Owning Your Brand

I just received the graphic below as part of a marketing campaign and laughed out loud. For anyone who has seen the Netflix original documentary “Fyre, The Greatest Party That Never Happened” you know why. Take a close look at the precise choice of words in the copy: “ultimate team player,” “man of many talents,” and “whatever it takes.” This is spot on and on-brand for Andy King who went from a well-regarded industry insider to the poster child for ‘take one for the team.’ (Truly, if you haven’t seen the Fyre documentary, you should).Customer Experience Optimizer - Andy King

I am writing this because it is a great example of owning your brand. We don’t get to choose what our brand means to the public, they do. We want to shape it, to cajole it, to manipulate it to match our strategy. But in the end, brand essence is determined by those other than the owners of the brand. At the point that brand perception goes in a direction other than our choosing, we have three choices: 1) do nothing, 2) fight against it, or 3) own it. In the case of Andy King, I would surmise he evaluated that being world-renowned for a positive attribute like being a team player was better for his brand than being a little-known but highly respected event logistician. He must also have calculated how difficult it would be for him to reshape his brand essence after the debacle that was Fyre rather than riding the wave.

Another example of owning your brand was ‘Kombucha Girl’ Brittany Broski who accidentally became a meme. In this case, her evocative reactions posted on a TikTok video to trying kombucha for the first time resulted in the Internet doing what the Internet does, applying her reactions to all manner of topics—some tame and others highly inappropriate in polite circles.Customer Experience Optimizer - Kombucha Girl

She was fired from her job at a bank and faced the prospect of not being able to pursue a ‘normal’ corporate career. Brittany embraced her fame and crafted a new career by owning her newfound brand and using it to her benefit.

So what would you do if an event happened that turned your brand in a direction you did not intend? Would your internal teams have the perspective and chutzpah to argue for a direction that was different than what they have been previously promoting to the depth of their souls?

There are times when it is vital to bring in an outside perspective who will work well with internal stakeholders but who also has no aversion to speaking truth to power, allowing all avenues to be explored. It also is advisable to commission a study every now and then to try and find out what your brand essence truly is out in the world at large. Do you really think you already know your brand essence, and that it hasn’t veered off in a different direction?

Like Andy King or Brittany Broski, maybe a huge new opportunity is waiting for you to grab on, embrace a new direction, and take one for the benefit of your team.

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Client Testimonials

  • 1/6 – MONSTER: “Peter is the best Marketing person I have ever worked with. He is strategic and creative, a rare combination. He is also a delightful person—the strongest people skills ever. People who work for him will walk thru the fire for him, and if you are lucky enough to work with him you know he always has your back. I give him the highest possible recommendation.” — IRENE BARAN, COO, Monster Products

  • 2/6 – DROBO: “Never, since Apple, have I seen such thoughtful and dramatic packaging. It was a pleasure just opening the package and going through the materials. Your product, the packaging, and the final user experience was awe-inspiring.” — DAN M., Owner, Drobo

  • 3/6 – CANDI CONTROLS: “Peter is the most effective consumer products marketing leader I’ve had the pleasure of working with. He combines an impressive catalog of creative talents and business skills with unstoppable energy and commitment to excellence with his team and projects. Peter is constantly thinking—and designing—outside the box, innovating to differentiate and gain competitive edge. He is a proactive participant who sets a high-performance bar by example. He quickly earns respect from co-workers up and down the management chain. I recommend Peter Radsliff’s marketing leadership to any business serious about differentiating to lead the market with consumer products or services.” — STEVE RASCHKE, CEO, Candi Controls & Sage Systems

  • 4/6 – PRESTO: “Peter has the unique ability to inspire the teams he manages. His excitement going into any project, no matter how challenging is infectious. Peter is able to bring out the best in people and the results usually exceed all project expectations. He happily shares his industry knowledge and is always open to learning from others. He’s so great, that I have worked for him at three different companies and would do so again in a heartbeat.” — SUZANNE RICCA, Art Director at Mirra, Presto, & Prodea

  • 5/6 – SAGE SYSTEMS: “Peter has been the most brilliant marketing professional I have worked for. I reported to him at Sage Systems. He has been essential in driving our company’s brand communication with a high focus on a strategic visual aesthetic. His expertise ranges from high-level problem-solving down to absolute hands-on creative know-how.” — QUINTIN DOROQUEZ, Art Director, Sage Systems

  • 6/6 – MONSTER: “Peter has a rare talent for building enthusiasm about a project while maintaining rational practicality in regard to costs, timelines, and concepting. I learned so much working with Peter, not just from his design and market knowledge, which is vast, but just from his attitude towards development. Peter was a superior team leader and a visionary in concepting products and marketing plans.” — DOUG SHARP, Product Manager, Monster Cable Products