Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Death, Humor, and Lessons in Branding

We must all face adversity at some point in our lives. How we deal with it is what can really set us apart. Think about the brand that you can establish with just a little bit of humor in the face of adversity. Enter bluelips.com- a website started and run by Toni Riss, a breast cancer patient who was given 2-5 years to live in 1999. Frustrated at the lack of answers to her questions by funeral directors, she went out and started a business that is dedicated to informaing people about the process of what happens with funeral arrangements after they have passed away. She also happens to sell hundreds of death related novelty items. Morbid? Yes. Funny? Yes. Memorable? Definitely a yes. She has built a brand as the woman that is battling cancer and having fun along the way. She also donates 25% of all profits to breast cancer research. This brand has landed Toni appearances on the Showtime Network as well as helped her build a profitable business.

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Blogger Toni said...

I just wanted to say thank you for your nice comments about my website. I found your comments tonight while researching who is linking to me or has written about me.

I have to tell you that you really made my day as there are days I am really beaten up by some angry funeral directors who hate my website. Ironically it's usually the ones who have something to hide that get mad at me. I do have many funeral directors who actually love the site.

I'd also like to think the site send s out a message that is important to me. I was a part of a documentary called "Flight From Death" and I mentioned that when I saw the word "incurable" in my medical records I made my oncologist change it to "incurably alive". I'm not cured, but I am living with a chronic illness and perhaps showing people that laughing at death keeps one foot out of the grave.

April 2, 2006 at 12:07 AM  

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