[Ed.: “I Have An Idea…” is a series written for College AD by the author of Brands Win Championships, Jeremy Darlow.]
“People should love us or hate us. If they’re in the middle, we’ve failed as marketers.” – Me.
It’s not a brand’s job to make everyone happy. Rather, a brand’s job is to make a portion of the population (read ‘target market’) very happy. So why do so many executives and organizations pass on opportunities the moment someone outside of their target market gets upset? Of course, someone is upset, the activation was not built for him or her.
We talked about it last week. Don’t live scared. Trying to make everyone happy is just that. Living scared. So what if the 47-year-old fan doesn’t like your new uniform. Does the blue-chip quarterback you’re trying to recruit like it? Does it fit your brand? If the answers are both yes, keep going.
So what if the 32-year-old alum doesn’t like the coach you just hired. Does the 5-star point guard you’re trying to get to run your offense for the next four years like the decision? Does the individual align with and represent the brand you are trying to build? If the answers are both yes, keep going.
As a brand and as a manager of that brand, it’s not your job to make everyone happy. It’s your job to win. And guess what, accomplish the latter (win games) and you’re guaranteed to get the former (win opinions).
It’s the order of operation that’s key.
Jeremy Darlow is a brand marketing professional who, during his time at adidas, has worked with schools like Notre Dame, Michigan, and UCLA, and athletes like Jimmy Graham, Dwight Howard, and Lionel Messi. He works to help NCAA athletic programs and athletes build and elevate their brands to elite levels.