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Scandal's Olivia Pope's Guide to Building a Brand

by Article by Rachel Begg Rachel Begg | February 24, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Screen_Shot_2014-01-23_at_4.56.48_PMIn anticipation to the return of one of ABC’s hottest shows Scandal, coming back this Thursday on February 27th, it just felt right to talk about why Kerry Washington’s character, Olivia Pope, is such a sensation. On the show Olivia Pope is the CEO of her newly established company, Olivia Pope & Associates.

Olivia Pope & Associates is obviously a factitious company, but believe it or not they have a brand AND they repeat the tagline on nearly every episode! You can probably hear Harrison, played by Columbus Short, reciting it in his sleep, “If there's a problem, we fix it.”

Logo symbols, taglines, graphic design, appearance and consistency are all extremely important contributing factors to any company’s branding and overall their survival in this competitive world. Britt and I have been doing a lot research, a.k.a. watching Scandal in our game room at Impulse Creative, to create a social identity and brand to Olivia Pope & Associates. This is what we believe their brand would be if Olivia Pope & Associates was a real company.

  1. Mission Statement
    • Olivia Pope & Associates will do whatever it takes to help solve problems, manage crisis', and save reputations. We treat every client with the same amount of respect, loyalty and importance.
  2. Buyer Personas
    • High profile, political clients.
  3. Visual Branding
    • Scandal is a television show so Olivia Pope & Associates doesn’t really need a logo, which is understandable. Britt and I both agree that Olivia’s face is the substitute to the lack of a logo. She is always the face and voice of all their clients when dealing with the press or during a negotiation. She positions herself with success and her public appearances help to enhance the brand recognition.
    • The fashions on the show could be a whole separate blog post by itself. However we aren’t a fashion company, Impulse Creative is a branding and inbound marketing agency so we are going to try to focus on just the visual message the fashion moments make (But to satisfy your styling god/goddess craving you can click here).
      • First of all, wow! Olivia is a strong yet vulnerable and feminine woman, her wardrobe reflects that. She sticks to a neutral color pallet collection of suit pants and jackets because she wants to be taken seriously as a woman worthy of attention, and not let her clothes cause a distraction.
      • Her team dresses the exact same way to maintain the status and professionalism. You hear the team refer to themselves as “gladiators in suits.” Even the smallest thing can make the biggest difference.
  4. Sustainable competitive advantage
    • The team is a collection of experts. One of everything needed for their line of work. Olivia the political genius, a brilliant computer tech who used to work for the CIA, a kick-ass investigator, and a very clever lawyer all who are all willing to follow Olivia “over a cliff” if necessary.

Now this little bit of information does not create a complete brand and social identity for a company, but it's a great starting point! The goal of this blog was to help inspire you and provide helpful tips to creating your own social identity and determining your brand. Your next step is to click the button below and download our free DIY Brand Audit eBook! The eBook will help you enhance your brand for you personally and your company.


Photo Credit: Major Dilemma