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Travis Kelce: Brand Manager?!

One of the books I read a while back was by Martin Lindstrom called Brandwashed

I loved it because it talked about how Royal Families think of themselves as brands to keep the monarchy going. 

I’m not going to say that I think a country should or shouldn’t have a monarchy, but I like the idea of making sure you focus on your brand. 

That same idea caught my attention when I saw this article about Travis Kelce and his team. 

They have the ambition to make him as big at The Rock. 

Why I kept flipping through the piece came about stealing ideas from Harry Conick Jr. that help him adjust to different audiences. 

What does that mean for you and me? 

How can we apply some of these branding ideas to our businesses?

Here are 5 branding lessons I’ve picked up from watching Travis Kelce, The Rock, and other entertainers that still work for us:

  1. Know Your Position
  2. Be Consistent
  3. Take Risks
  4. Opportunity Knocks
  5. Have a Plan

Know Your Position

What do you want to be to your audience? 

The Rock and Travis Kelce both have a little bit of the everyman about them while being larger than life. 

The relatability helps. 

Be Consistent: 

A brand isn’t built in a day. 

Travis Kelce has been working on his since college. 

Using the Martin Lindstrom example, Royal Families are likely working on theirs for decades…if they are smart. 

You have to show up and do the work. 

Take Risks: 

Building a bigger brand doesn’t happen without some risks.

Travis Kelce gave his team the ambition to be on SNL. 

He could have failed. 

I moved to Seattle to work at that “Jimi Hendrix museum” without knowing anyone in Seattle. 

I definitely could have failed. 

Both of us succeeded. 

Opportunity Knocks: 

You don’t often know where opportunity is going to come from and your big break is going to bust through the door. 

There is a lot of importance on creating your own opportunity. 

Travis Kelce jumping up to a SNL afterparty. 

Me, going to Seattle. 

You have to be willing to throw your name out there. 

Have a Plan:

Don’t wing it. 

This is the core of Travis Kelce’s team’s ideas…they’ve had a plan all along and they’ve been executing it. 

This one is often the hardest for folks because you don’t know if things are working, you don’t know if what you are doing is getting you closer to your goals. 

So you have to have a plan…and you should have an idea of the signs that your plan is working. 

The key idea here is that brands don’t just happen. 

They are usually things that grow over time. You have to manage the context of your brand if you are Travis Kelce, The Rock, or King Charles. 

I’ve had to do that over the years as well. 

Early on in my career, I was called “The Marketing Guy” by the owner of a business. But I didn’t feel that set me up in the right way. 

Instead, I wanted to be more. So I’ve focused on “Focused! Effective! Profitable!” for years now…

My question to you: how are you going to adapt your thinking to focus on your brand and your plan?

Share this piece with someone that needs to think about their brand, personally or as a business. 


BTW, I’m doing a FREE “First Wednesdays with Dave” session this afternoon at 1 PM Eastern time where we discuss getting 2024 off to a good start. 

Join me!