Everyone needs a brand. Super villains decidedly stand out as brand identity czars. Identities are created that are memorable and recognizable in various formats.

As a basic handbook, you can’t beat Neil Zawacki’s manual, “The Villain’s Guide to Better Living.” It covers such important topics as how to choose an appropriate lair, how to motivate your minions, and even resume writing tips. Aside from the obviously practical advice in this book, many of the topics help define the villain’s personal brand by building on every aspect of their image.

When proper planning isn’t done, you can end up more like the aptly named Mystery Men – unclear on who they are, and what they do.

Last year during the writer’s strike, Joss Whedon seized the down-time (anyone have any down-time right now?) to write a personal pet-project of his own, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog”. We see Dr. Horrible work on his evil laugh, and try to get respect from not only the evil community itself, but from his potential love-interest.

It’s interesting that even though Dr. Horrible is a “bad guy”, he is branded with “good guy” colors (all white). And the hero Dr. Hammer, who turns out to be arrogant and selfish, wears all black. (Other good villain colors are red, and sometimes neon green).

The design of a villain’s costume, logo, and calling card must all be truly evil and impressive. Memorable icons and graphics, contrasting colors, and occasional flair are key to create a powerful brand. Additionally, allies such as business partners and organizations will help give your own brand additional power.

Help your brand to take over the world by:
1) Defining your brand identity
2) Applying your brand to your marketing strategy (evil or not)
3) Listening to your audience and respond to their reaction

PS. Who’s your favorite or most feared super villain?