Create your brand’s superhero story and gain the devotion of your target market for commercial success!
Brands, like superheroes, come in all shapes and sizes. Brand Power or Brand value is worth billions to companies like Apple and Nike. What they represent gives them their true Super power, a power to emotionally connect to us and make us believe in them.
Just as every famous superhero has a compelling origin story, so too does every successful brand.
Our Four Episode guide will take you on an insightful journey on how tell your brand’s story from humble beginnings, to multi-dimensional success.
Episode 1 – Origin Story / Brand Belief
3 Vital Elements to Create A Compelling Brand Origin Story
Chapter 1. Once Upon A Time
Every great brand is like a great story – Kevin Plank, CEO Under Armour
It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me – Batman, ‘Batman Begins’
On September 25th, 1996, former college drop-out and football-jock Kevin Plank founded the company known as Under Armour in his grandmother’s basement.
The next 12 months would see Kevin drive the length of the East Coast looking to flog a pile of HeatGear T-shirts jammed into his boot.
By the end of the year he’d sold 500 shirts, netting the company $17, 000, as well as generating $100,000 in pre-orders.
Brands, like superheroes, come in all shapes and sizes, but it’s what they represent that gives them their true power, a power to emotionally connect to us and make us believe in them.
Now, in an era of distraction, ad-avoidance, social justice, hype beasts, big data and ‘me, me, me’, brands have to develop an array of superpowers to meet the needs of today’s consumer.
Consumers could be viewed as a contradiction between someone who does not want to be interrupted but wants to be part of an active community. Their online world is where connection happens, and brands form a big part of the discussion. Consumers will seek out what fits with their perceived identity and look for like-minded people to team up with.
The age of product driven marketing is long gone. Wielding a unique selling point is no longer enough. The consumer of today expects products to be excellent as standard. They’re searching for something deeper.
Kevin Plank didn’t create a super-brand by selling T-shirts that stop you sweating while you exercise. He sold something deeper. He sold his origin story.
You can call it whatever you want, a ‘rags to riches story’, an ‘under-dog tale’ – hell, even the ‘American Dream’. As consumers we can’t get enough of it. Kevin was an ordinary guy, living an ordinary life who answered his call to adventure when it came. In return he got an army of loyal customers and brand supporters that now hang on his every word.
TIP 1 – Solve your personal problem
Turn your weakness into strength. Everybody starts somewhere. By sharing your humble beginnings you will be authentic, relatable and will bring people along your journey with you right from its start.
Chapter 2. Passion / Drive
Passion means finding a way – Kevin Plank, CEO Under Armour
Life doesn’t give us purpose. We give life purpose – The Flash
This ultimately is about having a unique point of view.
Why do you do what you do? What is the higher purpose that you wish to move towards through your brand?
Answering the simple question of ‘Why’ in a clear statement can be difficult. It can help first to describe what was missing in your life, in your industry or indeed the world, that compels you to take up the sabre and make the change?
Kevin Plank wasn’t particularly big or fast as a football player – he needed an edge to succeed, and he gained that edge by reducing the moisture build-up on his body during games.
Our passion often comes from solving personal problems. Kevin Plank didn’t start off by trying to change the world. He began by answering a personal question that we can all relate to: how can I better myself?
Take a moment to consider the passion within you and what you hope to change with it through your brand. Make this your ‘why’ and make everything else flow through it.
TIP 2 – Your passion is your power
Understand why you do what you do and build your super-brand that works towards achieving a higher purpose.
Chapter 3. Call to Adventure / The Big Idea
Leadership is… to make sure you never limit the idea or opportunity – Kevin Plank, CEO Under Armour
You can take away my suits, you can take away my home, but there’s one thing you can never take away from me. I am Iron Man – Tony Stark, ‘Iron Man 3’
What was the spark that set you off on your journey?
It may not be a pivotal moment yet in the brand’s ultimate success, it might just be an encounter with a muse, an accident, a happenstance event that finally turned the switch from off to on. It will be the first leap of faith that takes you from your old path and onto the first step of your new one.
For Kevin and Under Armour, that moment was realising that not only could he give himself an edge with the HeatGear garment, but he could also improve the performance of his entire football team if he manufactured enough – and the hockey team for that matter, and the basketball guys!
Suddenly our vision of Kevin Plank chugging along the East Coast in a beaten-up car, selling shirts out of his boot seems a little more heroic than hustler, doesn’t it?
There’s always a moment in a superhero’s life where they lose their way. They trip, they stumble… they fail to save the day. But they always regain their power by remembering where they came from.
Creating a super-brand will lead you on a road of trials that will leave you feeling bruised and confused at times. This is why defining your origin is so important. It’s not only the thing that launches your brand, but the essence that will sustain you on your long journey to make it Super.
TIP 3 – The Big Idea
Channel your power through a big idea that will act as a totem for your cause and give the crowds something to follow. Then go forward and answer your call to adventure.
BE RELATABLE. HAVE A POINT OF VIEW. HAVE PASSION.
If you would like support crafting your brand’s origin story or how to engage your target market then contact New Realm today for a free consultation on 07939 242725 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next time… Episode 2 – Heroes & Villains / Brand Strategy
Kevin Plank Photo Credit: By Dcavalli – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7545690