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Key Idea: Build a Brand

Hattie reflects on how Redford built a brand around the Sundance name by using it on the wilderness lodge and the catalog that goes to millions every year.  More...

Key Question:

A: 

The success of the catalog started with the hit picture, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." That film gave Robert Redford the money to purchase the land and lodge in Provo Canyon. Most of us who start a business from scratch don't have brand recognition. Harry certainly did not have brand awareness when he started his children's products catalog. When he started the Sundance catalog, the lodge already existed and soon the film festival also bore the name "Sundance." As a result, the festival helps the catalog, the catalog helps the lodge, and the lodge helps the festival. With 12 million catalogs being mailed per year, the catalog is building brand awareness for all of Mr. Redford's enterprises.

Q:
What is the difference between a brand and a product?

A: A brand is a the banner under which products are sold. Therefore, when done right, a product is a specific item that in a way represents the brand. Think IBM. It is a very big brand. It has been making products for decades and some of those products have been marketplace hits and others haven't.

However, through the years, the brand of IBM continues to stand for the same thing. It stands for the biggest technology company; it stands for reliability, consistency and ethical business practices. By promoting the brand of IBM, the company then develops products that are sold under that banner, but that serve a very specific need.

Q:
What is the Sundance brand known for?

A:
To some people, Sundance is 6,000 acres of land with a luxurious yet rustic lodge. To others it is a film festival. To several million on the catalog list, Sundance means lovely home accessories, clothing and jewelry all designed by America artists with an eye on quality and value. Robert Redford bought the land in Provo Canyon to protect it, and then to provide a place for artists to develop their craft.

With these goals at the root of his company, the catalog taps into what he has already established: he is not just another pretty face. He is an environmentalist, an artist and an impresario. When customers order from Sundance Catalog, they are ordering products, but they also are buying into Robert Redford's dream of saving the West and cultivating good designers.

Harry says, "Sundance stands for a blend of environmental responsibility, creativity and support of the arts and responsible business. And the Sundance concept is for all of these entities to support themselves, to support the arts, to support the environment."

The brand is critical because it conjures up thoughts that turn into the action of buying or not buying. What people think of your company will make or break you, and this doesn't have anything really to do with a specific product.

Think about it

Do you think small businesses need to worry about their brand? What do you do now to build brand awareness? How do you know if that is working? If we asked your neighbors what they think of your business, what would they tell us?

Clip from: Sundance Catalog

Meet Harry Rosenthal (above) and Brent Beck

Provo Canyon and Salt Lake City, Utah: In this episode of the show, we go into a pristine part of the Rocky Mountains, a place Robert Redford loved and wanted to preserve. To sustain that dream and help pay for it all, he turned to Brent Beck and Harry Rosenthal to implement an idea he had for a catalog business. Brent knew the products. Harry knew direct mail. But, unlike most of us, these three had a fast start for this business -- they were leveraging the Robert Redford brand.

Business is not easy for any of us. When Redford applied for his initial loan from a bank, he was rejected just like the rest of us.  He turned to investors, bought the land  to preserve it from housing developers, and began thinking of how to turn it into a business. That was in the late '60's.

Even celebrities were once "less than famous" and had to crawl, scrap,  risk... take a flying leap, just like the rest of us.

Go to all the key ideas and video of this episode...

Sundance Catalog

Jessica Basin, Sr. Marketing Manager, Robert Redford, founder

3865 West 2400 South
Salt Lake City (and Provo), UT 84120
801-975-5238

Visit our web site: http://sundancecatalog.com

Office: 801-975-5238

Business Classification:
Catalog, direct mail

Year Founded: 1989

Build a Brand

THE LIGHTBULB

HATTIE: You can build a business faster with a brand than without one. And the success of the catalog started with the hit picture "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." That film gave Robert Redford the money to purchase the land and lodge in Provo Canyon.

Most of us who start a business from scratch don't have brand recognition. Harry certainly did not have brand awareness when he started his children's products catalog.

When he started the Sundance catalog, the lodge existed and soon the film festival also bore the name Sundance. The result has been that the festival helps the catalog and the catalog helps the lodge and the lodge helps the festival.

With 12 million catalogs being mailed per year, the catalog is building brand awareness for all of Mr. Redford's enterprises. Big businesses spend millions in advertising to build their brands because they know you can build a business faster with a brand than without one.

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