It always starts with a heart-pounding story and captivating imagery.
“This time, a split second after leaving the chute, the bull bucked forward with all his might. Hedeman did what riders are supposed to do: he leaned high over the bull’s shoulders and flung his arm back as a counterbalance. But just as he came forward, Bodacious threw his head back smashing it square into Hedeman’s face. Hedeman stayed on somehow, his hand twisted in the rope, only to get head-butted again, thrown into the air, and bounced off the bull’s back like a rag doll.
Hedeman lasted four seconds. Looking back at the ride, Hedeman feels he was “overconfident and underprepared.” “When I nodded for him, the first jump felt fine,” he said. “Then, all of a sudden, whack! When I hit the ground, I felt numb.” What Hedeman could not see was how his face looked; how much blood was on it. “When I was walking out of the arena, I bit down, and my teeth didn’t come together, so I figured my jaw was broken,” Hedeman recalled. “I didn’t realize my whole face was smashed. But when I looked at people looking at me, they looked like they’d seen the devil.” At the hospital, doctors diagnosed Hedeman and said every major bone in his face was broken. Hedeman went through two surgeries which installed six titanium plates and totaled 13 hours. On discharge, the swelling of his face was so extreme that his young son could not recognize him.”
Riding a World-Class Bull or Bronco
Rodeo riding is all about a cowboy defeating their competitor, the bull or bronco, by staying on for 8-seconds. It all starts at the chute under the bright lights of the rodeo arena. The rider climbs on a world-class animal athlete, fixes and adjusts their rope once the bull or bronco is readied, and the hurricane is unleashed. Staying on the bull or bronco for at least eight seconds as the animal spins, kicks, and twists attempting to throw them off. The rider is only allowed to hold on with their riding hand, making it very difficult for the cowboy and very exciting for the spectators watching.
The Brand Rodeo, What’s the Point?
Creating unique and original brands is like riding a bull or bronco in the rodeo; it’s a scary and adrenaline-filled fantasy ending with satisfaction and a memorable brand. It requires skill and training, an eye for messaging, and positioning, all under the bright lights and pressure of the client and end-user crowd. So, why is defining what a brand is and should end up being so tricky? Like riding Bodacious for 8-seconds, it takes the following eight golden brand strategies to ensure your business leaves the arena with the champion brand belt buckle:
- Tell a Story. Brand storytelling is the act of using an emotion-evoking narrative to connect your brand to customers, focusing on creating empathy and emotion by linking what your brand stands for with the values you share with your audience.
- Different Things to Different People. Intelligent, thoughtfully designed, and successful brands reach all kinds of different audiences who matter to their business and aim to further their brand relationships with each individual.
- Brands Start Shapeless. A brand usually starts its life amorphous and edgeless; it is shapeless. To make sense of any branding experiment, it must begin with a framework some degree of structure; once this beginning veneer is applied, a visual shape starts to develop, giving meaning to the brand and the virtual space around it.
- Brands are About Feelings. Feelings are complicated; bulls aren’t complex; they want to kick your butt. Successful brands today are always emotionally infused. They hold significant emotional meaning for people, and that’s what makes that brand loved and respected.
- Be Highly Recognizable. There’s a lot to learn from the brands we interact with every day, and each brand is meaningful because of something different, which differentiates the service or product, making it robust to the people who matter the most.
- Define the Impact. Day-to-day is where we see the brand living, breathing, and doing its job. Take the impact of engaged customers and clients; measure the value for the business valued and tailored for the right fit, increasing innovation, creativity, and brand loyalty.
- Finding a Shared Understanding. Even though it’s a challenging exercise, establishing a shared understanding of how you define your brand and its meaning to your business can help guide your brand and business forward. With brand alignment, you can build a marketing strategy around a unique brand and allow your business to reach its full potential.
- Master Minimalism. In fairness, minimalism can be a complex concept to wrap your brand brain around, and it probably means different things to different people. Minimalism aims for simplicity and objectivity. It strives to reduce works to the fundamental, the essential, and necessary and stripping away the ornamental layers.
These 8-brand rules are the start of the fantastic marketing journey. Your business will experience many brand rodeos, don’t forget falling off is part of the process; pull yourself up and get back on for the ride of your life. You don’t have to be a rodeo star to saddle up with StellaPop; we’ll get your brand onto the first-place step sporting a shiny champion’s brand rodeo belt buckle.