Cindy Crawford gives lecture on branding

first_imgOn Wednesday night, the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and the Marshall School of Business hosted international icon Cindy Crawford, who spoke about her experience building an enduring brand.Model behavior · Cindy Crawford reflected on her achievements in both her modeling and business careers. She credited her success to her parents’ different personalities, referring to them as a “great balance.” – Kirstin Louie | Daily Trojan Those in attendance included USC alumnus and benefactor Lloyd Greif and many USC faculty and staff.The event was moderated by David Belasco, co-director and adjunct professor at the Greif Center. Belasco organizes entrepreneurs such as Crawford to speak as a part of his entrepreneurship class, BAEP 470: “The Entrepreneurial Mindset — Taking the Leap.” Past speakers for Belasco’s class have included everyone from the creators of Siri to Pete Carroll at last week’s event in Bovard Auditorium.Crawford, who had a prominent modeling career before creating Meaningful Beauty and the Cindy Crawford Home Furniture, grew up in the Midwest, in what she referred to as a “small town, blue-collar world.” Crawford watched her parents get divorced at a young age, and she remembered vividly how this has impacted her viewpoints to this day.“I saw my dad controlling my mother through money, when he would withhold her money every week,” Crawford said.Seeing this relationship between her parents, Crawford was determined not to let anyone control her the way her father did her mother.Because Crawford’s parents possessed opposite personalities, she was able to gain different but equally important traits from each of them. Crawford’s mother was an unconditional supporter of her decisions, Crawford’s father taught her to be ambitious and chase her dreams.“It actually was a really great balance,” Crawford said.Crawford’s parents are not the only people in her life who have shaped her to be who she is. While spending one quarter of college at Northwestern University before dropping out to pursue a modeling career, Crawford found that she was subjected to judgment based on her looks.Walking into calculus on her first day of classes, the teacher looked at her and said, “Sweetie, I think you’re in the wrong class.” Rather than giving up, however, Crawford used her looks to her advantage and didn’t try to fight the unavoidable bias that exists in the world.“You can take advantage of the way people treat you, too,” Crawford said. “You can learn how to work the system and it’s not fair, but instead of spending your whole life fighting, you can learn how to work your way through that.”When she was just beginning her career in the modeling agency, Crawford noted that it was beneficial for her to sit back and take note while everyone around her did their jobs.“If you’re interested and you keep your eyes and ears open, you learn,” Crawford said.This ambition and mindset helped the international celebrity begin building her brand in her                             mid-twenties and enabled her to focus on her passion products.When Crawford was approached with the opportunity to be the spokesperson for Revlon, she turned it down and instead took the option of building her own company, Meaningful Beauty, which just recently passed its billionth dollar in revenue.“I believed in the idea and the intention behind Meaningful Beauty enough that I wanted to take the chance,” Crawford said.Whether it is Meaningful Beauty or Cindy Crawford Home Furniture, Crawford has learned that the most important resource in any business is time.“Budget your time in a way that reflects your passion and your goals and what you want to accomplish,” Crawford said. “My time is my greatest resource, so where do I want to give my time and which things give back to me?”Though Crawford’s celebrity status has helped her brands take off, she notes that any product can’t be successful unless it is actually worth buying.“I can get eyes on it, and then the product has to speak for itself,” Crawford said.last_img

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