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  • Chad Ochocinco: Short-Term vs. Long-Term Brand Approach

    From a grading perspective, Chad Ochocinco gets an A for Brand Authenticity.

    He speaks his mind, shares his emotions, and tweets with abandonment. The man is a self-marketing machine. He has ridden bulls for charity, tried out for Sporting Kansas City of the MLS during the lock-out, danced with stars, and has his own iPhone app “madd chad”. Whether his relationship with equally spotlight loving fiancée Evelyn Lozada, or his twitter chatter with his fans, there seems to be nothing off-limits to the public with regards to his life

    It is his transparency that makes him endearing and approachable. In fact, it was his recent transparency with regards to questions surrounding the State of the Union that hooked me in. As one who tends to still over think every one of my tweets, what I loved most about Ochocinco’s twitter stream was that he wasn’t afraid to ask questions and showcase his lack of knowledge in the political party landscape. Or to be more specific, whom the Speaker of the House (John Boehner) was. So few people are willing to do that – seem unknowing in a situation…let alone to 3M followers. He didn’t try to tweet about the issues, or fake expertise, he was just being himself. It is because of this that many who might not have tuned into to watch the SOTU, ended up doing so. The best part is that Boehner tweeted him back. Read the Twitter stream here. Looks like our house speaker might also know a thing or two about Ocho’s impressive Twitter following and the power of social media.

    But Brand Authenticity can only take you so far, because without goals and a vision, you have essentially handcuffed your own brand.

    Brand authenticity – (strategy + brand vision) = short term impact

    My fear for Ochocinco is that this is where his brand is. He does a lot of things, but nothing that seems sustainable once his football career ends. That is, unless his goal is to live in the world of reality television (he and Evelyn have a possible show in the works), which is also only a short-term solution. He has certainly set himself apart from others, but what does he stand for? Is it his drive to be famous? To be a social media mastermind? He talks about his Prius quite a bit, but is he environmentally conscious or just trying to be different? Right now it certainly isn’t for his performance on the football field, which is so vital to his overall brand. The unfortunate truth is that his level of relevancy will slowly deteriorate once he stops playing football, and even faster if he continues to play the way he has. It is for this reason that he needs to have a vision for the Chad Ochocinco Brand during and post football, complimented by a strategy for how to achieve it.

    He is a hamster spinning his wheel at high speed, working hard both on and off the field, but lacking effectiveness. He doesn’t appear to be actively selling anything on his own or seeking out endorsers to help elevate his brand status.

    The worst you can do for your brand is to have the power of popularity and have your audience not knowing what you stand for.

    So while he gets an A for Authenticityhe receives a C- for Brand Effectiveness and Clarity.

    Make sure you don’t let your brand fall into the same trap.


    Katie Marston is the CEO and founder of DYME Branding, a personal and lifestyle branding company focusing on professional athletes. Follow her on twitter at @ktmarston or learn more at dymebranding.com.


    Katie Marston is President and Executive Director of DYME Branding , a personal brand development company focusing on professional athletes. Follow her on twitter at @ktmarston

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    2 comments on “Chad Ochocinco: Short-Term vs. Long-Term Brand Approach
    1. avatar

      I enjoyed reading your blog post on Ochocinco’s brand and your fear of its unsustainability beyond his football career due to his lack of vision, clarity, and purpose. I think your post underlines the sentiment and issue I take with the concept of a personal brand: I think it’s a farce. I believe that in personal branding, one attempts to make something static which is dynamic. If your personal brand is peoples’ perception of you, how are you to be a fully genuine, insatiably curious, and naturally faulty human being without willfully bringing attention to one’s ignorance or limiting one’s own freedom to speak outside of your domain of expertise. In other words, does one’s brand have the capacity to limit one’s own uniqueness and expression? And if so, what is the point of a “brand?”

      Allow me to use a sports figure as an example. As an expert on the subject of Personal Branding with a focus on sports figures, I would expect that you are aware of the dichotomy of our hero athletes. They are good enough to pay large sums of money to, watch for hours on television, and even in some cases serve as role models. But we don’t want them to have opinions on on the direction of our country, or wealth inequality, or our political leaders. ‘Tim Tebow can talk all he wants about Broncos and football, but I shouldn’t have to hear him speak about abortion or be subject to his faith in Christianity.’ These issues worry me, and it essentially issues like these that make me feel as if we would be better off acknowledging that we, as human beings, are far too complex to ‘brand’ ourselves. We shouldn’t box ourselves in, limiting our possibilities. And we should leave branding to the cows.

      I’d love to learn what you think in response to the issue what I’ve stated above. Thank you for your time.

      -Robert Collier
      Twitter: @RobertJCollier

    2. avatar

      Robert – Thank you for commenting positively about my post. I always appreciate differences of opinions, especially in areas that I am passionate about. In my opinion, branding is not a bad word, especially with regards to people/athletes. By looking inside yourself, learning about what truly defines you, and then making sure to highlight those qualities while achieving your vision…that is the beauty in personal branding. From an athlete point of view, it is even more important because so much of what they have been taught is that their sport defines them. This is simply not true. Their sport gives them a platform, but they define themselves. Many of them are extremely educated on subjects outside of football and can speak just as intelligently on those. When done well, people are interested in their opinions, purely because of their celebrity status. This presents an open door for them and I encourage my clients to take advantage of it. Doing so on a regular basis expands their brand reach, just as it would for you and I. The difference being that they have a larger audience. My job involves branding based on core values and positive perception so I of course think of personal branding as a good thing. I understand you feel differently. I encourage you to keep reading my posts and always feel free to come back to me with your point of view!

      All the best, Katie

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