Courageous Brands

by Benj Miller | Sep 1, 2020

What do you think about Miracle Whip? Or Chick-Fil-A? The NRA? Colin Kapernick? Planned Parenthood? Trump Hotels? The New York Times? Starbucks?

You have an opinion I’d bet. For, against, annoyed or indifferent.

Here’s where we’re not going – any of these answers being right, wrong or invalid.

I’m also not about to tell you that participating in hate and conflict is the way to building a brand.

What is true, though, is that each of these brands has taken a polarizing stance in their history on an issue, for a specific person, or rallied behind a particular philosophy. Is that a good thing? Maybe. Is it a bad thing? Maybe.

Here’s what I know for sure –

Courageous brands are magnetic.

Their magnetism attracts and repels with equal intensity.

They have lovers. They have haters. And they don’t play for their haters.

“Courage” is a building block to the pyramid of brand success at Syrup. What that means is standing for or against something regardless of resistance from a few loud opponents. It means getting off the fence if your company is passionate about a value, ethic, philosophy of life or belief.

Syrup's pyramid of brand success

It’s not hate speech. It’s not slander. It’s not malicious or intended to draw battle lines. It’s an act of authenticity that comes from a place of integrity and deep-rooted conviction.

What I want to encourage in you is simply a reflection on your brand. Are you courageous when it comes to stating and standing by what’s important to you? Or are you sitting on the fence because you’re afraid you’ll lose a segment of your audience?

I think if you consider it, you’ll realize those dissatisfied few are not really your fans anyway.

Ultimately, acting with courage in whatever stances you take, you’ll find freedom and a wider path to true brand champions.

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 by Benj Miller

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