Monday, September 04, 2006

RIP Crocodile Hunter...and the brand that went with you!

The news came today that Steve Irwin was killed by a Stingray. Now, as a car guy, my first thought of "Stingray" is an early 70's Chevy Corvette with the "stingray" body. Certainly, I had no idea who Steve Irwin was.

Until I heard the announcer call him by his "professional name"...

The Crocodile Hunter.

Turns out he was killed when he provoked a Stingray (the animal, not the car) and his heart was pierced by the razor sharp barb on the end of the Stingray's tail. Chalk one up for thousands of years of evolution; the barb turns out to be damn good protection: the Stingray is alive, Steve's not.

But here's my point to all of this. My first reaction to the news was admittedly tongue in cheek, but based directly in great marketing. My brain clicked out the word "Crikey!" just like the Crocodile Hunter would say. I didn't know the name Steve Irwin, but you sure can bet I knew Crocodlie Hunter and Crikey! (I also know about those insanely short shorts he wore all the time, giving a male version of camel-toe...but that's another blog some other time).

In the end, so to speak, I feel bad that Steve Irwin is dead...but not because I even knew Steve Irwin. Rather, it's because he built a brand around himself, one that I understood & remembered.

This is a bit morbid of a question, but it's for real: when you pass on, what is YOUR brand? What will folks remember about you?

If you don't have an answer, it's time to start building your brand. We can do it when you simply Say Something Important.

RIP Crocodile Hunter, and thanks for teaching us about marketing our own businesses.


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