Branding Lessons Learned in Childhood

Count Artell, Aristocrat of Magic

Long before Branding was recognized as crucial to continued success, retention and referrals, my Dad, known as “Charlie” to all who knew him well, was practicing the best branding techniques and in turn I was learning.  He didn’t even realize he was teaching me.  Here is how Charlie and Count Artell, the magician, did it:

  • Basically believed everything and everyone was “all good”

Vaguely remember hearing him talking on phone with either agents or customers recommending his competition if he thought his act would not suit the audience as well. He never understood about nationalities either….if you asked him his background, he would say he was an American.

  • Reduce pricing, undersell, underquote a colleague

Also, overheard him many times being asked to “underquote” a colleague….he just would not do it.  Just wasn’t fair to him.

  • Code of Ethics

I am sure everyone knows the “Magician’s Code” and believe me, growing up we took it very seriously.  Kindof the right thing to do.  Growing up I traveled with my Dad to all the conventions and most of his shows.  He and I were buddies.  I learned early on in my youth that holding true to an ethical standard was truly rewarding.  Building TRUST resulted in respect…..and let me tell you Charlie was extremely respected.

  • Customer Service

No matter what….the show must go on.  Count Artell was always polite, upbeat, gave of himself and truly enjoyed pleasing all that came to see him.  Backstage we would only know that he had a cold, or his back was bothering him or we just came through a raging snowstorm….he never transferred his woes on anyone must less his customer.

  • Personal Image

As he got older, he started to get arthritis in his hands and couldn’t do card manipulation as well as he used to.  Instead of dwelling on the negative, he tailored his act with tricks that appealed to his audience just as well because his business (magic) was never about him but about his “customer” (audience).

Bottom Line: We are impacting our youth with everything we do and say.  They may seem as though they are engaged in listening to something else or not listening at all but the fact is they are better at multi-tasking than we ever were.  When I started my own business five years ago, I just knew what my standards would be as a business person but I recently realized, I learned everything from Charlie, Count Artell and my Dad.  In the end he got Alzheimer’s and didn’t even remember he was a magician but he knew me, “D”, and he provided me with  guidance, high standards, caring, accepting, right thing to do and marketing savvy that only a magician can.

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About Diane Meyer
Diane has more than 30 years in the corporate environment as Marketing Manager, Marketing Training Director, Advertising Manager and PR Manager for such companies as Celanese Corporation, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Kimberly-Clark Corporation and The Money Store. More recently she served as Executive Director of Community Health Campaign overseeing all the marketing efforts for 13 health agencies. In 2005 she started her own Marketing/PR firm, Marketing by DM. Her client list consists of small and large businesses from all over the United States. She assists clients with their marketing and promotional efforts while also recommending programs to reward employees, branding efforts through promotional products and events/PR efforts.


  1. I loved reading the story about your father. It sounds like he truely enjoyed what he did and gave back to his audiances. What a great learning experience!

  2. Diane MeyerNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks Frances. He truly did and he did it holding true to his high standards. What I noticed was the respect he got for both talent and ethics.

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