invaded pop culture. She brought celebrities down ... down to a real level that we could laugh about.  "Can we talk?"

Emotional. Most importantly, she draws on people's emotions which is exactly what every great brand does. She makes us laugh, she makes us cringe, she makes us gasp ... she makes us feel.  She makes us want to hear what she has to say.

As someone who has benefited from her brand many times over through the years, how do I take solace in this tremendous loss? How do I accept the loss of a brand that helped me laugh when times were really tough for me personally? How do I thank her for helping organizations that have helped me?

No need because great brands live on forever. Joan Rivers will live on forever, and for that her fans are forever grateful to her and her family for all that they have given us. Her entire brand gestalt is inspiring, actually, and makes me want to do more.  Aside from the laughter which is a gift, I guess that's how we move on with the brand. We keep doing more, just like Joan did.

Long live Joan Rivers.  JIM.

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