Close Up: Dead Horse Branding

Dead Horse Branding


Dead Horse Branding is a multi-faceted firm launched in 2013 by the visionary husband-and-wife team of two-time International Design Award winner and three-time NYC Big Book Award winner Rick Caballo and veteran entrepreneur and branding expert Melissa Core Caballo. Starting every client relationship with an initial strategic plan driven by the client’s core identity and message, the firm’s array of services include business development, brand consulting and management, logo and graphic design, book design and publishing deals, photography, website design, PR, social media management, marketing, video production and global licensing deals. 

Branding Formula: Their mission: to strip you down and get to the heart of your brand, without losing who you are. Dead Horse Branding’s success is based on a simple yet flawless branding formula guide called “The DH7.” Brands they have worked with include TEDx, HGTV, Hallmark, Universal Music Group, Steven Tyler’s band Loving Mary, legendary music producer Tony Brown, Lionsgate and the Bo Diddley estate. 

DH7 Branding Model for Global Education: After years of honing their impactful business model with clients, Rick and Melissa have launched their brand building and promotional technique into the education sector in the U.S. and their native Australia, aiming to create a solid pathway connecting students to their chosen industries. The first major music business program to sign on with the DH7 Branding Module is Kennesaw State University’s Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business program. Comprising 25 percent of the course curriculum, the program is designed as an industry injection spanning multiple industries, including music, fashion, design, business, entertainment and health and wellness.

Modules and Locations: The seven modules are consulting, logo design, photography, web development, marketing, social media, publicity and licensing. The program can be done virtually via Zoom or in person, and as individual modules or as a Master class. The module is run by Keith Perissi, Executive Director of the MEBUS program, and Associate Director Daniel Howes. The curriculum is also offered in an occasional pop-up course at Middle Tennessee State University and Music NSW. The program also includes an international education experience at Abbey Road in London, giving students the opportunity to explore the entertainment industry first-hand in the historic musical culture.

A Word from Rick Caballo: “One of our motivating factors was that we realized that many of the interns who came aboard from different universities’ design, PR and other programs were not being taught in the classroom knowledge and skills that translated to the real-life industries they wanted to get into. Artists and companies need branding to cut through the noise and distinguish themselves. This program cares about how you operate outside of school and make money out of your craft before you even graduate.”

Contact Dead Horse Branding, 629-259-7935