When you think about marketing, the fastest man in the world is not necessarily the most obvious connection to make. That said, there are a few similarities between the world of high performance athletics and the business of brand building. Here are a few lessons that we could do well to learn from Usain Bolt.
Usain Bolt is always Usain Bolt. He doesn’t put on a show just for the cameras or the journalists. Every emotion and reaction is genuine….even the showboating. Remember: perception is reality – and his fans believe in him. That level of authenticity is what your brand should be striving for in every interaction with your market. The formula is simple: get them to believe that your brand does exactly what it’s supposed to, when it’s supposed to, the way it’s supposed to. Get rid of the jargon and the corporate speak. Ditch the brand restrictions. Give your market a reason to believe in your sincerity and you’ll give them a reason to choose you over the competition.
Ignore The Competition
Have you ever watched Bolt run? From the moment he steps onto the track until he crosses that finish line, he’s focused on one thing: winning. He doesn’t look left or right to see what his competitors are doing. Even with all the hype of Tyson Gay being his closest rival, Bolt just keeps his eyes on the finish line, doing what he does best. The same is true for your brand. You can’t move forward if you looking back and worrying about what your competitors are doing. Believe me, they’re doing exactly what you think they’re doing: trying to beat you to the finish. It’s no surprise. So do what you do best. Do it faster. Do it better. That’s the key to winning.
Start Strong, Finish Strong
Bolt lives up to his name. He explodes off that starting line and streaks across the track like greased lightning. It’s a philosophy that works well in marketing terms too. You need to start strong. Go large with your commitment from the beginning and then keep powering through to your goals. And don’t slow down as you get close to the end. Push harder. Leave some daylight between you and the your competition. Exploit every potential opportunity to its limit to ensure your strategy’s success. Marketing, like running, is about momentum. When you stop, that’s when you lose. Here’s one last lesson from Usain Bolt. He may be the fastest man in the world but a true champion knows that once you’re on top, that’s when the fight starts. You need to work even harder to keep that top spot. Staying true to yourself, focusing on your goals and maintaining momentum are how you give yourself that advantage over the pack. Hard work and the determination will help you truly exercise that advantage to its fullest extent. Don’t forget: no-one really remembers the guy who picked up the silver medal.