Ryan Lochte learns a branding lesson: Go brand yourself
Ryan Lochte has learned a branding lesson: Go brand yourself! How? By participating in a public relations disaster while in Brazil and then being dropped by two of his endorsement brands: Speedo and Ralph Lauren.
This change in endorsement status should not surprise anyone. Brands typically do not want to be affiliated with personalities that reflect poorly on their image. But is this so? What if the brand’s customers have no problem with the personality’s behavior in question. What should do they?
The answer is nothing, because in marketing, it’s all about your customers and if the customer doesn’t see it as a problem, neither should you. Clearly, Speedo and Ralph Lauren believed that their customers did perceive a problem, and so they let him go.
In the world of branding the general rule of thumb is this: the wider the brand’s demographic appeal, the more conservative one must be in selecting an endorsement personality. This means that Ralph Lauren which has a larger target market than Speedo, should have ended their relationship with Lochte sooner than Speedo. This was not the case. Both decided that in their mutual best interest to part ways almost simultaneously. But the rule of customer needs always wins. As a result, the two brands terminated their relationship with Lochte. A Go Brand Yourself moment for the perpetually child-like Lochte.
So what’s next for Lochte. Go rebrand himself! This means undergoing a brand-over rather than a make over. Brand-overs start from within the personality and then make the necessary external changes based on the core personality feature. We may even have some hints of that when Lochte recently admitted to perhaps having a drinking problem. If so, this could be the starting point for getting back on the endorsement track and reinventing himself.
Here is the video that outlines the customer related issues that all of us must consider when branding ourselves.
Why not contact JT,aka John Tantillo, branding and marketing expert to chat about branding, marketing and of course how best to “GO BRAND YOURSELF!” email@example.com
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